Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Facing photsensitivity..... 

Went to the dermatologist today. He took one look at the brown blotches on my face and asked if I was on any hormones. I said, well, yes, the birth control pills to ward off my adenomyosis woes. He said that the brown blothes were melasma caused by the combo of hormones and excessive sun exposure. He prescribed a cream that should cause the discoloration to fade.

I also told him about the raised red rash I got on the back of my hand that accompanied a recent sunburn. He noted that it could have been one of any number of rashes since I have a connective tissue disorder. He said most people with Sjogren's, lupus or related diseases are photosensitive. The Plaquenil I'm taking reduces the problem but does not completely eliminate it. I asked him what I should do on my upcoming trip to Hawaii. He said to bump up the SPF 30 to SPF 45 and make sure I re-apply it every two hours (I got burned when my SPF 30 wore off at the game because I was in the sun a total of three hours and didn't re-apply). He gave me a sample of a waterproof SPF 50 to use when I go snorkeling.

Oh, and he took a look at my legs (I'd been to him before about the petechia) and noted they looked better. I told him the recent round of prednisone seemed helpful. He asked whether I was wearing the granny hose (ok, he said support hose) regularly, and I said I mostly wore them at work. He said regular use of the hose would help keep the swelling from returning.

Well, I'll be the palest person in all of Hawaii, but I do not want to be running around with rashes or melasma, so I will be more liberal with the sunblock. Weird, coming from a former sun goddess....I used to slather myself with baby oil and fry on purpose! But wearing sunblock is better than having to stay indoors. Oh, and I've got to remember to bring a hat too.

My, how my life has changed.

Pain level: 7
Fatigue level: 9

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