View Full Version : Sun/photo sensitivity - Garrett

Tony Ferous
03-25-2008, 04:10 AM
Garrett, or anyone!

Ever come across anyone with a sensitivity to sunlight? I seem to have developed it a few years ago, my skin reacts(face and body) even if my exposure is a few minutes in strong sun, my skin flares up red like mild sunburn, its a little ichy, but not too bad or unsightly luckily! if i use suntan lotion im usually fine, though i dont like putting that crap on my skin, i assume it gets absorbed.

Any ideas on why? i saw a skin specialist who advised small doses of sun exposure to build toerance, and diagnosed it as Solar urticaria. I also get low grade facial acne, some acne meds apparently can cause skin sensitivty. Benzoyl Peroxide which i use sparingly. I did use Isotretinoin (Accutane) tablets about 15 years ago.
I know some herb and drugs cause sensitity too, im not taking any presciption drugs or st johns wort though. Im avoiding any 'herby' shampoo too.

I dug out a few links:
Vitamin B6 in mutlivitamin - i must take 50mg+ per day in my multi vits.
Besides St. John's wort, bitter orange peel, celery, dong quai, motherwort,parsley, peppermint oil and wormwood also can cause photosensitivity in certainindividuals.

Any comments appreciated, thanks!!!

Garrett Smith
03-25-2008, 06:37 AM
Please expand on the quantity and types of fats you are getting in your diet.

Any family history of this? What is your ethnic heritage?

Check on any other meds you have taken for photosensitivity in their side effects. The Accutane could be significant, as it is a synthetic retinoid (http://www.rxlist.com/cgi/generic/isotret_ad.htm)...
Many of the side effects and adverse reactions seen in patients receiving Accutane are similar to those described in patients taking very high doses of vitamin A.

That means it could be stored in your fat cells (like all other fat-soluble vitamins) and still causing problems today.

What might we do if that was the case?
1) Cod liver oil with plenty of Vit. A & D, to push the old Accutane out.
2) Lots of sweating to increase excretion
3) Good fats, plenty of them, including saturated
4) Exercise & low carb diet to increase bodyfat turnover
5) Supplementation to help the liver clean that stuff out

There's a possible start...

Mike ODonnell
03-25-2008, 06:37 AM
Wow...even after a few minutes? Ouch.

What is your diet like?

Tony Ferous
03-25-2008, 04:48 PM
Thanks guys. The annoying thing is that my diet is very paleo, so its frustrating that my skin isnt more 'resistant'.

Diet conists of meat, fish, veg, fruit, nuts. Low GI, unrefined, no dairy. Usually 3 meals per day.

Protein - around 120g per day, eggs, lamb, beef , chicken, salmon, tuna etc.
Veg with each meal.
Carbs come from fruit maybe 2 peices per meal(apples, pears, berries, melon, plums).
Liquid from water, green tea, black coffee

Fat from olive oil, meat, almonds, avocados, very dark chocolate on occasion.
I dropped all omega 3 supplements 4 weeks ago to see if this was an issue, no real change noted in symptoms. Before that i was taking 2 tbps of fish or CL oil daily in winter.
Perhaps i should get my vitamin A levels assessed, not sure if this would be accurate.

Supplement multi vits/minerals, R+ala, zyfelamed.

I hit the weights 3 times a week, 30-45 mins each, though these sessions dont always work up a big sweat

Age 34, body fat ~8%. No family historiy of it, i have an italian father, so i should have perfect olive skin! In fact i do tan ok and develop colour if i use sun lotion, i can then stay in the sun for a few hours without the inflammation.

Garrett Smith
03-25-2008, 08:59 PM
How much vitamin A was in the dose of CLO you were taking?

Also, do any of the foods on this list (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_foods_containing_tyramine) make up large portions of your diet?

Unrefined palm oil and the carotenoids in it, along with CLO, might be very helpful. You might also want to look into a mixed tocopherol/tocotrienol (vitamin E complex) and food-based vitamin C supplement.

Mast cells were implicated in the Accutane-photosensitivity connection (I found that on a quick Google). Fresh or freeze-dried stinging nettles (Urtica dioica) might be helpful with reducing the sensitivity of the mast cells to sunlight and with the liver's ability to detoxify the drug possibly stuck in your fat cells.

Tony Ferous
03-26-2008, 09:47 PM
I've always taken Carlsons fish oil/CLO, so the CLO has 700 IU to 1,200 IU per teaspoon full, so 2 tablespoons might be about 6000iu per day( only take this in winter) plus maybe 1000iu from multi vits(palmitate probably). I. I doubt that food souces supply much preformed vit A, though i probably get alot of carotenoids.

Whats the link to high tyramine foods- monoamine oxidase inhibitors? i eat alot of avocadoes, not much else on the link in high amounts(no cheese, soy, processed foods, some alcohol at weeekends though).

I take a mixed vit E supp, and get maybe 250mg of C from supps daily.

As for nettles, do i need the leaf or root? Think i have some nettle leaf tea somewhere..

Many thanks!!

Garrett Smith
03-27-2008, 11:15 AM
Tyramine has been associated by some (theorized?) to worsen the photosensitivity that can come with St. John's Wort: http://www.tanresponsibly.com/articles/skincare/753_251column1.html . Most like due to the MAO inhibition, yes. Just thought I'd throw it out there.

With the nettles, use the leaf, and do your best to get freeze-dried stuff (I like Eclectic Institute, personally).

You may want to give the CLO a two-week trial during the warmer/sunnier months and see if that changes anything...

Tony Ferous
03-27-2008, 07:09 PM
Many thanks Garrett, i'll let you know how things go.