May is Lupus Awareness Month

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that can affect any part of the body, especially the skin, joints and organs.  Since the disease is so difficult to diagnose, the exact figures on how many Americans suffer with Lupus is sketchy.  Around 16,000 new cases are officially reported each year however, people with Lupus will tell you that it typically takes several years of frustrating doctor visits before receiving a positive diagnosis.  Anyone can get Lupus, but it certainly favors women.  Approximately 9 out of 10 adults with Lupus are women ages 15 to 45.  African-American women are three times more likely to get Lupus than white women.  Lupus is also more common in Latina, Asian, and Native American women.1

Since Lupus is an autoimmune disease, it means that for some reason the body decides to attack and break down its own tissue.  While there is no one cause, it is believed that genetics, environmental toxins and hormones are all contributing factors.  Lupus has different forms:  Cutaneous (skin) Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Drug-induced Erythematosus and Neonatal Lupus.  Although the complaints vary by individual, the most common symptoms are extreme fatigue, joint pain, and skin rashes and sensitivity.  Two thirds of people with Lupus have some form of skin complaint.  The sun is very damaging and stimulating to symptoms in someone with Lupus, so they must take extra precautions to protect themselves from the sun, as it can cause a “flare” of the disease and aggravate the skin. 2

As a person who has suffered with autoimmune disease for the past 14 years, I can sincerely relate to the challenges of finding skincare products that nourish and protect my skin, without causing inflammation and uncomfortable rashes or irritation.  This was my personal inspiration for the work that I do with DermaMed Solutions and is why I am so passionate about it.  Our mission is not to “make you as pretty as you can be”, but rather it is to “uncover the brilliance that comes from comfort in your own skin”.  This brilliance can come from the physical glow of healthy skin, or even more importantly — the emotional glow that comes when you are confident and comfortable in your own skin.

The dmSkincare natural skincare products are great for people with Lupus and other diseases that cause skin discomfort because they contain botanical ingredients that reduce inflammation, without harsh chemicals which can inflame the skin.  A person with a Lupus skin rash or lesion is dealing with a state of inflammation in the skin and likely systemically.  The last thing they need is to stimulate the auto-antibody process with UVA and UVB light and/or add toxins for their body to detoxify.  Two things are critical: reducing inflammation and protecting the skin from sun and environmental toxins. 

Sun protection is a must for people with Lupus!  Many times the chemicals used in sunscreens, like oxybenzone, cause even more inflammation than the sun exposure.  We can control our exposure to the sun fairly easily, but toxins are everywhere.  For that reason, a chemical-free, mineral sunscreen with broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection is the best choice.  With this type of product you create a barrier to the sun and toxins, so they can’t penetrate the skin or allow burning, or the stimulation of auto-antibodies which can lead to disease flares for Lupus sufferers.

dmSkincare’s daily eclipse™ mineral sunscreen with SPF 30, contains titanium dioxide, zirconium dioxide, zinc oxide and other soothing ingredients that provide both comfort and antioxidant support, like aloe, allontoin, and watermelon extract.  When you add a layer of mineral makeup, you safely protect the skin, while looking fabulous.  Every person should wear SPF protection every day on their face, ears and neck.  Every person with Lupus must.

So, how can you get involved to help people with Lupus?  The Lupus Foundation currently has a petition you can sign which urges Congress to fund more research on Lupus treatment.  On Friday, May 17th, you can wear purple to show your support for the cause.  Visit the Lupus Foundation website for more information and for daily tips and facts on the disease.3   Lastly, try to offer support to someone with Lupus.  A common issue for people with Lupus is that they are told they “look too good to be sick” and therefore people do not believe they are ill.  Many times a kind word of support or a simple, “How are you?”, can be very meaningful to a person living with Lupus.

 

Ginger

  1. WomensHealth.gov / Face Sheet
  2. Lupus.org / Understanding Lupus
  3. Lupus.org / Awareness


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