Can sun exposure cause fatigue - and if so, WHY?

I love sunlight. I tend to have a nasty case of Seasonal Affective Disorder so, especially in the winter and when the sun is out, I try to spend at least a half hour a day in it. An hour if I can.

But I keep hearing how it's bad for lupus, and I just connected the fact that I spent two hours in the sun yesterday and today all I want to do is hide under the dark blankets in a dark room with my dark curtains and sleeeeeep.

So it is it true that sun is bad? Can sunscreen completely negate the fatigue? And why is sunlight so forbode for us lupus folks?

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  • I'm sure others who know far more about lupus than me will answer - but here are a couple of links about the science behind it that are interesting:

  • In October at our big recent Cambridgeshire group lupus info event, our prof rheumatologist head of lupus clinic told us that light can cause a flare even through basic protective gear, and even without rash being one symptom. Instead of rashes, we can experience the symptoms you're describing. Due to infant onset lupus...sunshine does this to me regardless of whatever protection I have in malls, being in airports, covention halls, conference rooms etc likewise have always made me ill too. Our consultant explained this in basic terms: receptors in our skin respond to lights of various types & travel into our bodies to cause flaring symptoms where-ever (anywhere & everywhere πŸ˜‰πŸ˜). I had read this sort of thing before, but her explanation was so simple & authoritative that I finally felt I understood...

    πŸ€πŸ€πŸ€πŸ€ coco

  • Interesting what you said about indoor lighting, I find it worse for me than the sun! At least I'm aware that the sun is there and put measures in place ie sunscreen, long sleeves etc, but regularly get caught out with fluorescent or similar lighting. It makes me feel as though I have sun burn across my nose and cheeks and my eyes sting and burn. My hands become painful or just get hot and tingly. Along with terrible fatigue.

    The trouble is how to deal with it because it's practically impossible to avoid. πŸ˜”

  • So true...paul's links have helped me get my head around how to cope...but it was vvvv hard to deal with this when I was am retired, it's somewhat easier....

    Hang in there...

    Take care


  • Hi quirkytizzy,

    Yes, exposure to UV light can flare up lupus rashes, but can also cause a more general flare up of lupu symptoms such as fatigue, joint pains and headaches.

    You can read about how UV light affects people with lupus and how you can protect yourself in our blog article here -

  • Hi, many of us suffer not only with the sunlight but with indoor light as well. In short we over react to the type of light omitted. Some have rashes, I get rashes which become crusty, yep nice. Or migraine, I get headaches with too much natural or artificial light including screens. Many of my flares I can put down to light in general. I use sunfactor 50 all year. Skin always covered, glasses, hats, it goes on. Remember you need vit d so worth getting checked long term.

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