Mail (July, 1998)

Follow-up on Homemade UVB
from Robert R.

Ed: Just checking back with you to give you a little more feedback on my homemade UVB unit experience. I am still using the UVB treatments, however I have found that after clearing (almost, occasionally a few little scales at the knuckles will show) that I can reduce the amount of exposure to 1/2 hour every other or third day and still keep a healthy flexible surface. I would highly recommend this to anyone interested in achieving relief from mild cases of P. I have also had a very high work load in the last couple of months which ordinarily would result in an overwhelming flare up over my thumb and first two fingers on my right hand (I am right handed) and the thumb and forefinger of my left, but with this regimen I have had no such effects from the additional work related traumas.

In addition to this I have figured out a few tricks to avoid cracking and lesion breakouts. When experiencing a pre-breakout thickening of the skin, I simply use an emery board or similar tool to sand off the outer layers of build up, which keeps the skin from cracking as the thinned skin is naturally more flexible. If I do experience a crack, I use the previous method to thin the skin and then seal the fissure by using pressure to hold the edges together and then apply a SMALL drop of SuperGlue (cyanoacrylate) to the SURFACE of the skin to bond the surfaces together. This will allow quick healing without allowing the crack to expand and has the added benefit of sloughing off about the same time as the wound heals. Yeah, I know, don't try this without medical supervision, talk to your Dr. first, get a note from your parents, yadda, yadda, yadda! All I know is that I had to do this on my own. My derm was content to give me scrips and have me see him once a month. I wonder if the fact that he made about $75 for every 10-minute consult had anything to do with it?

As to the question about melanoma, recent research has shown that UVA is the actual culprit for increased risk of melanomas, UVB being implicated in basal and squamous types of cancer. The exposure levels with this set up, in one hour, are less than a 15 minute solar exposure at the equator in July.

Forget organized medicine's approval, most Doctors are concerned with limiting their liability rather than finding effective ways to achieve results.

Oh, and by the way, no tan!

Thanks for the forum and GOOD HEALTH! Scaleless in Seattle, Robert R.

P.S. — In case anyone needs the contact # for the UVB bulbs call D.C. Bach & Co. at 1-800-235-8087. They will ship it to you and were quite helpful. Just ask for the bulb Sylvania F20T12/350BL 20-watt. They don't have any way to look up the type by general description.

*****

Ed's Response: Thanks for the follow-up, Robert. (Readers: Read the original correspondence by clicking on hyperlink at bottom.) I guess I don't have to put in the check-with- your-doctor disclaimer since you did it for me. I will add, however, that taking a copy of this correspondence, along with your original, might be a good idea since you talk about melanoma. (I dare say, a 15 minute solar exposure at the equator in July would probably kill me ... but I've got the vitiligo problem on top of the P.)

With regard to your statement about Drs more concerned with limiting their liability than finding effective ways to achieve results: It might be you're just a little more innovative than most, Robert. Drs in the U.S. are compromised constantly by our litiginous society. They are, for the most part, required to buy into a conservative bias or risk their practices.

I want to hear from ANYBODY who tries Robert's homemade UVB! -Ed

Homemade UVB

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