Sun Allergy????

Swamp Coolers, Cooler Management, Dry Ice, Misting Systems, and just plain how to beat the heat.
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Mus musculus
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Sun Allergy????

Post by Mus musculus » Wed Jun 16, 2004 8:18 am

Hi, I errantly posted this elsewhere...do forgive me "To Burn or Not To Burn" thread...

My problem is that I seem to have developed some kind of "allergy to the sun". My first year was fine, subsequent years have been worse and worse. I get HIVES. I feel shitty. I thought it was the sunscreen since I have sensitive skin, but even not wearing any (and trying a million different kinds beforehand, with just zinc oxide) and just having a giant hat and scarf does not help. :cry:

This lovely affliction is also active where I live - Canada! Although not so badly.

I would dearly love to go this year, but I was such a killjoy last time. My campmates felt really sorry for me and general people started to avoid me. I was pretty bumpy on the chest and arms, and grouchy to boot.

Can anyone shed some light?

Many thanks,
Mus

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Bob
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Post by Bob » Wed Jun 16, 2004 10:25 am

Stay home.
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

"Let us say I suggest you may be human." -- Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam

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Dork
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Post by Dork » Wed Jun 16, 2004 10:36 am

Not sure if this applies to you, but just in case:

I have always had a sun allergy. It starts as a light rash, and if I scratch at all it gets out of hand very quickly.

Not scratching and applying hydrocortisone immediately keeps it somewhat under control. There is a stronger prescription steroid that works much quicker but I haven't needed it recently. Seeing a dermatologist would probably be a good idea.

Oddly enough, the rash is about the only thing that happens to my skin. It takes a LOT of direct sun to get any sort of burn or tan. I'm rather pale with freckles.

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stuart
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Post by stuart » Wed Jun 16, 2004 11:20 am

not to get all hippie on ya but cortical steroids have very bad long term health effects.

as far as sun alergies go, 2 years ago a friend of mine with Lupus went and she did pretty well. What she has found is that NO amount of sunscreen can help you if sun exposure makes you ill. You MUST stay covered. Also keep in mind that even if you are sitting under shade the playa reflects a tremendous amount of light. I got a mild burn last year by hanging out under my shade (100% opaque material) without a shirt on for about 4 hours during the middle of the day. So, if you keep covered and you are still getting sick you might consider that other climate conditions are the cause.

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Dork
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Post by Dork » Wed Jun 16, 2004 12:05 pm

not to get all hippie on ya but cortical steroids have very bad long term health effects.
Good point.. I was referring to the topical (cream) variety. It should only be used occasionally in small amounts. In my case, if I don't scratch one thin coat usually does the trick for a couple of days and I rarely need it the rest of the year. Visiting a dermatologist would be advised. In my experience, they seem to like very short visits (mine have been 5 minutes or less) so do some research before your visit and be prepared to throw out questions in rapid-fire style.

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Mus musculus
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Post by Mus musculus » Wed Jun 16, 2004 1:09 pm

Gee, thanks Bob. You're so very helpful. Really, you make a girl feel so welcome on the eplaya...


Stuart and Dork - a genuine thank you! :D I am seeing my doctor for a referral to a dermatologist tomorrow and have just printed out pages of info from the web to aid my questioning.

Hope to see you in August.

Mus

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stuart
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Post by stuart » Wed Jun 16, 2004 2:01 pm

fucking doctors and their impatience these days.

I had shoulder surgery last year and I swear the doc only spent 5 minutes with me for my first follow up. Wait a minute! Last week you cut me open, put yer hands and tools inside my body, re-attached 4 ligaments with heavy sutures, and stitched me back up and I only get 5 minutes of your time? WTF?

I know from much personal experience that it was not always so.

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Mus musculus
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Post by Mus musculus » Wed Jun 16, 2004 2:11 pm

You had shoulder surgery too?? It's like we're twins - You're pale, freckled with sun allergy; I'm pale, freckled with sun allergy - now the shoulder. :) Except I'm a girl. And look nothing like you. Hee.

I went under the knife twice - once to repair smashed shoulder (thank you, Prince the horse), again to remove much metal and increase mobility through wrenching, stretching and tearing.
But yes, considering how intimately they get to know you and your body parts, they could spend a little more time allaying any concerns. Maybe ten minutes...

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'stine
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Post by 'stine » Wed Jun 16, 2004 6:14 pm

Mus, I had the same thing happen to me when I was down in Costa Rico. I got much relief by taking antihistamine/antiallergy relief medicine - because it was an allergy to the sun. Let us know what the doc said.

'stine

p.s. maybe you, me and stuart can share a drink and show each other our scars. ;-) I've got a metal plate and six screws keeping my ankle together. Someone remind me why I thought I could become a thrasher at 30 years old when I had no job or health insurance? And then a few years after that....oh, yeah, right, take up ice hockey for the first time....first few minutes when me and my friends got to finally skate on professional ice (not a game, just goofing around so see what the view looked like) and I fell and broke my arm. Thankfully there was no audience and I worked for a healthcare system. Oh...and I'm fair skinned - got the skin cancer scar to prove it. Perhaps we can start Camp For the Fair, Broken Ones. :-)

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stuart
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Post by stuart » Thu Jun 17, 2004 10:56 am

p.s. maybe you, me and stuart can share a drink and show each other our scars. ;-)
done and done

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stuart
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Post by stuart » Thu Jun 17, 2004 11:00 am

come by as soon as you get there. I will most likely already be as pink as you see me in the photo (although the color in that is not overly acurate). That aint sunburn you see. It's just the way I get when hot or exerted. I also get a bit of wind burn on the playa as well. I swear, if I had not been adapting while living in L.A. for the past decade the playa would destroy me. It takes my hands over a month to recover as well.

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'stine
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Post by 'stine » Thu Jun 17, 2004 12:05 pm

where is "there?" to find you?

I will be coming to BM en masse with the Big Puffy Yellow campers so I haven't got a clue when we will arrive at the playa on Aug 31 (Tuesday) after gathering water and food and stuff from the storage unit in Reno that morning. Once I arrive I want to do my part with helping get camp set up. So, you can swing by our camp late afternoon/evening or I can swing by your....camp?....when I get done with my set up.

Either way, I'll have cookies (no trendy chemical amusements in the ingredient list) that need friends before they go bad in the heat.

'stine

p.s. can you PM me with instructions on how to place a jpeg as the picture under my name?

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stuart
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Post by stuart » Thu Jun 17, 2004 4:21 pm

I can let you kow where there is as soon as the org lets me know.

Last year there was a thread for eplayans to let folks know where they were camped.

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emily sparkle
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ooh! we're like -- playa siblings

Post by emily sparkle » Thu Jun 17, 2004 9:30 pm

yep, i've developed the same sun allergy. described it to a T. last year the hives got so bad (my third year itching) so early in the week that i went to the lovlies at the med tent who gave me a pass to the store to get some benadryl. i took it as directed for the rest of the week and had no hives!

i did need to be even more wary of hydration though. benedryl dries me out.

good luck!
:) emily sparkle
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Guest

Post by Guest » Fri Jun 18, 2004 6:45 am

Ask your dermatologist about Minocycline Hydrochloride or Minocin. Definitely consult a Dr, they have things to ease these types of allergies.

Guest

Post by Guest » Mon Jun 21, 2004 11:38 am

I'm an asshat, I was looking at the wrong bottle. Minocin is my brothers acne medicine. He's got sun allergy as well and takes a prescription but I can't find the name of it right now... :oops:

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Bob
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Post by Bob » Mon Jun 21, 2004 1:03 pm

Mus musculus wrote:Gee, thanks Bob. You're so very helpful. Really, you make a girl feel so welcome on the eplaya...
Thought I gave worthwhile, if not the best, advice given that you originally said nothing about seeing a medical professional, nothing about trusting that nobody on the eplaya should responsibly represent themselves as one, nothing about anticipating that your drinking or drug habits might interfere with treatments for your condition, nothing about how the high altitude, dehydration, general stress, and paranoia about your campmates might be factors as well, nothing about your possible impact on EMT overload, and nothing about limiting your desert trip to a couple of days instead of a week.

As always, it's purely your choice to follow advice and go or not. Nothing much wrong with others' advice in this thread, either. But if you're just looking for hand-holding, and not the usual range of worthwhile advice, please say so.

BTW, I'm overdue for lip surgery. My neighbor's had them, and a section of the lamp post they were stuck onto, in his basement freezer since January, and he says any doc should be able to reattach them. Trouble is, I don't like the smell of doctor's offices. Should I go to Burning Man?
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

"Let us say I suggest you may be human." -- Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam

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Mus musculus
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Reply to Bob, aside from sun allergy

Post by Mus musculus » Tue Jun 22, 2004 12:16 pm

Hey, Bob,

Well, I have to say I'm stunned at your response in general.

Since it was my first post on a forum, I figured it best not to post my life story and all the minute details surrounding previous trips, but to make it fairly concise (and consider any responses against those details myself, not on a forum). Aside from wanting to be polite, I also wanted to avoid providing much ammunition for any cantankerous people on the forum.

Staying home is certainly something to consider, however do keep in mind that had I felt that to be the only reasonable solution (and had my GP been at all forthcoming), I would not have asked others for their input.

And I don't see how my posts imply that I want my hand held. Perhaps I misinterpreted your original comment as being meanspirited and was a bit quick with the sarcasm - but it doesn't make me a suck. For the sarcasm earlier, I apologize. For thinking you're being a jerk at this point in time, I do not.

Hope you have a lovely time this year at BM, lips or no. :wink: Thanks to the constructive responses from everyone else on this thread, I'm sure I will too.

bizbabe
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Sun allergy recommendations

Post by bizbabe » Tue Jun 22, 2004 12:58 pm

I hate to post product suggestions on a BMAN board -- but...

I've got bad sun problems (I blister -- not hives), and I'm there for a month. I SWEAR by the Solumbra products -- clothes with an SPF factor (www.sunprecautions.com). I tend to wear a long caftan or long pants and shirt (lightweight but sunprotective fabric), AND have a parasol or other self-transported shade. (You can cover a good-quality umbrella with fun mylar, funfur or whatever so it become a costume element AND keeps you shaded!) I've never found any "sunscreen" (topically-applied) product that comes close to doing the trick. (Oh--and Ugg boots are great too, 'though they've become regrettably trendy....)

Good luck!

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Mus musculus
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Re: Sun protective clothing

Post by Mus musculus » Tue Jun 22, 2004 1:30 pm

Thanks, Bizbabe! I'll take a peek at their site.

I have some cute pink Ugg look-alikes with pom poms, but I'd be afraid to wreck them on the playa... :cry: Too bad.

Anyone ever try a thing called Rit that you wash your clothes in to make them a bit more UV resistant? I have some nice saris that I was thinking of washing with that (carefully of course).

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Bob
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Post by Bob » Tue Jun 22, 2004 1:40 pm

Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

"Let us say I suggest you may be human." -- Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam

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Miss Kate
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Post by Miss Kate » Tue Jun 22, 2004 1:45 pm

I wonder if you could buy UV fabric and make your own duds?

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Mus musculus
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Post by Mus musculus » Tue Jun 22, 2004 1:48 pm

Thanks for the link, Bob!

:D

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Miss Kate
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Post by Miss Kate » Tue Jun 22, 2004 1:50 pm

Oh wow, I googled uv fabric and you can buy just the material. Ten bucks a yard ~ nothing compared to hives.

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Mus musculus
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Re: UV cloth becoming duds

Post by Mus musculus » Tue Jun 22, 2004 1:54 pm

That sounds like a neat idea too. Although someone like me who has been shy of the old sewing machine the past few years might go the route of buying an article of UV clothing and then adjusting the shape, etc. :wink:

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