NRAS
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Dreading summer, worried Sun exposure

Hi all, any advice is appreciated please - I'm pretty new to all this and only been on MTX for 7 weeks. I'm worried about dealing with sun exposure in the warmer weather.

I work an hour and a half every day, outside on a school playground..I know the advice is to keep out of the sun during the hottest part of the day, but that's my job! I have to be out there from midday, and there's very little shade around. And I have to keep walking around, I can't just stand in the shade all the time..

I can't give up my job - it's all I have..and with this condition, and at my age, there's no hope of anything else..

Do you think that means I need to cover up with the full works - long sleeves, long trousers, wide brimmed hat and sunglasses, whilst being covered in Factor 50 all over??? -I get too hot with long sleeves, I hate the heat, and I am dreading the warmer weather already!!

Any comments on how to cope would be appreciated!! Thanks!

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I have found my skin is more sensitive to the sun and I don't like being in full sun for more than an hour or so. Think if you use a high factor sun screen you should be fine, but you will need to see how it makes you feel. Suggest you discuss with your medical team to make sure you have all the info.

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Thank you

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If you have an understanding school theh should build you a shelter or out a parasol up for you.

Go to your manager and ask for personal to be involved quoting the disability act and that companies should do things within reason to help you.

You could always get a union to support you.

Yes I use block and hats too ! But somewhere to watch the kids under shade would be perfect.

Ps the kids should have a retreat from the sun too.........

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Good points, thank you

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If you were sensitive to the sun prior to taking MTX...then you will almost certainly still be sensitive, but not necessarily super sensitive.

I am not sun sensitive & have never burned....I took Mtx for 7 years & spent a lot of time in the Florida sun with no problem...of course I used sun creams & wore a sun hat.

All you can do is go carefully & see how your skin reacts. Of course a wide brim hat on a sunny day at noon is sensible ...even in the UK....& a pretty parasol will offer shade to your arms if the sun is really blistering....& would I'm sure be fascinating to the children in the play ground ......(especially if you are a man ? Jimmx ? in that case ...forget the parasol!)

Make sure you drink plenty of water to keep hydrated too.

A lot of living with RA is scary at first....but really it's just common sense....so look forward to a lovely summer....don't worry too much.

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Yep i am - thanks for the info !

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Sounds like you have the same job as me, Lunchtime Supervisor. If so, do you think it may be possible that you stay & supervise in the dining hall.

The Head Teacher where I work, knows about my OA, if I'm suffering with the cold winter air, I just ask to work in the dining hall for a while.

Your employers should accommodate.

Ruth

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Yeah, you guessed it! - Sounds like a good idea, thank you!

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I'm in a similar position, try Rohan outdoor clothing, light, UV protection, plus a cover neck wrap to keep you cool, plus sun screen, and maybe a UV umbrella, I use the whole l9t when I'm in Europe ,UK, at work, it can aleviate any anxiety, drink lots of water, and cool clothing?

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Thank you

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I've been on MTX for nearly 40 years and was never told about sun exposure and didn't have the internet to find out for myself. Luckily, I've been absolutely fine. Use SPF as recommended and hopefully you will be too. It's important not to let RA and any meds interfere with daily living.

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Interesting, thank you.. I'm also concerned about how much is the increased risk of skin cancers, due to MTX and Sun UV ? Any ideas?

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I don't know the answer to that but, my father died of skin cancer after working outside and not using any SPF. I have fair skin and lots freckles and moles but don't worry about it unduly. Ask your GP next visit.

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Sorry to hear that..

Thank you for the advice, I will ask him next visit

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Yes, cover up with cotton clothes, kaftans and the like and wear trousers. I get a prescribed sub block for my face from the doctor. It’s an Australian make. No one told me to keep out of the sun because of my low immune system until I had to have some facial skin cancers removed.......

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No I wasn’t told about increased sensitivity to the sun either. I thought it was due to mtx. Like you I was only recommended specialist (Australian) suncream by the dermatologist when I had a bcc (slow growing localised skin cancer) removed last November.

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Interesting, thank you - hope you're alright now

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Yes thanks - have had the all clear from dermatologist.The cream she recommended was Sun Sense ultra factor 50+ (apparently can get from Lloyd’s pharmacy). Haven’t tried it yet!

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Pleased to hear that, Bookworm.

-Thanks for the cream recommendation.. I've had a look online and Ocado sell it as well - pricey, but if that's what will keep us safe! - it's also available as a roll-on. I'm going to order one! Thanks for the info!

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Sunsense 50 was recommended to me when I had urticaria solaris due to the reaction with the sun and Sulphasalazine. I was red and itchy and blotchy even if inside if the sun came into the room and not even directly on me. I never have had issues with the sun and Mtx though. I did find the Sunsense sample very hard to rub in .. Maybe they've got better formula now and I know it's supposed to be a block so a heavier cream but I found a sensitive Ambre Solaire 50 spray which does the job for me now in the UK sun. I am not a sunbather but do like to walk about outside in the summer.

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Thanks Neon. I've ordered some Sunsense 50 as a roll on. -Can i ask, do you wear short sleeves? or do you cover up completely in the sun?

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Thanks for the advice. Yeah, increased risk of skin cancers is what worries me! Hope you're ok now

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I’ve been on Mtx for about 18 months now and exposure to the sun has never been mentioned to me as a risk factor. I just checked the Mtx guidance booklet I was given and it’s not mentioned there either.

I’ll ask about this at my next apptmt...!

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Thanks Ranne. I couldn't find any info in the MTX booklet either - it's only what I've read on these forums that mentions the poss dangers of it.. I'm seeing my Rheum Nurse in a few weeks, so I will ask as well.

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I also am on methotrexate and hav'nt been told about sun protection

I will ask at my next rheumatology appointment

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Yes, I only found out about it through these forums!

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I used to live in a sunny country, MTX 5 years at the time, & never had one moment of problems with my skin. I returned to the UK & the first summer I was sitting in the garden reading & caught my legs, I'd never burnt before. So really it's a cautionary example, don't underestimate sun sensitivy on MTX in the UK & if you're particularly pale wear loose fitting natural breathable fabrics, covering your arms & legs & don't forget to wear a hat. You can always test out any sun sensitivity at weekends, then you're not worrying too much when your focus needs to be on the kiddies, plenty of high factor sun cream applied regularly don't forget.

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That's interesting! - thank you for the advice!

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