Lupus and Your Skin: How to Avoid Summer Flare-Ups (Video)

woman with red face

We all need to protect our skin from the sun’s damaging rays, and if you have lupus, you know that being prepared for summer is especially important. With warm weather, delicate skin can more easily burn or redden with a rash. And while a butterfly rash has a nice name, it’s not fun at all to deal with that redness across the cheeks and nose that give it this name. 

The precautions people with lupus need to take in spring and summer include avoiding the sun and staying in touch with your doctors. Creams, lotions or ointments, and in advanced cases, oral medications, might also help suppress the immune system.

Watch this video for more skin-saving advice for lupus patients.


Howard Smith, MD

Howard Smith, MD, is Staff Rheumatologist at Cleveland Clinic and Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University.
  • Ohmy Shrunkenhead

    How many others have the issue of not being able to tolerate sun at all? Even indirect exposure (such as being covered and veiled in the backseat of a car) causes complete brain fog and a few days of elevated immune activity. A single hour of semi-direct sun will generate a flare that may last for months. So sunblock and reflective clothing don’t cut it in my case!

    • Jared

      I’m the same way. It sucks…

      • Guest

        I commiserate… It’s like being a vampire with no ‘sparkly’ benefits. 😉

  • Avrie

    I have problem tolerating heat, humidity & sun. I love the beach & the summer but have to be really careful exposing myself to it. I always seem to have flare ups in summer but few if any in cool weather. One of the reasons is that heat uses up Prednisone faster so either an immune suppressor or increased Prednisone may decrease flares in summer.

  • Elisa Blanes

    Hi I will like to know when I go out shopping and get some sun from the car to the store and viceversa I start having problem walking . The problem waking it’s very big my legs can’t move. That pain also I have it in cold places. I have my lupus for 8 years. The first two years I have mobility problems but now I was okay and these pain came back. Can you help me.