Summer brings plenty of fun, but it also bring challenges for some people with arthritis – such as sunlight sensitivity due to immunosuppressant medications or lupus, or sensitive skin from psoriatic arthritis or scleroderma. Stay safe with these precautions.

Go Under Cover

Limit sun exposure, wear ultraviolet protection factor clothing and apply broad-spectrum sunscreen – at least a shot-glass full every two hours.  Sunglasses labeled “UV 400” or “full UV” with amber colored lenses provide the best protection for eyes.

Hydrate

You might be at greater risk for dehydration than you think. People become less aware of their thirst as they get older, and diuretics, commonly taken to treat high blood pressure, make the body get rid of water. Drink plenty of water throughout the day – even if you don’t feel thirsty.

Repel Pests

In the past, repelling bug meant DEET, which can irritate sensitive skin.  Talk to your doctor about other repellents, including picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus. Mosquitoes are weak fliers, so run a fan to help keep them away.

Comfort tip: Choose ergonomic lounge and beach chairs, or place a rolled-up towel under your lower back, neck or knees for support.