Here's the long definition: PUVA is an acronym for psoralen and ultraviolet A. PUVA refers to the interaction of long wavelength ultraviolet light (320-400 nm) with a pharmaceutical molecule of plant origin, psoralen, producing a type of "photochemotherapy." PUVA is useful in treating a number of human diseases.
While I'm not under-going treatment for Leukemia anymore, my doctors have decided they want me try this in hopes of it relieving some of the skin tightness and discoloration I have from GVHD. (Graft-Versus Host Disease.)
So what does this mean? I'll sum it up for you.
Basically, 3 times a week, I show up to the dermatologist's office and step inside this vertical-tanning-bed-like machine for a minute or so. It actually takes longer to drive there than it does to have the actual treatment. After 3 months of this, there's hope that the light frequencies they use will help to clear my discoloration and tightness on my skin. I still have some issues with flexibility because my skin is so tight. So, in other words, squatting or bending over is still somewhat painful. You won't see me signing up for intense yoga classes any time soon.
You're probably thinking, 'what else does a dermatologist use that for??' I wondered the same thing because I can't imagine a teenage girl showing up there and saying, 'I wanna tan.' They also use this machine to treat Lymphoma and Psoriasis.
I've done 2 sessions so far and haven't really experienced any side effects yet, other than drier skin. They did tell me it will most likely give me a slow tan and possibly a light sunburn until my skin gets a little more used to it. We'll see what happens. I figure I am at least getting a head start on my summer tan before Spring is even here.
I hope you like the new look on the blog. I also added a link to my personal photography website on the right. So, if you're interested in seeing some interesting photos you can check that out. Bring on 2013 and all the good that it has to offer.