Be Ready for the Unexpected
When you live with a chronic condition like lupus, ultraviolet radiation is a constant concern. But having lupus doesn’t mean you have to hunker indoors to avoid the sun. You lead a full life that inevitably takes you outdoors.
Having sun protection handy to shield you from unplanned exposure is important. Getting caught in direct sunlight without this protection can compromise your health. You risk a serious burn, skin cancer, and a potential lupus flare.
So now is the time to consider what UPF and SPF supplies you need to be ready for the unexpected.
Why You Need a Lupus Everyday Bag
Maybe you’re driving to your noon gym session and get a flat tire. A vehicle breakdown is frustrating enough. You don’t need to add UV exposure worries on top of that.
What if your coworkers decide to eat lunch outside on a nice day...do you have UV- blocking essentials within reach?
Prepare now to have reliable sun protection handy to keep you safe from unforeseen situations like this. Create a lupus everyday bag to help you feel confident and ready for anything.
What Type of Bag Should You Use
Stocking a lupus everyday bag with the necessary essentials allows you to stop wasting time trying to gather supplies each morning. You can just grab your bag when you leave for work, school or an outing.
But first you need to select what type of bag is best for you.
Consider your lifestyle and tastes when choosing how to carry your sun necessities. Decide whether a tote, duffel, or backpack best fits your needs. Look for features like zippered mesh pockets, expandable compartments, and water resistance to organize and store your sun gear.
You can even pop this small, ready-to-go bag into a larger carry if you’re planning a longer excursion. That’s a time-saving bonus!
Which Sun Essentials to Include
When choosing what to stock in your bag, remember that sun defense gear doesn’t need to be bulky or heavy. Many UPF garments and accessories are lightweight and easy to fold. Following are some essentials to include in your lupus everyday bag:
Lupus Sun Apparel and Accessories
- UPF 50+ Cover Up: The apparel item you choose should, at minimum, protect your neck, shoulders, and arms from direct ultraviolet rays. Make sure it’s easy to slip the garment over whatever you are wearing. Hoodies, ponchos, and apparel that cover the legs offer added protection from unwanted sun exposure.
- UVA/UVB Sunglasses: Make sure the label on the sunglasses states that they provide 100% UVA and UVB protection. Large, wraparound varieties help protect your eyes and the delicate skin around them.
- Broad Spectrum Sunscreen: Select a broad spectrum sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30+. However, those diagnosed with lupus should opt for a higher SPF of 70+ for better photosensitivity protection. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to frequently forgotten areas like your ears, neck and backs of your hands and fingers. Use care when storing sunscreen in a vehicle for long periods. Extreme temperatures can degrade the sunscreen’s quality.
- UPF 50+ Hat: A foldable, floppy or crushable hat style that’s easy to reshape is best, preferably with a wide brim. The Women’s Wide Brim Sun Hat with a 4” brim is a great option for ladies. UV Skinz also offers other great hat choices for the whole family.
- UPF 50+ Arm Sleeves: Arm sleeves provide lightweight and breathable sun protection for your arms and upper hands. UV Skinz offers a UPF 50+ sun sleeve with a stabilizing thumb hole to cover more of your hand. UPF 50+ sleeves are especially helpful if you drive with your arm on your vehicle’s window frame.
- Lip Balm: Choose wax-based lip protection with at least an SPF 15.
- Cooling Towel: A lightweight cooling towel can be a lifesaver when it’s warm outside. It's especially useful for those with lupus who overheat easily.
Other Useful Items to Include
- Antibacterial Wipes and Disposable Face Masks: These aren’t sun protective items, but especially helpful to include if you take immunosuppressive drugs for lupus. These drugs can increase your chances of getting illnesses and infections.
- Health Information List: It’s a good idea to include a list of your health conditions, medications, and allergies. Adding your physicians’ names and phone numbers, as well as medical insurance and emergency contact information is a smart idea too.
The prepacked essentials in your lupus everyday bag are also a great starting point for fun adventures like the beach, lake or hiking. Just add the extras like a UPF 50+ umbrella, tent, or blanket to block additional ultraviolet rays.
Having essentials ready to go is a great idea for your overall sun safe strategy.
You can breathe easier knowing that you’re reducing your risk of sunburn, skin cancer and lupus flares.