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Unhappy I'm like allergic to the sun or something, can somebody please try to help me? - June 12th 2020, 09:40 PM

I have two medical conditions. I have gone to doctors and hospitals, but no one ever found out what was wrong, so I haven't tried for three years. I've just accepted them. Sometimes I think they have gotten better, but instead I have just learned to ignore them a bit more. One is stabbing stomach aches that happen multiple times every day. And the other thing is my skin burning in the sun. My stomach aches I've given up on completely. I've had them for five years now. Now that it is normal for me I just don't tell people when it happens. I have no idea what is wrong with my skin. But that's because my mom doesn't believe me, when it is clear that my skin breaks out in red from the beginning of Spring, through the Summer. It blotches up, mostly on my arms and legs, sometimes under my neck. But I don't know what it is. It is excruciating and painful, but I don't tell her because she already told me she doesn't believe me. If anybody might know what it is can you please help me. I need help it burns. Whenever a friend asks me about it I say I don't know it's something like an allergic reaction to ultraviolet light or something. Please if you have ANY idea what it might be I really need help.
   
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Re: I'm like allergic to the sun or something, can somebody please try to help me? - June 13th 2020, 02:32 PM

Hello,

I'm truly sorry that you have been having a hard time with this for so long and you just keep it to yourself now. I think that when you are going out and you are not feeling well you should let someone know about this so that they can try to help you. Would you be able to try letting your parents know that this is still happening to you and ask them if they would be able to try and find another doctor who specialize in that. When you Google for doctors, you have them who help with everything and then some who specialize in different things. Maybe try to letting you parents know that so when they are looking for help for you then they can look this way and they will be able to hopefully find someone new who can help.

When you go out try not to go out at the hottest peak time of the day. This way when you are going out it is not so hot so hopefully it is a little bit cooler weather and you will be okay. Try to always have on sunblock, a hat and sunglasses, to keep the sun off of your head and face so you are not getting as hot. Have a bottle of water with you to keep you cool and if you are still not feeling well try to find some shade under a tree and sit for a while until you are doing okay. I hope that you will be okay soon.


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Re: I'm like allergic to the sun or something, can somebody please try to help me? - June 13th 2020, 03:03 PM

Hey there, thanks for reaching out.

We can't give you a diagnosis as we are not licensed medical professionals. But we can definitely run some ideas by you and offer you advice. I'm glad you feel comfortable enough to confide in us and I'll do what I can.

First of all, when you go out in the sun, it is so important to use sunscreen! SPF 30 or higher would be best. As the previous poster has already said, don't go out during peak hours of the day, typically between 10 AM - 4 PM in the summer months. If you must be outside or want to enjoy the outdoors, it's best if you do so from the shade.

As for the reaction you've been getting from being in the sun, it can be a number of things. If you don't put sunscreen, spend time outside during the peak hours, or both, then you're much more apt to develop sunburn. This could be one explanation; human skin cannot tolerate excessive amount of UV rays, which is what the Sun gives off.

The reaction could be allergies to something else. If it's just begun this year, think about what you've changed since the winter time. Have you begun to eat something different? Drink something different? Sometimes we develop food allergies randomly at a given point in our lives; it's not necessarily from birth or early childhood. It could be an allergic reaction to the detergent your clothes were washed with.

I suggest going to the doctor for a proper diagnosis and please take appropriate sunblock precautions.

Take care.


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Question Re: I'm like allergic to the sun or something, can somebody please try to help me? - June 18th 2020, 07:00 PM

Thank you for the advice, but I've gone to doctors at Seattle Children's, multiple doctors offices, and a few emergency rooms. They all say I have "sensitive skin". But my symptoms seem to be very patterned. It usually starts every Spring, goes through into the Summer, then the more sun exposure, the better it is over time. If I go out in the sun a lot, then over time it adjusts. But every Spring it "resets". Sun rash goes through my family on my mom's side, but sun rash is raised on skin, and you grow out of it. But my skin doesn't raise, it just blotches and burns. Hydrocortisone kind of soothes. Ice packs do a little. But nothing works. My mom notices the blotches but says "I don't know what it is and I'm sorry your skin is probably just sensitive." It doesn't help that my stomach problems have brought me to the emergency room and children's hospital too. I haven't experienced pain as bad as it is when I am burning, can't stand up from a stomach ache, have a head ache from the summer heat, and have a period cramp. It's the worst.
   
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Re: I'm like allergic to the sun or something, can somebody please try to help me? - June 21st 2020, 06:03 AM

Hi there,

Thank you so much for reaching out. I'm so sorry that you've had these two very troubling conditions with little to no medical progress.

I'm not a medical professional, but as a Genetics student I am aware that there are several conditions due to which people need to avoid the sun as much as possible, such as xeroderma pigmentosum (disclaimer: I'm not diagnosing you with anything here!). You mentioned that skin issues are prevalent on your mother's side of the family, which makes me think that this might be a hereditary condition. Though no one else in your family has the same kinds of symptoms as you, this still might be a possibility because symptoms can manifest in different extents of severity.

I understand that you've been to multiple hospitals and you've not received a satisfactory diagnosis. You might want to keep trying. My mom had difficulties with swallowing food for many, many years but no doctor seemed to be able to diagnose what was going on, until we finally found one who could. You might have to keep trying. Specifically, you might want to visit a dermatological specialty, either a clinic or in a multi-speciality hospital. If they suspect that it might be genetic, they will refer you to a genetic counsellor.

Likewise, you might want to look for a gastroenterologist for your stomach aches. It is definitely something you need to look into; at your age, it is worrisome that you are getting severe stomachaches so many times in a day.

Sometimes we just have to keep looking till we find the right doctor. I'm not based in the USA so I can't advise too well about which hospitals are good and which aren't, but I have heard very positively about Cincinnati Children's Hospital and Stanford Lucile Packard Children's Hosptial. In fact I think Stanford Lucile Packard is known as among the best hospitals for children in the USA. Assuming you're based in Seattle, it would mean you'd need to travel out of your state. But if it means you can get diagnosed properly and treated, why not? I'm attaching the links to the websites of these hospitals. You might want to have a look at their specialists and email them if you prefer.

https://www.cincinnatichildrens.org
https://www.stanfordchildrens.org

P.S. These "children's" hospitals have some the best doctors in my opinion, because they see such a large variety of conditions that manifest from childhood. At 14, you're not really a "child" but you're still a young person and it would be a good idea to check them out.

Take care!! Hope you get better soon!
   
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