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Cream with Menthol: His Best Relief for PUVA Itch
from David S.

Re: PUVA After Effect: Severe Itching?

Hi Ed.  Was browsing the site, and saw the above article.

I had the same problem with PUVA a year ago, and the "best" relief for me was any cream that had menthol in it.

The creams by themselves gave relief, but the menthol stopped the itch dead in its tracks.

I only had the itch on the upper arms, shoulders and upper back, and my theory is that even though the UVA light-booth is supposed to give an even "total" exposure, those parts that are closest to the tubes, might get a much higher dosage.

Regards, -David S. (Australia)


Ed’s Response:  Also read PUVA Itch. 

My experience with PUVA was extremely brief (3 or 4 light-booth sessions) because I burned crab red within a few seconds of exposure.  Not nearly enough exposure, my derm determined, to help my P.  Let me remind those who may not have tried PUVA that it is UVA light therapy combined with ingested Psoralen, which is a photosensitizing drug.

One of the things I noticed in my colorful burned state was that I was allowing some parts of me to cast shadows on other parts of me.  Because I wasn’t very thorough in “assuming the positions” necessary to expose all my lesions for equal periods of time, I could tell by my shades of red how the actual exposure was being distributed.  For me, this had more to do with how I behaved (or misbehaved) in the light closet than how close any part of me came to the lamps.

And with regard to the itch, my experience correlates well with yours, David.  The best lotion I found to calm the itch associated with burning was Gold Bond Extra Strength Triple Action Body Lotion, which has a very menthol-ly scent and feeling. -Ed

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