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After just a few days in the sun…

March 25, 2011
The right side of my face, in part sun.

Cholinergic urticaria on the retreat!

Hallelujah, my face is already improving!😀 It’s a little hard to tell in this photo, since it’s kind of pink all over from the sun right now. But, notice the lack of super-angry red blotches, like came out after my first sun session; pink background or not, those would show up.😐 The red that’s visible is mostly the dilated/broken capillaries now (here’s hoping they clear up soon!), and the skin is feeling much smoother without a bunch of half-developed hives. It hasn’t been prickling and burning as much last night and today.

My upper arm

The KP is also clearing up. It gets redder for a while, but again, the skin is smoother-feeling now. No before pictures of this one, but it was looking kind of like this. And, no, I really wasn’t kidding about the sticklike arms and legs. Part of the darker look around the elbow, pretty noticeable in this photo, is from veins showing through, part from the uneven pigmentation my grandmother kept trying to scrub off! (Can we say “internalized racism”?!)

I was hoping for some improvement, but wasn’t expecting it this quickly.🙂 I was thinking it would take at least a week or two to notice much difference, from past experience. But, I guess the rapid response makes some sense, as producing the vitamin D on/in your skin is not far off this idea: Vitamin D Analogues for Psoriasis (in cream form). Gets it straight to the problem.

A little more info I found interesting, posted to the cholinergicurticaria.net forum:

Most of the remissions I’ve read that wasn’t from this board or from taking some type of medication were posts that would say stuff like, “I kept exercising, out in the hot sun…” “I got a job in the sun and they went away…” etc.

Research shows evidence that sunlight (as well as vitamin D) are good for autoimmune diseases (except lupus) and allergies. From what I know vitamin D helps generate a bunch of regulatory T-cells, which suppress both your innate (cell attacking: ie bacterial infections) and adaptive (allergens, B-cell mediated) immune systems. Ultraviolet radiation itself, IIRC, changes trans-urocanic acid (your natural sunscreen in your skin) to cis-urocanic acid. Cis-urocanic acid can go on to act on receptors in your body that end up generating regulatory T-cells. These are the mechanisms behind ultraviolet treatment. If you’re interested, there is a diagram in this research report that shows the exact mechanisms and pathways:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2718731/

Another thing I didn’t know before: since the vitamin D is mostly synthesized in the top layers of your skin, and is soluble in skin oils, it’s apparently better not to wash for a few hours after UV exposure, so it has time to get absorbed. It makes sense. (Thinking of all the times I’ve come in sweaty and headed straight for the shower…)

Oh yes, and I also ran across more anecdotal support for the idea that a deficiency will make you pasty:

Today, my skin fluctuates a lot. I get very dark like my dad at times, and other times I grow pale. I now have a vitamin D deficiency that affects my skin color a lot.

Sounds all too familiar… I’m planning to comment more on that post in closer to the original context, but yeah. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being naturally pale, but bloodlessly sick-pasty? Don’t think it suits me.

I know that nobody else is nearly as interested in my dermatological problems as I am, but besides keeping track of it for myself, maybe this kind of update will encourage someone else dealing with similar!

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