I am not a medical doctor but I sure am an expert on me and my medical conditions. That’s right if you’ve been reading along on this blog you’ll know that I have received little satisfaction with how eczema (and psoriasis) are dealt with in a GP or even general dermatology way. So, I usually research and take matters into my own hands.
When I was in highschool and experiencing bad eczema symptoms I was referred to a photodermatology clinic (in Moncton, NB) which offers UVB treatments for photoresponsive conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. I did it for quite awhile with decent results. I left Moncton for my schooling and that was the end of the treatments. Come to think about it, this was the same time in my life that I developed eczema on my hands, just a few fingers at first in 1999.
So, in March 2010 I decided that I would try out just basic tanning at the local tanning studio (which just happens to be a few minutes from my house). I was about 16 weeks pregnant and desperate to get something that would work. I spoke with the owner of the salon who was friendly and cheerful, she explained the etiquette expected in the beds and how they have standards around the amount of time people are allowed in the beds. It’s about safe tanning through not burning and limiting exposure. Being a biologist whose done a lot of microbiology I also drilled her about the sterilization procedures (btw, they don’t sterilize they sanitize but UV is a great sterilization tool).
So, I started tanning. Oozy and gross I hopped in the bed for 6 minutes. I started going once every two days for 3 months working my way up to 10 minutes in the bed. A funny thing happened when I started spending 8 minutes in the bed, my eczema started to get better. Yes, it was drying up and feeling much better. I was sold on this and bought some more minutes. After about 3 months I was trying to go at least once every 3 days for maintenance.
Its certainly not an exact science however it has worked for me. I now spend about 12 minutes in the bed once a week and so far so good.
Here is my solution (for now):