Too much sun exposure can still trigger pain in people with autoimmune disorders such as Lupus.
Most people are aware of the serious dangers in increased sun exposure. Especially for people with certain autoimmune disorders, such as Lupus, who run the risk of triggering a painful flare-up if they receive too much exposure. It’s one thing to be aware of the danger, but you also need to educate yourself on the proper way to protect yourself.
Wearing protective clothing is the best way to stay safe in the sun, but there are also important things you should know regarding sunscreens.
Recently, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) published an article on SPF ratings in sunscreens. We want to make sure you are all well aware of what the EWG is finding wrong with high SPF sunblock products.
- Leads people to believe they can stay in the sun longer. This is not true, and in fact the FDA believes it is misleading to consumers so in 2007 they started to make a move to prohibit companies from labeling sunscreens with an SPF higher than 50. **Make sure you are reapplying.
- Increases exposure to potentially hazardous ingredients. About 30% of sunscreens (many being high SPF rating) contain a form of Vitamin A known as retinyl palminate. This ingredient should be avoided due to concerns of it producing skin lesions. Another ingredient to avoid is Oxybenzone, which the EWG recognizes as a “hormone disruptor”. **Make sure you check the ingredients level when buying a sunscreen – the EWG recommends sunscreens with the minerals zinc or titanium as their active ingredient.
- Lacks protection from all harmful UV rays in many cases. Look for a broad spectrum protection sunscreen (meaning it protects from both UVA and UVB rays). Many High SPF sunscreens do not protect from the damaging UVA radiation. **It would be better to use a lower SPF rating with broad spectrum protection and apply it more often, then to use a High SPF sunscreen without broad spectrum protection.
- Fails to reflect usage reality. SPF ratings are given based on two-to-five times more sunscreen than people actually apply to their skin. When sunscreen makers test to get their product an SPF rating, the volunteers apply 2 milligrams of sunscreen per square centimeter of their skin (as required by the FDA). In reality, people apply one-half to one-fifth the amount of sunscreen used in the SPF test to receive the rating.