Summer fairs and festivals are abounding! Whether you pick a picnic in the park or choose to pick berries in the bushes, remember that you must not flirt too dangerously with the sun. People with Lupus have photosensitivity, or increased sensitivity to the sun, and need to adjust accordingly to avoid painful Lupus flares.

Here are some tips on how to protect yourself from the sun:

Cover up. Wear a broad-rimmed hat. Wear clothing with a tight weave, including long-sleeved shirt and long pants. Consider specialized sun-protection garments. There are many fashionable, sun-safe clothing options now.

Lotion up, lather on. Use sunscreen with a SPF of at least 15 on exposed skin. Make sure it is broad-spectrum! Apply liberally 15 to 30 minutes before going out. Re-apply after vigorous activity such as excessive sweating and rubbing or swimming and towelling off.

Chase shade. Avoid going outside when UV rays are strongest, particularly between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. When possible, stay in the shade.

Ban the tan! There is no such thing as a “safe tan” or “base tan.” Do not use sunlamps or tanning beds.

Fluorescence the machine. Man-made technologies can also radiate UV light. People who are more photosensitive may want to avoid using fluorescent tube lights and use photocopiers with the lid closed.