does venture outside, she’d get funny looks from strangers – unsurprisingly, as
she’s covered in layers of protective clothing, a hat and a scarf covering her
often good-naturedly tease that she’s descended from “vampires”.
Rohrdanz (45) from Marshalltown, Iowa in the US, suffers from polymorphic light
eruption – she’s highly allergic to sunlight.
skin is exposed to it, she quickly develops a red, itchy rash. It can take up
to a week for the rash to clear up.
Sally Riedell, and her grandmother Sally Ontiveros also suffer from the
condition, but Julie’s case is extreme.
large-brimmed hats, face masks, neck protection, long sleeves, gloves and, of
course, long pants. Eye protection can be a bit tricky, because, well, I have
to see,” she recently told Metro.
has become progressively light sensitive over the years, to the point four
years ago when exposure to even weak sunlight would burn as if she was “standing
too close to a fire”.
She says her condition has gotten to the point where even
certain types of indoor lighting – the kind that mimics sunlight – will bring
on the rash.
means she’s allergic to both UVA – which penetrates deeply into the skin – and
UVB rays, which burns the skin’s surface.
recently found some relief from her symptoms when doctors prescribed her
hydroxychloroquine, traditionally a malaria prophylactic and medication.
starting the treatment, she was able to go outside on a hot day for the first
time in years wearing just a short-sleeved shirt. “It was brilliant,” she says.
“The sun is
strong – but I’m stronger,” she jokes, adding that she knows there’s a long
sales manager, and her engineer husband, Nick, are grateful for one thing:
There’s no indication their daughter Grace (17) has inherited her mom’s
Metro UK, skinsupport.org.uk,tv3.ie