UV Therapy vs Sunburn

As many psoriasis warriors will know, UV treatment can be a really effective treatment for psoriasis.  There is something really attractive too about being directed by your dermatologist to “get a tan”.  In this day and age where skin cancer is on the increase and advertising campaigns (especially in the Southern Hemisphere) blast out directives to cover up while in the sun or use suncream, to get out in the sun for a suntan is like breaking the rules.  It almost feels like getting permission to smoke!  I recall when I was living in Beijing, and in the height of winter when it was -15⁰C (5⁰F) my dermatologist sent me to the local fitness center where they had a couple of sunbeds, to get some UV treatment to try and help my psoriasis.  Actually I think the tubes hadn’t been changed in about 5 years so that they were all “UV’d” out – or they were fake (which wouldn’t be surprising in China).  For whatever reason I didn’t get any tan, and my psoriasis didn’t get any better, but it was sure nice roasting in the sunbed every couple of days!

So I have been staying at the Marriott in Pattaya, Thailand for the last 2 nights.  I am happy to report that my second night’s sleep was excellent.  I complained at reception following my first night, and found out that they were doing construction on the ground floor, just about directly below where our rooms were.  Even though we were on the 7th floor, the sound reverberated up the stairwell and lift shaft (which was right next to our rooms).  It seems like they were doing construction till real late (like midnight!).   Even though the pool is great here, I’m not sure if we’ll be back.  It just isn’t really worth the money – and breakfast isn’t included!

So I’m lying by the pool now, and there are lots of people (only Westerners – the Asians pursue white skin) sunbathing. 

So I could take this opportunity to get a bit of UV action too, but the problem is I burn too easily.  It is incredibly difficult for me to get a tan, as usually I will burn and peel.  The only time I ever was able to get a good tan was when I built one up on  a sunbed (one which worked), and I started off with only 5 minutes exposure for the first week!  That was enough though – any more and I would have burned.   I was a student at the time and on holiday, so had the time to properly work on the tan.

Perhaps if I didn’t have to work full-time anymore then I might be able to build up a tan, but to be honest in this day and age I don’t bother as I’ve found something better.  Fake tan!  Yes I must admit I’m a convert.  The tan is really easy to apply, and actually looks much better than any tan I might be able to produce naturally.  The only inconvenience is waiting for a couple of hours for it to dry properly, and for the first couple of days one shouldn’t wear any light colors as there will be some tan that does come off, and can discolor clothing.

The days of the awful “radioactive orange” fake tan are long gone, and the fake tans these days are very difficult to tell from the real thing.  Of course the real test is getting back from a holiday with your fake tan, and people complimenting you on it, thinking it is the real thing!

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