Lupus and Benlysta

What is Benlysta?

Benlysta is a prescription medicine given via infusions or auto-injections for patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE or lupus) who are on other lupus medications.  Benlysta is the first medicine approved by the FDA in over 5o years for the treatment of lupus.  Benlysta has been clinically studied in over 1,000 lupus patients and the results have show a reduction in lupus disease activity when taken with other lupus medications in comparison to those that were just on other medicines besides Benlysta.  Benlysta is considered a biologic and works unlike other medications being taken for lupus.

 

lupus and benlysta
lupus and benlysta

 

Lupus and Benlysta

If you have lupus and are considering treatment with Benlysta, it is important to speak with your rheumatologist about the medicines you are currently taking for your lupus disease activity.  It is unknown if those with severe lupus nephritis or SLE central nervous system involvement will benefit from a biologic like Benlysta.  Benlysta is offered via IV’s in infusion centers monthly or you may be able to be prescribed the auto-injections that you must take weekly.

 

Benlysta Risks and Side Effects

What are some risks and side effects associated with Benlysta?

According to Benlysta’s website, Benlysta has been shown to cause some serious side effects.  Some of these side effects may cause death.  They also state that it is unknown if Benlysta is the actual sole reason behind some of these serious side effects.  It is also important to note that not everyone will experience side effects, let alone serious ones.

Some patients are offered a pre infusion cocktail of an anti-histamine before receiving their infusions, be sure to ask your rheumatologist the procedure for your infusions.  It is important to discuss any side effects prior to receiving Benlysta and be sure to speak with your doctor immediately if you have any side effects listed below after receiving Benlysta.

 

Benlysta named these serious side effects on their website:

  • Infections: fever, chills, pain or burning with urination, urinating often, coughing up mucus, or warm, red, or painful skin or sores on your body.
  • Heart problems: chest discomfort or pain, shortness of breath, cold sweats, nausea, dizziness, or discomfort in other areas of the upper body.
  • Allergic (hypersensitivity) reactions: itching, swelling of the face, lips, mouth, tongue, or throat, trouble breathing, anxiousness, low blood pressure, dizziness or fainting, headache, nausea, or skin rash. Serious allergic reactions can happen on the day of, or in the days after, receiving BENLYSTA and may cause death.
  • Mental health problems and suicide: thoughts of suicide or dying, attempt to commit suicide, trouble sleeping (insomnia), new or worse anxiety or depression, acting on dangerous impulses, other unusual changes in your behavior or mood, or thoughts of hurting yourself or others.

 

 

You can order a FREE user’s guide to Benlysta directly from the Benlysta Website or by clicking here. 




Best Lupus Sunscreen

Best Lupus Sunscreen

Many people with lupus experience photosensitivity.  This increased reaction to the sun can cause rashes and flare ups in those living with lupus.  Many lupus patients ask how long after sun exposure with they encounter a lupus flare.  This is a hard one to answer, due to the fact each lupus patient presents differently.  For this reason, it is extremely important for lupus patients to wear sunscreen daily.  Not only is wearing sunscreen daily when you have lupus, but also the type of sunscreen you use is important as well. 

Read below to find out which brands make the best lupus sunscreen.  When it comes to looking for lupus recommended sunscreen, we understand the importance of finding one that keeps your skin safe and your lupus flares at bay.

 

lupus photosensitivity
lupus photosensitivity

 

Lupus and Photosensitivity

According to the Lupus Foundation,

Two-thirds of people with lupus have increased sensitivity to ultraviolet rays, either from sunlight or from artificial inside light, such as fluorescent light — or both.

 

Having an increased sensitivity to UV rays means that a person is photosensitive.  Photosensitivity describes sensitivity to the UV rays from sunlight and even indoor fluorescent lighting.  In people with lupus, photosensitivity can cause catastrophic damage and disease activity. 

Many lupus patients who experience photosensitivity from the sun and fluorescent lighting can experience an increase in skin rashes, fever, joint pain, weakness, fever, and malaise in people who suffer from both skin (cutaneous lupus) and systemic lupus (SLE).  Wearing a protective sunscreen daily can help.  Finding lupus skin care products are an important part of living with lupus. 

 

Why should I use a lupus sunscreen?

 

According to a Review Article published in 2001:

Single patient observations were made showing that sunlight could actually aggravate existing SLE disease activity.  This report also state that using a tanning bed with SLE lupus could also aggravate the disease.  Patients also reported various SLE disease symptoms that were increase by exposure to the sun.  Some of these included classic lupus symptoms like weakness, fatigue, and joint pain.

 

There was also a small study conducted by Victoria P. Werth, MD and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania  that focused on the extent of lupus and photosensitivity.  They determined no relationship between race and photosensitive presentation.  This means that lupus patients of any race are just as likely to be sensitive to sunlight that can cause an increase in lupus disease activity. 

They were able to conclude that Subjects with generalized cutaneous reactions (PMLE-like and sting/itch) and those who experienced sun-induced systemic symptoms of joint pain, weakness, fatigue or headaches, tended to have more systemic lupus disease activity.   The correlation between the sun and lupus flare-ups is becoming a more widely known fact in those with lupus.

A good skincare routine for lupus patients should always include a broad spectrum sunscreen in order to prevent and increase of lupus symptoms  considering the amount of lupus patients who experience photosensitivity.  

Do I need to avoid the sun with lupus?

For many people diagnosed with lupus, finding out that they are sensitive to the sun can be extremely hard to deal with.  Many of us are sun lovers and many of us are also deficient in Vitamin D which can also cause many debilitating symptoms.  Seems like a catch 22 huh?  That’s because it is. 

Welcome to the life of a lupus warrior.  As a lupus patient, we have to work hard to find ways to overcome many of the battles we face as lupus sufferers, especially when it comes to sun exposure.  If you have ever experienced a lupus sun rash, you can understand the importance of protecting your skin from damaging rays from the sun and even florescent lighting.

Read on to find out which SPF broad spectrum lupus sunscreens made it in to our list of the top 5 best lupus sunscreen products on the market today and help take control of your lupus photosensitivity.

Don’t forget to check out our list of the best makeup primers for lupus skin here!

 

best lupus sunscreen
best lupus sunscreen

 

 

 

The Lupus Foundation recommends checking for these 3 things when choosing the best lupus sunscreen to protect against a lupus sun rash and other SLE symptoms:

  • protect against UV-A and UV-B
  • have broad spectrum protection
  • have an SPF (sun protection factor) number of 30 or higher. Higher numbers don’t mean longer protection times, though and not much difference in protection is seen after about SPF 50.

 

Sunscreen Tips for Lupus SkincareSunscreen Tips for Lupus Skincare
Sunscreen Tips for Lupus Skincare

 

 

1. Aveeno® Protect + Hydrate Lotion Sunscreen With Broad Spectrum For Face Sweat Resistant – SPF 50 – 3oz

 

AVEENO PROTECT + HYDRATE Lotion Sunscreen with Broad Spectrum SPF 50 provides hydrating sun protection to keep skin soft, smooth, and feeling healthier. This sunscreen, combined with nourishing oat, delivers broad spectrum UVA and UVB sun protection while hydrating skin. For use on face and body, the formula is fast-absorbing, oil-free, non-comedogenic, and sweat- and water-resistant for 80 minutes.

 

This face sunscreen lotion has been recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation as an effective broad spectrum sunscreen.

 

2. Neutrogena® Beach Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen Body Lotion – SPF 70 – 6.7oz


Help give your skin superior protection from harsh summer elements with NEUTROGENA BEACH DEFENSE Sunscreen Lotion with Broad Spectrum SPF 70. Ideal for active families, this beach-strength sunscreen is clinically proven to help defend against the signs of sun and water damage. This sunscreen is formulated with clinically-proven HELIOPLEX, an advanced sunscreen technology with superior broad-spectrum protection from skin-aging UVA rays and skin-burning UVB rays. This fast-absorbing sunscreen is lightweight, oil-free, and PABA-free.

Superior sun protection from the #1 dermatologist recommended suncare brand in a lightweight sunscreen lotion formula that absorbs quickly and is easy to apply

 

3. Australian Gold Botanical Mineral Sunscreen Lotion – SPF50

The Australian Gold Botanical SPF 50 Mineral Lotion is more than just powerful sun protection – it’s gentle care for your skin. This non-chemical sunscreen lotion delivers non-whitening protection with a refreshingly luxurious, powdery-clean feel. Rich in vitamins and antioxidants from native Australian botanical ingredients, it allows you to enjoy the sun your way, protected from both UVA and UVB rays, and water resistant for up to 80 minutes.  Discover the deliciously subtle scents and non-greasy, non-sticky feel of the Australian Gold Botanical Line and experience worry-free days in the sun.

4. MISSHA All Around Safe Block Sebum Zero Sun – SPF 50+


MISSHA’S All Around Safe Block Sebum Zero Sun delivers high-performance broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection with SPF 50+ in addition to skincare benefits. Green tea and tea tree extracts control sebum production and mattify skin, and antozone-rose and thanaka protect and soothe.

 

100% UV Protection, Safe for Sensitive Skin – Can be used on children and others with sensitive skin

 

 

5. EltaMD UV Sport Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum SPF 50

When dealing with lupus and photosensitivity, it is important to choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection. UVB rays are the main cause of sunburn. UVA rays may also contribute to skin cancer and premature aging.  All EltaMD sunscreens are formulated with zinc oxide, a natural mineral compound that keeps up its protection when in the sun. 

 

 

If you are like most lupus warriors, you probably have photosensitivity.  It is extremely important for SLE patients to find a lupus sunscreen that can is broad spectrum and provides protection against the UVA and UVB.  If you have been searching for the perfect lupus sunscreen, choose one of the awesome products we have featured in this post. 

If you have previously tried any of the sunscreen in our list for your lupus skin, please leave a comment below and let us know which one you liked best!  Save your skin and slather on the lupus sunscreen every day!