The excitement is killing me… I hope you can sense sarcasm. In reality, who likes appointments? Especially ones that drag on for a week!
If you don’t know, photobiology testing is basically photosensitivity testing. They test you for sun allergies and sun related conditions. You might be thinking, how are people allergic to the sun? Surprisingly enough, it’s actually a legitimate thing!
I can’t speak for everyone, as they’re are many different sun-related conditions. But when I’m out in the sun, even if it’s only for a short while, my lips start to weep with liquid, then by the time I wake up the morning after, my lips (and sometimes face) are swollen with a yellow crust on the edges. It can take a few hours to go down, but the lips don’t fully recover until a few days later, as they’re still sore and have effects from the reaction.
Also, usually in sunnier months, my skin can get patchy. Appearing like a pigmentation issue. Once this happens, it can last for months and months, and can be very difficult to return to normal. Even certain areas of my face have permanently stayed a bit patchy, but it’s nowhere near as bad as it gets if I choose to go out in the sun, even if it’s for a small period of time! My mum has even been known to say I look like a cow when this reaction happens (in the best way possible). She means the way that patches are darker and others are lighter. Yeah your probably still wondering if that’s the best comparison. I questioned that too at the time! It’s like the sun want’s me to be a human paint by numbers! Is that any better?
Whenever I get that more long term reaction, it really affects my confidence as it almost feels like I can’t go out without makeup on. As it’s pretty obvious. Plus when my skin gets patchy, it’s even a chore to apply makeup. As it takes almost twice the time, because the patches usually show through the makeup. Unless I use very heavy makeup and plaster it on and even then it’s just a headache. Then it makes you breakout because your skin hardly ever gets a chance to breathe away from makeup, and it’s just a cycle.
So, my dermatologist referred me as in England, you can only be referred via a dermatologist, not a GP. They only have 2/3 phototesting hubs in England, all of them are equally far away from me, over 2 hours away, spanning over 100 miles. These places being London, Manchester and Leeds. The appointments take around 1-2 years to come through. Yes I said YEARS, then by the time that happens, you’re so over it and can’t be bothered to go or stay over for so long in a hotel!
I have to attend the hospital everyday over a period of 4 days so they can do all the testing, involving blood tests, photopatch testing, monochromator testing (This is a device that disperses light into its constituent wavelengths) and way more. The duration of these tests and more will go on for around 3 hours a day. I repeat, excitement!
As you can tell by now, next week can’t come fast enough. You have no idea how much I want to get this out of the way so I hopefully never have to have this done again. Oh and to make next week even better, they demand you don’t shower or bathe over the 4 days or I’ll wash off all the markings and tapes plastered on my back. So if everyone stays about a mile away from me, I completely understand. Oh and don’t blame it on social distancing, I’d want to run away from myself if I had the chance.
I’ve had operations and was still allowed to bathe at least a day or 2 after, so this is going to be an experience I hope to forget but probably won’t. If there’s anytime my nose should be out of action, now’s your chance. Please, I beg you.
Have you ever had sun allergy testing? Do you know anyone with a sun allergy? What’s the longest time you’ve not showered/bathed for? Would you like a part 2/results post? Comment below!