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Five Year-Old Son’s Story - Part 2
from SH

I e-mailed you last month [Five Year-Old Son’s Story]. My five year old is now six. He had a birthday in February. We are continuing to have UVB and Dermalight treatments daily (Monday - Friday). There has definitely been some improvement; however, last week he began to have a flare. The PA and Technician both seem to think something must be going on to cause the flare; his tonsils are enlarged and I think the tonsils are the culprit. When we last saw the Derm, he did a referral for an Ear-Nose-and-Throat specialist. We saw the ENT last Friday and he scheduled a tonsillectomy for my son this Thursday. I hope the flare subsides after that.

The derm gave us a prescription for a home UVB light box and it is in the final stages of approval by the insurance company. I will be SO glad when it arrives because the time commitment is greater than I even imagined. We are in our ninth week of light treatments.

We have had great success with treating the P on his scalp. We are using and OTC shampoo that is working great—DHS Sal—and after shampooing we are using DermaSmoothe F/S. The combination of these two is working GREAT on his scalp. I hope someone else benefits from reading this part of my post.

I'll post again after his surgery to update on how things are going. Hopefully by then we will have our in-home light and the flare will have subsided.

As I depart, just a couple of "Don't Say This" items: A church a lady in her early 30's asked my son (since his cheeks are red as a result of sunburn from the light treatments) "Oh, did you have a bike wreck." I shook my head no and then she asked, "Oh, did you get a carpet burn wrestling on the carpet with your sister?" Okay Lady give up guessing the diagnosis! Another woman has asked him three times if his lesions are mosquito bites.

Take care and God Bless! -SH

*****

Ed’s Response: I, too, hope the tonsillectomy will calm your son’s P. Last I read, tonsils draw infections. Mine were removed in the early fifties in an attempt to reduce my absences from school due to illness. There seems to be a lot of agreement among derms that strep infection, in particular, triggers guttate P for many flakers. And there’s reams of anecdotal testimony that bacterial and viral-based illnesses contribute to flaking. So, we have plenty of reason not to be surprised if your son’s tonsillectomy reduces your son’s P flares by improving his overall resistance to infections.

But also don’t be surprised if improvement takes awhile. Another thing many of us experience is long lag times for certain types of countermeasures. For me this is pretty straightforward: treatments or therapies that tackle my P on a systemic level take three months or longer to have an appreciable effect. Remedies directed at the lesions topically—potions, unguents and voodoo incantations—work faster but may not be as lasting.

Also, the stress and trauma of surgery may have to wear off before improvement sets in. (However, all I remember about my tonsillectomy was a ward with lots of children, throwing up for awhile from the ether, then finding meals of 7-Up and jell-o quite delightful!)

I look forward to the post-report! -Ed

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