4 posts tagged “summer”

10 hot weather and sun-safety pointers for people with lung cancer

Posted July 21st, 2017 by

On PatientsLikeMe, nearly 7,000 members are sharing their experiences with lung cancer. The dog days of summer have arrived, so we’ve rounded up some tips for handling the weather’s impact on breathing troubles and the side effects of chemo, radiation and surgery.

Hot weather tips for people with breathing issues

The American Lung Association reminds those with lung disease that your lungs might be working harder in the summer air. Taking some extra steps may help you breathe easier.

  • Hot and humid weather can cause airway inflammation and add to breathing difficulty. Tip: Use air-conditioners (with clean filters) in your home, if possible.
  • Air pollution (which worsens in the summer due to increased ozone from smog) can also bother your breathing when you have lung disease. Tip: Keep tabs on the air quality forecast in your region, and avoid high-pollution areas (such as jammed highways), if you can.
  • When your body is working harder to breathe, you can easily become dehydrated. Tip: Drink plenty of cold water, even if you don’t feel thirsty.

Sun- and heat-safety for people undergoing cancer treatment

Certain kinds of chemotherapy can make you more sensitive to the sun. Radiation therapy sites and surgical scars also call for TLC in the summer. Keep these tips from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network in mind:

  • Ask your doctor if your treatment makes you more sensitive to the sun (sometimes called “photosensitivity”) or heat. In general, you may overheat or get sunburned much more quickly and easily than usual.
  • Try to avoid time in the sun when its rays are strongest, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Use a “broad-spectrum” (UVA- and UVB-protection) sunscreen with an SPF of 30+, and apply it often.
  • Seek shade (under trees or an umbrella) and dress to protect your skin from the sun – but keep in mind that clothing is no substitute for sunscreen.
  • Wear a hat to protect your face and head, especially if you’ve lost your hair due to chemo.
  • If you’ve undergone radiation therapy, know the precise spots where you were exposed because these areas will be highly sensitive to sunburn. Ask your doctor about a good sunscreen for your extra-sensitive skin.
  • If you’ve had surgery, keep your scars protected from the sun with clothing and sunscreen. Members who’ve had surgery also say their scars are sensitive to cold air-conditioning, so you may need to cover your skin indoors, too.

How does the hot weather affect you? Any tips to add? Join the conversation in the Lung Cancer forum.

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Bright ideas: Members share 7 head-to-toe tips for sun safety with lupus

Posted June 9th, 2017 by

With summer just around the bend, we’ve rounded up PatientsLikeMe members’ sun-safety and photosensitivity tips for people living with lupus. Photosensitivity is increased sensitivity to sunlight and other sources of ultraviolet (UV) light, sometimes causing a rash or other skin reaction.

On PatientsLikeMe, thousands of people with lupus say they’ve experienced photosensitivity – more than half of them reporting it’s “moderate” or “severe.” Here are a few ways members are coping with it…

Lupus photosensitivityLupus Photosensitivity

Even more tips

“I’ve found it most effective to switch to a moisturizer and makeup with added sun protection. I also keep a floppy hat hanging by the front door for yard work.” – LilliGirl

“I have invested in several neutral, long sleeve jackets. They help by covering my arms but are athletic/highly breathable and actually keep me cooler than allowing the sun to beat down on my skin ever would.” – LilliGirl

“I find I can slowly build up a bit of ‘tolerance’ by sitting out in my garden. I start by doing 5-10 minutes for a few weeks and slowly build it to 30-40 minutes eventually.” – FABWHEELIE

Reminder: Not all sunscreens are created equal. Dermatologists recommend using sunscreens that contain the ingredient Mexoryl (which offers the best coverage, blocking UVA-1, UVA-2 and UVB rays) or Helioplex (which blocks UVA-1 and UVA-2). Also, apply sunscreen 30 minutes before heading outdoors to ensure it’s absorbed, and wear sunscreen even on overcast days, which also bring UV rays.

Living with lupus and photosensitivity? Check out 56 forum posts about lupus

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