As those of you who know me know I have a rare autoimmune “disorder” (although I hate that term) called vitiligo. This means that my body doesn’t create melamine in the same way as others and results in lack of pigmentation and white patches of skin. For me these are mainly evident on my elbows, knees (back and front, and stomach although I also have them on my hands, feet and, not so obviously, round my eyes an on my chin.
The lack of pigmentation can cause issues while adventuring. The main of these is sunburn. A few days ago I got fought out by the weather and got a bit of a tan… well my “normal” skin tanned, the skin on by elbow burned badly. So badly that the last few days it has had a bright pink colour and a blister about 3cm long, 2cm wide and about 3mm deep. As you can imagine this has been rather sore.
Burn baby burn. Blister is starting to shrink thankfully
Of course this isn’t the first time I have been fought out but it is one of the more annoying. As someone who has had this for as long as I remember I really should know better but it so easy just to forget. And it’s not just during summer that I have to be careful. All those sunny days in the snow line (ok… in the UK who am I kidding!) I am just as likely to get burnt. And we all know what potential side effects of a crispy fried Andy can be in the future…. let’s just hope the the lack of melanin reduces certain risks.
If you would like to read a bit more about vitiligo then check out http://www.vitiligosociety.org.uk