Sunday, March 2, 2014

Updated for 2014: PMLE Prevention and Information!

Hello readers!  It's been a while since my last post ... undoubtedly it's easy for me to forget all about my sun-time whoa-is-me condition when we've had one of the worst winters the midwest and southeast has seen in years!  I'm well aware, however, that I have readers from every corner of the world who have stopped by to gather information and check for updates!

Let's start here:  I spoke to a representative with Shirudo, maker of the 'miracle' Antioxidant Lotion that many of us PMLE sufferers have bought, used, and loved the results.... and she assures me the lotion is on it's way back online!  They haven't stopped making it or forgotten about us!!  No judgement!  I, too, sort of freaked out at the 'UNAVAILABLE' status on the website!  So keep checking back for it to be re-stocked, and I will, of course, post on this blog when it's available again!

Shirudo Antioxidant Lotion

I received MANY emails over the fall and winter asking if I have found any other lotion or remedy for PMLE ... specifically if there has been anything else, to my knowledge, created with the 'magic' AGR ingredient.  In short, NO!  And truthfully, I'm to a pretty content point in my research on this condition and how to prevent it!  With the mix of using this AGR lotion, sunscreen containing avobenzone (Parasol) and the occasional wide-brimmed hat for long days in the sun... I've hit a sweet spot with prevention!  And I'm soooo happy to have helped many of you, too!  I know many of us share the .... "If I hear, 'Oh, you must have sun poisoning' one more time I'm going to SCREAM" mentality... it's nice to know there are many of us out there, sun lovers or not, that suffer from this condition that even many doctors aren't knowledgeable about!

So that brings me to the current time.  We are leaving for a Spring Break the first week in April.  And while it's not super-south (think Florida Panhandle area) it is definitely the time of year that, in the past, I would suffer from the PMLE symptoms the most.  Why?  Being super-pale from the winter, having no base tan or natural protection from the sun's rays... that's the best I can guess.  Because we have gone on tropical vacations in late summer or early fall and the PMLE rash barely showed up, if at all, even before the Shirudo lotion!  I will certainly come back here with an update from that vacation.... just to share my most current experience.  

All this talk of sun and vacation has me yearning for it ... but, we are about to get pounded yet again with ice and snow... so.....  until next time!  Sending everyone happy, sunny thoughts!

See the sidebar to the right for previous, popular posts where you fill find all the info and reviews related to PMLE you could ever want!  And don't forget to read the comments!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Shirudo Anti-Oxidant Lotion Follow-Up Review: 2013 (PMLE Prevention/Relief)

I'm excited to share with you a very quick update on my use of the Shirudo Anti Oxidant Lotion for the prevention on Polymorphic Light Eruption symptoms!   

Now that the it's been bright and sunny here in the midwest and we've spent many days in a row by the pool, I'm even more convinced!  Just by simply applying this Shirudo lotion, as you would any other lotion,  my skin feels nice and silky - and 'calm' I guess you would say.  I never thought of myself as having sensitive skin (except for this sun allergy!) but I still find this lotion to be soothing. 

I've been applying it right before putting on my bathingsuit (it's just easier not to miss any small areas that way) and then spraying on my favorite Banana Boat Dry Oil SPF once I'm outside.  IF I spend more than an hour or two in the sun, or if I get wet in the pool, I go ahead and apply more of the Shirudo to my especially sensitive areas (neck, stomach, upper arms) and re-apply the sunscreen.

So far, not even a hint of the itchiness or red bumps.  My chest and stomach were a little red after last Wednesday's pool time (typically a little sunburn would speed up the process of the PMLE developing) and still no symptoms! 

I will point out we are spending 2 weeks at the beach in Southern California in July, and I will certainly be reporting back after that.  I consider that the 'big challenge' as beach conditions typically aggravate and speed up the PMLE for me personally!

Please check back for that review and click on the giant Shirudo Lotion bottle to buy and to learn more about the product!  Or Click Here!

**But first, if you are new to this blog or in your search for answers regarding this itchy, annoying condition, check these out....

See my original Shirudo lotion review by clicking {HERE}.  You can also follow all my PMLE related posts and read the amazingly helpful comments from readers by clicking through links I've created below...

PMLE Original Post (2010)
PMLE Updated Post #2 (2012)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

**NEW** Must Read Review!!! "AntiOxidant Lotion for PMLE Relief / Prevention "

I am thrilled and oh-so-excited to review a new product that is the answer to the prayers of so many  Polymorphous Light Eruption (PMLE) sufferers!  The developer of this new product knew exactly what we would be looking for since she herself is a PMLE sufferer!

As many of you know, the ingredient alpha-glucosylrutin (AGR) has been shown in studies to prevent or lessen the symptoms of PMLE outbreak in many sufferers.  Unfortunately, that ingredient was no longer offered in products in the US and was very difficult to find - and if you find it online, price and international shipping is a huge factor!

ALAS, I was contacted by the creator of this new lotion made by Shirudo...

This lotion contains even more of the 'magic' AGR ingredient than my beloved Eucerin Sun Defense Lotion!! As we know, this is such a hard thing to find!  There are not a lot of choices out there for those of us suffering from PMLE.... typically the most recommended solution is staying out of the sun!!  That is not an option for those of us who love the beach, enjoying an active outdoor lifestyle, playing with our kids at the park, going to the zoo, the pool, etc... Staying inside is not a practical solution! 

I truly believe this lotion will finally be able to provide hope and help to PMLE sufferers who don't want to avoid the sun completely! 

My First Experience:

I received this lotion in late July... just before leaving for a California beach vacation.  It was the first thing I packed.... so excited to test out this lotion containing ARG and Vitamin E.... the ingredients I've raved so much about for the past few years!  I discontinued all other 'prevention' methods I have discussed in previous posts (pills, other lotions, etc...), other than continuing to use SPF (Banana Boat dry oil spray) .  

I used the lotion as recommended: Before sun exposure and then reapplying every 2 hours while in the sun.  I also used it on my most PMLE-prone areas a few days before heading to the beach ... the idea there was to build it up in my system a bit.... not sure if it was necessary, but that's what I did.

I used SPF 4, 8, and 15 (so nothing above 15) while in the sun, over top of the Shirudo lotion.  I did not develop ANY PMLE symptoms while on my vacation and came back with an amazing tan!  I even experienced a slight sunburn on my chest are {oops!},which is typically the most prone to reaction,  and there was no outbreak at all!


Applies smoothly with no stickiness - feels like a regular body lotion 
Scent-free and soothing to the skin
SPF-free... allowing you to use your own favorite brand and preferred SPF 
About the same cost as any other high-quality lotion
NO PMLE symptoms while in the sun during my first trial use!!!
Moisturizing and nearly 100% natural and beneficial ingredients!

The only negative I could come up with was the slight yellow tinge to the lotion .... it should be noted that the key ingredient AGR is yellow, therefore a yellow coloring of the lotion is likely unavoidable!   It was not an issue while using it at all.  If I noticed a light yellowing on the edges of my swimsuit or clothing, it wasn't bad at all AND completely washed away in the laundry without any special stain treatment.  I only note the color because I don't want you to think it's going to be completely white - but I also don't want there to be a staining concern ... I did not experience any issues whatsoever ... even with white suits and clothing.

The lotion is available only online right now by clicking {HERE}.  

In conclusion:

I am so happy to have been made aware of this product and I was even more excited to share it with my readers and fellow sufferers!  I cannot wait to test it out even more in February when we go to Jamaica... that will REALLY be a good test!!  Winter/ Spring vacations is when my skin is the most prone to PMLE symptoms since I do not have a good base tan and my skin isn't used to the sun's harsh rays.  

I will of course continue to update my blog with how the lotion is performing during different 'sun experiences'.... but I have to admit I am totally sold already!  I love that I can choose my own SPF level (unlike with Eucerin) to apply over it and that the AGR ingredient is more concentrated in this product than the Eucerin Sun Defense (I'm basing that on the color and speaking with the developer of the product). 

Thank you for stopping by and I really hope to hear from readers who try this product!  I would love to know if it works as well for you as it did for me!!  :-)

Previous PMLE posts:

Monday, July 9, 2012

PMLE (Polymorphic Light Eruption) Disorder Help - Updated for JULY 2012!!

First off, thank you to the 1000's of people from all over the WORLD who have stopped by in the last few years and left amazingly helpful comments for other PMLE sufferers!  I LOVE that we are all so supportive and helpful to each other!  So, thank you again for all the helpful comments and dialogue from all our readers!

My next goal is to separate my PMLE posts from my 'mommy', fashion, and other posts so I can continue to operate both - more on that when I figure out what exactly I'm going to do!

Many comments have asked for specific dosages and other details regarding the treatment options I've discussed in previous posts.  For myself, I use (and will discuss in further detail) the following items:

**NEW PRODUCT!!  SHIRUDO ANTIOXIDANT LOTION! (click to see post/review)
* Heliocare/ Solaricare Pills
* Claritin/allergy meds
* Beta Carotene (and any anti-oxidants both topical and orally in general) / lycopene
* Vitamin E oil (topical) / Bio-Oil
* Parasol (avobenzone) - found in sunscreens... Banana Boat specifically
** Alphaglucosylrutin (AGR) ** if anyone knows of ANY product containing this, or anything about this elusive ingredient, PLEASE let us know!  It was in the Eucerin Daily Sun Defense Lotion, which is no longer available in the US and nearly impossible to find internationally!)  I did find a website to order it through .... see below
**Wide-Brimmed Sun Hat / Covering up!

For reference, I spent the entire month of June in south Florida.  Clearly, this was a great way to challenge the above mentioned items.  After I discuss them, I will review my results!

I finally caved and purchased my Heliocare pills ('sun pill') on Amazon a few weeks ago.  As per the label (and other readers' experiences) I started taking one per day about a month before my vacation to the beach, and bumped it up to two-per-day the week before and during the entire time we are at the beach.  This ended up costing me about $100... was it worth it?!  I'm not going to say either way.  The ingredients in the pill are generally positive, so I don't think there was a bad side for me.  I should note that I replaced my typical beta-carotene pill and my lycopene pill with the Heliocare pill.

I ALWAYS take a Zyrtec at night before bed because I suffer year-around indoor and outdoor allergies.  I buy a bottle of 300+ from Costco in their own off-brand for about $15 ... well worth it on so many levels for myself.  I would also imagine Benedryl would be helpful for any itching or swelling that occurs.

Beta Carotene / Lycopene / Anti-oxidant pills are bascially in the same scope as the Heliocare pills.  However, I have more experience with taking the beta carotene (BC) and lycopene pills from the previous few years.  I always take the highest concentration I can find in the morning before hitting the beach.  This year, as I mentioned, I did NOT take these pills in conjunction with the sun pill.

***BIG NEWS HERE*** I found a place to order Eucerin Sun Defense lotion WITH the AGR that is proven to lessen and even prevent our symptoms!!!  The insert with the lotion even discusses and illustrates HOW this lotion prevents the rash by blocking free radicals .... so cool! has the Eucerin in SPF 25.  It ships from Germany and must go through customs, so it took about a week and a half to receive.  I was totally fine with that! The product was fresh, unopened, and just as described!  For around $36 including shipping, I could NOT be happier!  Weeee!

***MORE BIG NEWS HERE + 1***  I STILL broke out in my rash after three weeks in Florida.  The funny thing is, it was on a cloudy day when I got lazy!  It was the one day I didn't put any sunscreen at all on my stomach as I had started the day in a tee shirt, but then undressed down to just the bikini.  I used a lot of the Eucerin to sooth and help prevent more rash from appearing and it worked quite well!

So, in conclusion, I still think that, besides building a tolerance to the sun each spring (which I've tried to do in both my backyard and a tanning bed) or simply covering yourself from the sun totally, the best prevention is topical - AGR and Avobenzone specifically!  Not that the pills and other things don't work, but my personal experience is that if I can keep either one of those two substances on my skin while being exposed to the sun AND avoid becoming sun BURNED, I do not develop the rash.

The stronger the sun, earlier in the summer, and the more days in a row I am exposed to sun, the more likely I am to have an outbreak. AKA.... A Spring Break vacation to southern Florida almost always results in a rash faster than a weekend trip to Lake Michigan in August no matter what precautions I take!

Some have asked about birth control pills and I plan on looking more into this topic and the relation to PMLE.  I know that my symptoms began about the time I went on the pill and have continued since.  I also DID still have an outbreak when pregnant, but again, there are a lot of the same hormones floating around during pregnancy.... I may be willing to try going off the pill next summer to see if there is any positive effect.  That seems like such an easy fix - maybe the pill only worsens the condition?  It certainly is not the only culprit as there are men and children who also suffer .... but maybe there is a specific ingredient that aggravates the condition?  I will look more into this.

Lastly, I have seen studies that suggest as we age the PMLE symptoms ease ... let's hope!

THANK YOU for stopping by and I look forward to hearing from those of you who are experimenting with these solutions this summer!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Lesson Learned... Mommy Wisdom

I think we when we become parents, there are a lot of lessons we have to just learn on our own.  Not that a 'helpful' friend, parent (stranger... passer-by) hadn't mentioned these things to us along the way.   But the only way to truly learn and embrace new and sometimes hard-to-swallow ideas, is to live them.  This goes double for parenting.  Before having Connor, there was an endless list (ok, mental list) of things I was never going to do... or things that I was hell-bent on doing.  Funny how when you're tired, sleep deprived, yearning for adult social interaction,  and pretty much spent emotionally, psychologically, and physically, what we might or might not do as parents ... especially in the beginning.

Lately, these thing have been standing out more and more.  Things that I thought were interesting or funny, contradictory or  affirming to what I *thought* were my beliefs about parenting, or otherwise interesting observations I've made as I round out my first full year of staying-at-home with two. 

1.)  Poop:  The idea of changing poopy diapers or wiping a butt is something that some parents really struggle with... especially in the beginning.  Lesson Learned: It's ALWAYS better out than in.  You think a poopy diaper is bad?  Wait till you hear what you have to do if the baby CAN'T get it out.  Believe me, you want at least one or two per day... or it gets really

2.) Need a Sitter?  Call Dora!:  I honestly thought I would let my kids watch a small amount of TV and that's it.  I'm not one of those who swore I wasn't going to let my kids know a TV existed until they are teenagers.  However, I did not realize Baby Einstein videos would be the only thing to put my boys into a trance-like when colicky or over-tired.  And I didn't realize Connor's first best-friend would be Diego, and his first girlfriend would be Dora.  Lesson Learned: Do what works.  If Dora, Diego, Sesame Street, Baby Einstein, etc... gets you a moment's peace, it's TOTALLY worth it.  And for those of your friends who don't let their kids watch TV.... I bet they aren't home with them all day... and if they are, well, good for them... but I bet they don't shower! 

3.) The Great Boob Debate: Oh boy did I ever plan on nursing each boy for six months.  Let's see ... I made it about 3 months with Connor and 4 with Logan.  Some people are willing to give up every waking (and non-waking) second to their child - living like they are pregnant for an additional 12 months or more after birth. To those people, I say "Way to go!"  Me, I give my kids ALL of me for about 12 hours during the day.  After that, I'm going to have a couple glasses of wine, have my husband give the baby a bottle before bed, and get 8 hours of consecutive sleep.  Lesson Learned:  You have to do what works for your own sanity and family.  My kids are not always sick, they are perfectly chubby, hitting all their milestones, smart, handsome, and do not have 2 heads.  Formula is not the evil twin of breast milk.  Seriously.  Relax.  It's fine.

4.) Doesn't He Look Adorable:  I love to shop.  And having kids is just one more category of shopping bliss I get to dabble in!  Clothing being the #1 for me. And because I LOVE to shop and get a deal, my focus has always been high-quality clothing for the kiddos - especially Connor, now that I know we'll be able to hand it down to Logan.  Now, I'm not saying we don't have undershirts and underwear, and other cute items from Target, but the majority of the boys' clothing is from nicer retailers -  I wait for an extra % off sale items and pounce - usually on things for next season.  The boys pull off the madras-shorts-with-polo shirt look very nicely.  Lesson Learned:  Present your child as a 'pretty package' when going out in public. It's not fair, but pretty and nicely dressed people get paid more at their job, date better looking people, live longer, etc... and I feel it's helpful to them (and us) to give the boys this advantage early.  We've found that society extends a lot more patience and understanding to a fussy child in restaurant dressed nicely rather than a diaper and ratty onsie.

5.) Oh, Your Fancy, Huh?:  I read recipes and home -decorating ideas, and ways to make your holidays sparkle, and other BS articles in magazines all the time.  It makes me feel a little guilty that the fanciest dinner I make for the fam comes off the grill.  Recently in one of these mags, I saw how you could make a super-cute 4th of July themed picnic table with little citronella candles, tablecloth, etc... that would be great for dinner and then all the way through fireworks activities!  I brought the supplies to re-create this look on our weekend trip to the lake.  Let's just say, the neighbors ended up having to run over with a fire extinguisher.  The entire table was engulfed in flames with the tail of the table cloth was blown onto the candle's flame by the wind.  Oops.  So much for a cute themed table.  That's what I get for trying too hard.  Lesson Learned: (and actually there were a few lessons learned here, but I'm going to stick to the topic) We are all good at some things and struggle with others.  I can grill corn to sweet  perfection, create gorgeous chocolate covered strawberries with white chocolate drizzle, create silk flower pins that are nearly identical to ones selling for $50 in stores, and I can color-coordinate and organize a closet till the cows come home (and actually enjoy it).  But I'm not Martha Stewart - and not many of us are.  Trying too hard generally leads to major frustration, which doesn't make for a happy family! So stick to what you're good at, and leave life-sized homemade gingerbread houses with working electricity and running water to Martha.

6.) Nicknames Make Me Feel Better:  The first cute baby nicknames I became aware of were 'Buggy' and 'Monkey' - from watching one of the countless Tori Spelling reality shows.  I never understood why you would call your kid something other than the name you just got the privilege of choosing for them!  Turns out, it's not really a choice.  I've found that the term Monkey has stuck with Connor because he used to climb on things so much - I started calling him that and never really stopped, though I also use his actual name, Buddy, etc... as well.  With Logan, being the lug that he is, we started calling him Turkey or Bubba.  There are also many times throughout my dad when I call them 'Little Monsters', 'Stinker Butt', or something of the like.  Lesson Learned:  Sometimes those cute little names are so mommy and daddy don't use BAD names.  When I catch Logan doing something naughty, jokingly calling him a 'Little Monster' as I re-direct him makes me feel better... it just does.

7.) Anything in Yellow Packaging: Gerber, this one's for you.  My kids' faces literally light-up when we stroll through the 'snack' section in the baby aisle at Target.  If it comes in a bright yellow package, we love it.  Lesson Learned:  Learn your child's currency and then STOCK UP!  We don't leave home without a stash of rice rusks, juicy treats, crunchies, and puffs.   If you aren't sure what these things are, you don't have a one-year-old!

8.) 1, 2, 3...  We have ALL heard the mother at the pool, mall, strore, etc... with the 1.... 2.... 2 and a half....  threat.  I used to think, 'Ugh - so annoying!"  Lesson Learned:  I'm not sure if somehow this is part of the new preschool curriculum, but there is something completely frightening to a toddler about this phrase.  Because 9 times out of ten, it does get them at least moving in the right direction!  And while I still find it annoying, believe me there are much louder and worse things I could be saying after trying to get my kid out of the baby pool for the last 10 minutes.

9.) Putting it on Display: I'm a bit OCD, and for all the things I cannot change in my life, I like to keep those things I *can* change as streamlined as possible.  Yes, there is a lot of clutter in our house, but there are some sacred areas I felt like I could always keep as mine.  The laundry room was no problem.... I always said I could hide anything I wanted in there because the rest of the family doesn't even know it exists.  Not sure how their underwear gets clean... must be magic!  The other area is my kitchen.  As a singleton, cluttered displays on a refrigerator were almost offensive.... why take that beautiful, blank, clean space and crap it up.  Lesson Learned:  Everything my sons create happens to be a work of unabated masterpiece. Genius, if I may be so bold.  ;)  And yours will be too!

10.) Do Not Disturb: I know I'm not the only stay-at-home mom who had visions of a clean, organized home, once they were able to quit their job and be home with the kiddos.   I honestly thought I would perfectly fold laundry, cook nice meals every night, keep up-to-date on scrapbooking, and have the storage area in the basement looking like a dream.  HA!  Lesson Learned:  ANYTIME I get during the day, without being pestered to 'watch me', feeding or washing bottles, making mac-n-cheese and apple juice sippys, changing diapers, watching and talking about the Cars movie, etc... is a precious moment.  Dont' get me wrong, I love doing those things for my children.  But forgive me for not wanting to immediately jump up and finish the laundry, dishes, vacuuming, cleaning, etc... as soon as I manage to get them both down for a nap at the same time!  So there is no surprise that our house reflects this attitude.  It's pretty bad.  My biggest fear is an unexpected visitor.... unless it's someone who wants to come clean and organize my house, of course!

Undoubtedly, there will be additional lessons learned in the coming years.... ahh, I can't wait for that!!  :)

Thanks for stopping by!