Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Covering My Behind

Someone anonymously left comments that I may possibly face a slander lawsuit for what I am saying about my experiences over the past month, so I am covering my behind. If you read my previous posts as events occurred, I began by saying that I may very well likely be allergic to this product (all names have been removed to, once again, cover my behind). Something in this product brought out the worst in me (in more ways than one) and I think it is reasonable that if this would happen to me, it would happen to others. No offense here to those who are, but I am not one of those people who is allergic to many things. When I am affected for weeks by a product, it gets my attention. Like I also said in my prior post, my children used it without problems. I, however, would never put it on my body again.

Another anonymous comment accused me of not providing documentation from doctors (who could have written that I wonder) and I would like to say that the company in question did not request any documentation when I said that it was available or I would have provided it. The person I spoke with jokingly said he would like for me to fly to their location to see their people, but I would have done so for their benefit as well as mine. When I asked about a doctor in my subsequent contact, they could not refer me to anyone, nor would they know what type of specialist to refer me to.

At this point, I want all of you to learn two things from my experience:
1. Be careful what you use! There is a link in one of my prior blogs to a website that has listed several sunscreen products that have caused reactions such as mine. Take a look at it and keep it in mind when yo go shopping for sunscreen. A friend referred me to this list when she experienced BURNS from her sunscreen (completely different product).
2. When you have a good or bad experience from a product, let the company know so they can work out any problems there are. If you don't tell them, they don't know! I make a habit of recognizing good experiences. This one was just bad enough to demand my attention.

As for the anonymous comments, I don't publish anything you won't put your name on. If you don't want other readers to see your name, let me know and I will delete your name before publishing your comment.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Still Burning

Well, it's been three weeks since I used the sunscreen that changed my life. Maybe that's a little drastic. It has definitely changed my skin. There are several tiny sores where the rash once was and my skin itches like crazy. I feel like there are tiny bugs crawling all over my skin. Constantly. I can make the itching subside by taking antihistamines that make me sleep all day and night. What a choice!

I spoke to the Director of Quality, at the manufacturer of this particular sunscreen. According to him, no one has ever had a reaction to their products and they are truly sorry that this happened to me. It is not company policy to give refunds, so they are instead sending a care package to me which contains, get this, sunscreen!!! I have spent at least $100 in doctor visits, medications, and home remedies to alleviate this discomfort, am considering visiting an allergist or dermatologist for further treatment, but they will not reimburse my $8! His company can't even be troubled to refer me to an allergist or dermatologist because "We do not normally use such local Texas specialists in our research & product development projects." His suggestion is to go again to my primary care physician and get a referral to the appropriate physician (more money out of my pocket).

As a precaution for you, test any product you use before covering your body with it. Learn from my lesson! To give the product a fair representation, my children also used the product without problems. I only wonder if you want to take the chance of being one of the few like me who is not so fortunate.

Friday, May 16, 2008

She's Growing Up

Today was my oldest daughter's first official day volunteering at the local library. She "volunteered" on many occasions while I worked there, but really she was just staying busy while I worked. Today I dropped her off and she worked while I goofed off. I don't think she was entirely thrilled when I left but when I returned she was not ready to leave. She has a special assignment to decorate a box for children's books. She was so proud to show me what she has finished so far. I could see her puff her feathers when she got to tell me where to put things when we were cleaning up. It was one of those proud mom moments.

Monday, May 5, 2008

I Got Burned By My Sunscreen!

Last weekend, my husband and I went to Laughlin for Bike Week. Despite my olive complexion, I took sunscreen because I expected to be in the sun all weekend. I chose my kid's sunscreen, SPF 50, because I did not want to risk a sunburn and I am trying to take better care of my skin. Little did I know that I would have been better if I had left the sunscreen off entirely.

I applied the sunscreen (one of the new aerosol types) liberally to my arms, neck, chest and back before we left camp on Saturday morning. By the end of the evening Saturday, my skin was a little broken out, but I figured it was just from the wind or some other cause that was harmless. My neck is very sensitive and I just don't get alarmed too quickly about it any more. The next morning I woke up and it was a little worse, so I went easy on the sunscreen. By the time we got home, I was revisiting everything I had eaten or done because the discomfort level was rising.

My mind just kept going back to the sunscreen. I spoke to a friend who is a nurse and she recommended Benadryl to ease the pain but I would just have to endure it for a couple of days. I used topical and oral Benadryl as often as the packages allowed. After a couple of days, the Benadryl was doing nothing and the rash was now on my legs as well. By Friday I could not stand it and I went to the doctor. She was shocked when she saw me and, agreeing it was the sunscreen, prescribed an antihistamine, a steroid, and an anti-itch medication to help me get past this.

It is now Monday and I am still going nuts from the itching and ugly hives that will not subside. Yesterday I spoke to a friend and she not only had a reaction to her sunscreen, she had third-degree burns. She referred me to the article below that has lots of helpful information. We both have learned the hard way that more is not always better. Hopefully, as you lather up this summer, you can take a lesson from us and avoid getting burned by your sunscreen.


Saturday, May 3, 2008

Itch, itch. Scratch, scratch.

We have a thing for rashes in my home. My oldest daughter had Scarlet fever fever in kindergarten and missed the field trip to the county fair. My middle daughter had roseola on her first birthday and slept through her party. As an adult, I have developed some quite inconvenient allergies.

During college, I developed an allergy to a prescription cold medication. The ingredient which caused my reaction is found in most daytime varieties of over-the-counter cold medications and I recently developed a rash on my hands and arms just from taking two pills out of the package for my husband.

Last weekend, I found a new allergy. I am now six days into a terrible reaction to sunscreen that I used while on vacation. Ironic that I, a sun-loving person who is normally irresponsible in my sun-protection use, would be allergic to sunscreen. I have sedated myself with Benadryl (worked the first night), covered my affected skin with ointment, soaked in oatmeal baths, and tried countless other remedies. One well-meaning person gave me a Benadryl stick to apply the first night. The thought of applying that to my outbreak, dot by dot, made me laugh, giving me a momentary distraction.

Excuse me now, I need to go avoid scratching my back.