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  • HORROR STORY: Tanning while on Prescription Medications

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    Old 01-04-2004, 10:24 AM   #1
    aquarius0121
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    HORROR STORY: Tanning while on Prescription Medications

    I've read a few posts on this site about tanning, and I thought I'd share a story with everyone in case there are people out there who are considering tanning while on prescriptions:

    When I was 18 years old, I was taking a combination of medications in order to control acne. Back then, my acne wasn't really bad, but I wanted perfect skin and had nothing to lose. I had been taking Differin and Cleocin for a few months, when my mother decided to bring me along with her on a business trip to sunny Florida. This was excellent news for me, seeing as it was the middle of winter and freezing where I was living. I couldn't wait to catch a few rays and come back with an awesome tan - and flaunt it and brag to my friends!

    Anyway, on the first day of my vacation, I didn't put on my medication, mainly because there were warnings on the package about sun exposure. I put on a moderate sunblock, and spent the entire day lounging by the pool, sipping frozen drinks, and loving life. In the early evening, I went to my hotel room and took a shower. My skin felt VERY warm, and the texture was a little off. I didn't think anything of it... and after I got out of the shower, I put on face lotion and make-up. I went with my mother to dinner, and later with her younger work friends clubbing. After a few drinks (yes, I was under age), I felt my skin and noticed that it was feeling a little bit tough and bumpy. Perhaps I was breaking out? It wasn't until I got home from the clubs that I looked in the morror. I could not believe what I saw. My face (which is normally a light creme color) was LITERALLY maroon! In fact, some areas of my face, including the bridge of my nose, were brownish-black. Additionally, my face became excrutiating to touch, and I could see bubbles forming underneath the singed skin. Not knowing what else to do, I began icing my face and applying lots of lotion.

    The next morning, I awoke to a nastier surprise. I looked in the mirror, and my face looked as though it had been burned by acid. My skin had LITERALLY melted, and instead of skin, my face was covered with black crust, boils, and small liquid filled blisters. Seeing myself like this was the single most horrifying experience of my life. I kept wondering what I would do if my face never healed, and worried about scarring and disfigurement. I ended up at the hospital that morning, where I was given ointment, and specific instructions to stay inside. Needless to say, for the rest of my vacation, I spent my time couped up in my hotel room applying cold cloths to my face and slathering my skin with lotion.

    After the week had passed, my skin looked a little (not a lot) better. The blackened skin was falling away, and the blisters were growing out. It took nearly two weeks for me to feel confortable enough to look at anybody in the face. My skin had peeled so much, the skin color was uneven and unsightly. Additionally, I had burst capilaries around my cheekbones that weren't getting better. I'm not sure exactly when my skin looked decent again, but it was a WHILE after my trip to Florida. To this day, I still have red marks from the burst capillaries, and going out in the sun while taking prescriptions has been the single most damaging thing I've ever done to my face.

    So to anyone who is considering tanning while taking prescriptions, DON'T. I can't say enough about what a bad decision it was for me....

     
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    Old 01-04-2004, 10:44 AM   #2
    MelloVball
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    Re: HORROR STORY: Tanning while on Prescription Medications

    Wow, that's horrible, I am sorry to hear that. I had something close to that with self-tanner, I wasn't on anything for my skin then. On my left cheek, I can't explain how many breakouts I had when that stuff faded.

    I tried tanning beds, reading some on it, and just used precaution, going in very small amounts. I haven't had any serious problem yet from it. I think in any case it's about being prudent about it...if you sat out all day in Flordia, esp when you weren't already used to the sun, or if you have fair skin, it was like me smothering my face in self-tanner everyother day...

    Usually I would just say being tan is something that's not needed. This is a case I have to say I feel really different on. I like being a little colorful, it gives you more confidence and makes you feel better from what acne takes away from me. I don't have as much breakouts, but I still have some horrible scars. This just makes them blend in more and not have that white-red difference.

    Now yes, having your face break into welts and having to get injections constantly....I doubt you will be thinking, but i am tan!

    So I think if people are like me, and insisting on tanning, take it easy. Test the waters. Everyone is different, that's the problem with acne. Some have really fair skin, medium, or dark skin, some people will just react to things differently, and there's many different medications, and different combos of them...

     
    Old 01-04-2004, 02:25 PM   #3
    aquarius0121
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    Re: HORROR STORY: Tanning while on Prescription Medications

    I'm not rejecting the idea of tanning AT ALL. In fact, during the rare times I'm off prescriptions (and have been off for a few months), I too enjoy catching a little sun and looking nice.

    I think you missed the point of my post... that you need to be CAREFUL, and know what you are getting yourself into. And if a prescription says "Avoid Sunlight and Sunlamps", there is a reason.. as I had the misfortune to experience. Many people don't take the warnings seriously, and if you manage to "test the waters" per say, that's great.

    Especially in the winter, when people are running off to exotic and warm places, it's important to know that if you are on one of those PARTICULAR medications (NOT just ANY medication) you need to BE CAREFUL.

    This was just my experience, and I know everybody has different skin and reactions to it. I'm just putting my story out there, and perhaps it will help someone who was as naive as I was.

     
    Old 01-04-2004, 03:09 PM   #4
    MelloVball
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    Re: HORROR STORY: Tanning while on Prescription Medications

    No no, we are on the same concept then, I didn't mean to be agruing with you, I was reinforcing the point, just making sure people could do certain things, just about being very careful with it.

    Sorry if that came off the wrong way, I understand, it's great to put your stories out there, to make the people think more about it. Thank you for sharing.

     
    Old 01-04-2004, 08:04 PM   #5
    tater97531
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    Re: HORROR STORY: Tanning while on Prescription Medications

    thank you for sharing your story...I can't even imagine how hard that must have been. I use retin a micro and clindets (clindamycin wipes) and I started this treatment in the winter. In a few weeks I'm going to Florida and I'm not sure what to do. I've never worn any sunscreen stronger than 15 before and I don't really burn too easy. I am planning on using sunscreen and protecting myself. What spf do I have to use if im spending all my days in the sun? I'm kinda worried about it now...do you think my skin could be as sensitive as yours? you said you were wearing sunblock...did u burn easily before your medications?

     
    Old 01-05-2004, 01:40 AM   #6
    aquarius0121
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    Re: HORROR STORY: Tanning while on Prescription Medications

    I have fair skin, and I never normally burn easily. (Although if I spent all day in the sun without sunscreen I'm sure I'd be toast) My dermatologist explained that topical medications cause photo.. something or other... reactions... Meaning a little bit of sunlight causes magnified damage to your skin.

    If I were you, I'd consult your dermatologist before exposing yourself to sunlight. I'd put on the highest SPF sunscreen you can find at least on your face. In my case, the rest of my body was fine in the sun. I don't remember what SPF I used that day, but it obviously wasn't enough.

    Take care of your face! Not to sound cliche, but it's better to be safe than sorry.

     
    Old 01-05-2004, 01:52 AM   #7
    aquarius0121
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    Re: HORROR STORY: Tanning while on Prescription Medications

    Don't worry about it Mello. I believe that a person's decision to tan is just that... a personal decision. I don't want to preach about cancer... blah blah blah because we get enough of that from other places. And sorry if I was quick on the defense. I just don't want anyone getting the idea that it's acceptable to ignore warning labels on prescriptions, because you never know what will happen. You can compare this to alcohol warning labels on pills... you can test the waters by only drinking once in a while, dabbling here and there, seeing how much you can withstand before an adverse reaction takes place... but regardless, why risk it? It's not smart. It would be a shame to find out that even though you didn't visibly burn, the medication made your skin age and wrinkle faster, develop more sun spots, leave you more succeptible to cancer. The risks need to be examined from all possible angles, not only the visible ones.

     
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