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Sun, Sea and Bonalfa
from Andrea M.

Dear Ed: I read with interest your Cyclosporine Diary and am very glad you are getting extremely good results.

I wrote to you a couple of months ago regarding my guttate P. At that time I was trying the fish oils. I am still taking them in the vague hope that I'm the kind of person with delayed reactions to them; but to be frank, I can't see any difference. However, something I'm doing now IS working and goes thus:

I put Exorex on each spot (time consuming but worth it), then I go to the beach (not possible for everyone, I appreciate). After about 15 minutes I go in the Atlantic Ocean and splash around for 15-20 minutes, spend another 10 minutes drying off in the sunshine, after which, I apply sun factor. Once home, I apply Bonalfa before bed and wake up to find an immediate and significant improvement in my GP, something I've not experienced in 30 years. I feel very fortunate in having a German boss who lets me work from 8 to 3, which allows me to do this.

I hope this may also work for other fellow sufferers. -Andrea in Spain


Previous: Guttating in Spain

Ed’s Response: I know your regimen does work, at least in part, for other flakers, Andrea. Sunshine and sea water are the oldest known therapies for P and, to this day, they are probably the most used (certainly the best priced for those who live in the right places).

There has been considerable speculation about why this particular combination works so reliably for so many — and lots of attempts to bottle the secrets, usually without success. We can and do buy artificial sun lamps and dehydrated sea salts for reconstitution in our baths, and for some these do work for awhile, but the benefits usually don’t endure. Some say it’s more than the sun and seawater that improves our P: They say it works, in part, because most of us can only enjoy the regimen a few weeks per year, stress reduction is a part of the process, and we don’t anticipate a long-term improvement as a result (rather, we anticipate with some delight the prospect of returning to the beach again next year). Be this as it may, there is overwhelming evidence that sunlight does palliate P, and that for many there are positive effects from soaking in sea water.

I wasn’t able to learn anything more about Bonalfa on the Internet than its chemical name, which in Spanish is tacalcitol monohidrato or monohidrate in English. Exactly what this does, I’m not sure, but I’d bet it is a moisturizer. -Ed

Further reading:

Doesn’t Everybody Know About Sea Water? 

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