PMLE Treatment: My TOP 6 tips!
December 5, 2013
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My top 6 tips for a PMLE free vacation

Painful and annoying PMLE rash is almost past history for me now. It’s been 18 months since I first tried my demo batch of Shirudo Antioxidant Lotion (now called Shirudo AGR+E) as a PMLE treatment and I am glad to say it is still totally effective on me. A life changing lotion. I only had minor rash on my feet and forgoten spots ever since. I used the lotion for a year and a half on all vacations and sun exposures I know could be problematic with my condition and I didn’t develop any tolerance, it works and keeps working. I’m happy to report that it is also effective for many others ! I got so much wonderful reviews from all over the world. This has been a life changing experience not only for me but for hundreds of others all around the world. Thank you all for the feedback and sharing your stories in these awesome reviews of shirudo lotion.

So far I tested the lotion of multiple occasions: The first time is Cape Cod, a week in South Florida, first rays of sun in Montreal, 2 weeks summer vacation on a boat, and finally 7 days in Republican Dominica last October 2013. All these occasions would have trig a painful rash in the past, usually  after day 2, but not since I use Shirudo AGR+E antioxidant moisturizing lotion. It’s been a great success every time.

Based on my own experience as a longtime PMLE sufferer, here are my ultimate recommendations for a PMLE free vacation:

1. Skin and body in optimal condition

A dry skin will be unpredictable and more likely to get irritated by elements. A couple of weeks prior to your vacation, take very special care of your skin. Hydrate well everyday and at bedtime with your favorite moisturizing lotion or cream. Don’t confuse dry skin and dead skin cells! If you have to, exfoliate with a cellulose glove after a long shower. It will eliminates dead cells and oxygenates the skin. This will assure any lotion you use will be fully absorbed. Drink plenty of water. If you like, try to detoxify by going to the spa or having a sweat doing your favorite sport.

2. Test all lotions prior to departure

When you suffer from Polymorphous Light Eruption (PMLE) and have sensitive skin,  first day of vacation is the worst time to try a new lotion! If you bought a new sunscreen, after-sun lotion, argan oil or any moisturizing lotion including Shirudo AGR+E, TRY IT BEFORE YOU LEAVE! Make sure any new product do not trig a rash or some kind of irritation while you are not sun exposed. Obviously if you are sensitive to a particular ingredient, you must know before you expose yourself to the sun otherwise you might confuse a PMLE rash with a simple rash.  It’s also a good idea to learn how to apply the lotion well. See point 3 and 4 for detailed application tips of AGR+E lotion.

3. Don’t get lazy: Apply lotions every two hours

Shirudo AGR+E and broad spectrum sunscreen must be used together every two hours of sun exposure in order to prevent pmle. After day 1, 2, 3, or whatever moment you would usually start to feel the burning rash, if nothing happens then you are part of the 80% of PMLE sufferers how react well to this formulation containing alpha-glucosylrutin and vitamin E. Especially if it’s not your first time using AGR+E lotion, you might start to think after a couple of days without a rash that you are cured… that you don’t have PMLE anymore, that you could just skip applying lotion and it won’t hurt. You are wrong. PMLE can’t be cured! It can only be prevented.  So don’t get lazy and keep applying the lotion every two hours of sun exposure or more often if you go swimming and you think you might have remove lotion while toweling. Use same logic your would with a regular sunscreen alone and apply more often if sun is at it’s peak,  after swimming and toweling. Keep in mind if you are in a tropical destination the sun is far more powerful than in northern regions. Simply be smart and careful from the beginning and keep using lotions until the last day of your trip.

4. Thicker is not better: Apply lotion well

Shirudo AGR+E is a very light lotion and the key to its effectiveness is absorption.  It must be fully absorbed by the skin in order to be effective. So don’t apply a big coating of lotion thinking it will protect you more, it’s the contrary. Make sure you only use a small amount of lotion to one region at a time and massage well until fully absorbed. Repeat all over the body on every sun exposed areas.  Wait 2 or 3 minutes and then apply broad spectrum sunscreen on top. Don’t skip sunscreen, it is mandatory. If you see a weird peel effect while you rub the skin, it’s a sign you are using too much AGR+E. Lotion dries out on top of your skin instead of being fully absorbed. Use less and massage well. Your skin should feel almost dry after application.

5. When the sun goes down, keep hydrating

I took great care of my skin prior to vacation, so it’s not the moment to stop hydrating! If I spent a day at the beach and I know I got plenty of sun exposure, I also apply Pure Argan Oil and Shirudo AGR+E lotion after night shower and before going to bed. Argan Oil  is a fully natural moisturizer and it contains plenty of antioxidant and a lot of vitamin E. Some people don’t like the smell or the oily feel on the skin. It doesn’t matter what moisturizer you use, simply use a good one containing vitamin E after night shower. While at the beach, some areas are more difficult to protect than others. I noticed I usually get a small rash on my feet on day 3 or 4.  It’s kind of difficult to apply lotion when your feet are covered in sand. Applying AGR+E on my feet prior to bed seems to calm the rash a little and it’s better than not using it at all. I still get a small rash but it can’t compare with the kind of painful rash I got before using AGR+E, it’s only a minor discomfort I can totally live with.

6. Be smart

I had so many ruined vacations in the past… Painful PMLE rash on my entire body after 2 days of sun exposure  Now that I develop Shirudo AGR+E as a PMLE preventive treatment, I spent more time at the beach wearing a bikini all day long then in the past 22 years combined. But I must be careful, and you should too. Too much sun is no good to anyone. Exposure at peak hours between 11am and 2pm is not recommended. Sun exposure dehydrates the skin, age it prematurely, it can cause sunburns, it can cause one of the most life threatening form of cancer. It’s no surprise Dermatologists simply recommend to avoid unprotected sun exposure not only to PMLE sufferers but to general population. It make sense and it can only prevent a lot of other skin problems. So please be smart, and expose yourself gradually. Don’t spent 12 hours on the beach without an umbrella, specially not on your first day off. Put a hat and shades, cover up a little on lunch time.Do like normal people do. The fact you didn’t enjoy a single sun vacation for the past 20 years is not a reason to act stupid. If like me you now found a  PMLE treatment and it changed your life, be smart and you will have plenty of other sun vacations to enjoy.

Thank you all for your comments and feedback in the last year. I hope this post will be helpful to many PMLE sufferers. Please share your tips too by commenting on this post !

If you want more information about Shirudo AGR+E, please visit shirudo.com.
Shirudo AGR+E antioxidant moisturizing lotion is only available and sold online at shirudo.com.
If you want to review the product and share your story,  please send your email to info@shirudo.com.

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30 comments

  1. If you already have a rash, will the lotion protect further rash or is your body already in that state of no return? I used the lotion on my arms (already had some rash there from my vacation and I didn’t have the lotion yet) and it seemed to protect it from getting worse. BUT I have never had the rash on my face and now I have it there. I didn’t put the lotion on my face because I have never gotten the rash there. Do you put it everywhere, even places you normally don’t get the rash? I am so miserable…I don’t want to stay out of the sun all the time. Should I wait until rash is completely gone before any sun exposure even with the lotion? Takes 2-3 weeks for my rash to go away and I am on summer break only 2 more weeks. So bummed out. Thanks for any advice you can give! I am going to Jamaica in October so I am testing all of this out but it is so hard when it takes so long for the rash to go away.

    1. Oh and also…PMLE is fairly new to me. Started getting it when I was 40 and I am 45 now.

    2. Hi Vicki, many customers mentioned how the lotion helps to sooth a minor rash. You should use the lotion only on sun exposed areas that you know will flare up. PMLE is really changing over time for most people, sometimes it gets better, sometimes it get worse every year… I usually get the rash every where except on my face, so I apply it everywhere. If I know I will wear pants all day long I do not apply it on my legs. I personally keep using the lotion when I have a minor rash and will keep getting exposed if it’s not too severe. I often end up with a rash on my feet even if I use the lotion, it’s difficult to apply lotion when you walk on the beach. I also apply it at night on minor rash and it help to shorten the recovery.

      1. Thanks for your reply! Once you have the rash do you have to completely stay out of the sun? My face is horrible right now but we have outside plans the next week. Of course I would apply the lotion but wondered if when the body is in that state, it would just take longer to get better. Because I aready had some rash on my arms from vacation, it popped up super fast on my face where I never get it. I can usually be outside for an hour with no sunblock and be okay but this came out so fast. Does that question make sense?

        1. Hi Vicki, I think it depends how severe the rash is. I can only speak for me personally. For sure when I had severe rash 5 years ago I would try to avoid to much sun exposure. To me it seems when the rash is out everything is an aggression: soap, lotion, sunscreen, sun, wind, water, etc. I think it will take longer to to get better if you are sun exposed. About the fact you had a reaction on your face when it’s usually not the case I can’t say… PMLE is some kind of delayed reaction and the threshold for the rash to appear can be different on different body parts. For example I almost never got any rash on my hands, but it did happened once. I can also be a reaction to something else: a new face lotion, a new shampoo, prescription drugs that can cause photo-sensitivity, etc. Hoping this will help.

  2. I am a long time PMLE sufferer (23 yrs) and always looking for anything new to help me. My condition seems to get worse through the years and lasts until about late Sept. to Oct.. So I never get any relief after initial exposure. I will try the Shirudo ARG+E and keep you posted!

  3. I have suffered with polymorphic light eruption for more than 25 years I have finally found the one thing that helps. And you have to start taking it before the eruption of the sunlight of spring. I was prescribed Plaquenil I take one tablet 2 times a day I start in mid-February and I take it all summer to September and I’m done. You do have to have a Plaquenil test for your eyesight annually

    1. My dermatologist recommended something that is not prescription and seems to work for me. You have to take 2 pills on the days you will be in the sun for a prolonged period of time. You can find it on amazon and other people have said they use it for their PMLE.

      Heliocare: https://www.amazon.com/Heliocare-Oral-Capsules-60-capsules/dp/B001E25USU/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

  4. I followed this advice and ordered some last year and have taken 3 vacations into the sun and used this with excellent results. I have also tried to stay out of the sun at peak times then wear loose clothing over my legs(where it starts) after my sun exposure(since the irritation seems to get things started,also.) So far, so good.

  5. Hi, I’m allergic to most moisturisers, do you do sample packs of the Shirudo AGR+E? Also can the Shirudo AGR+E be used with a zinc oxide sunblock?

    1. Hello Anne, Shirudo has no sample size available since it must be applied for many days in order to find if it’s effective or not for your PMLE. 100 mL tube will be available later this Fall. Please visit shirudo.com to know more. You can use it with a mineral sunscreen but it’s not the best match. Zinc oxidetends to leave a white coating on the skin and it doesn’t mix well with Shirudo AGE+E. It doesn’t affect the effectiveness but it’s not comfortable on the skin and it doesn’t look good having yellow flaking lotion… Chemical lotions mix better with AGR+E. If you are looking for a more natural alternative, Aveeno Natural Protection seems to be a good match, recommended by a customer. I didn’t test it myself. Another natural one is Green People Factor 25 suncream, I don’t know if it’s available in Canada or USA, it was recommended by a UK customer.

  6. Thank you so much for your information! I have been suffering from PMLE for around 14 years and never knew that it was actually a skin disorder until recently. I never knew there were products out there that could help make my life a little easier and more enjoyable 🙂 I have recently purchased Eucerin for sun allergies, and I would like to purchase Shirudo as well, but I also have very sensitive skin when it comes to lotions in general. So, I am nervous to go with your recommendation of applying both broad spectrum sunscreen and Shirudo lotion every couple of hours together while in the sun, because i’m nervous that in itself will make me break out in hives. Anyone in the same boat or have experience with this?

  7. Oh, and please also add to the list that I got a cortizone shot just before I left for trip by my dermatologist.

    Lu

  8. Hope that the above “cocktail” of treatment helps someone out there!

    Lu

  9. So wanted to share my first Carribean vacation success! First Spring Break vacation and NO PMLE (it has been 10 years that I have been suffering this on my southern trips in the Spring). I did a “cocktail” of treatments, so I don’t know which ones prevented the outbreak.
    -late January began going for very short bursts of uvb therapy in light booth at my dermatologist’s office, 2-3 times a week.
    -heliocare pills, 1 x a day for one week before trip, and 2 pills a day during trip (one in am, one at lunch)
    – betacarotene pills, 1 per day starting week before and 1 per day while away.
    -no oil SPF or spray aerosol SPF as this aggravates skin.
    -Avobenzone SPF as these are best for pmle, no oxybenzone in the ingredients.
    -stay in shade between 11:00 and 2:00
    -vitamin d pills all winter long, from september 1 onwards.
    -get blood test for vitamin d few weeks before going from fam doc. This can show you if your vitaimn d is in optimal range. Adjust vitamin d pills accordingly. Mine was slightly low, even with taking vitamin d all winter long, so I had to up the dose accordingly. Light booth doesn’t just harden skin, but also boosts vit. D.
    -shirudo cream, every 2 hours, but must absorb into skin completely. Rub in thin, set, then SPF.

  10. Hi there!

    I was diagnosed with PMLE five years ago and I believe my case is severe becasue as little as 30 minutes of direct exposure will induce a small reaction that only goes away with antihistamine and oral steroid. As a single mother of two young children PMLE has impacted my life and those of my children is the most horrible way. In my search for information I’ve noticed that many PMLE suffers recommend chemical sunblock but I’m also allergic to that (Chemical sunblock that is). Can you recommend any natural sunblock or those that don’t contain PABA that I might give a try. I’ve seen powdered mineral sunblock that are applied with a brush but if you had recommendations for others I’d love to try! Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Neelie, sorry for the delay. A lot of PMLE sufferers recommend Laroche-Posay sunscreen, it’s PABA free. If your search online for Paba free mineral sunscreens you will probably find a lot, it depends on your location. Brands vary greatly in Canada, USA and UK. I tried mineral lotions in the past but found it very difficult to apply, sorry I don’t have better recommendation for you. If you find something please share it so others can benefit from it. Thank you!

      1. Hi, I discovered La Roche Posay about 6 years ago, after 20 years of hell. I can honestly say that it’s changed life (I used to dread the summer). Since using it, I have taken holidays in several countries (all hot climes) and never had a break-out. 2 years ago, I holidayed in Turkey where the temperature rose to 50 degrees on a couple of occasions and I waited for that dreaded tingling and then the blisters but they never came. I’m aware that it may not work for everyone but, if you’re as desperate as I was then anything is worth a try. Karen.

    2. Hi,

      I’ve only just discovered this website which is a great way to find solutions with other sufferers. I’ve just started to document my journey on finding the right sunscreen. I am also allergic to chemical sunscreens, Please try Badger unscented sunscreen. It was the first physical sunblock I’ve tried. There are some cons but not being allergic to it is the best feeling!

  11. I have been following this feed and the others as I also recently was diagnosed with PMLE. when I got it in June last year it was really bad all over me, I was taking every pill and using every cream but nothing worked. I was taking 4 extra strength reactine at a time, twice a day. it took about 6 weeks to go away, very scary as I had tons of tests done and no one could tell me what it was.

    recently I was in Florida for 3 weeks, I had no idea what this crazy rash was still that I first got in June of last year. so I did nothing to protect myself from the sun besides sunscreen and after about 5 – 6 days I started to get the rash. I still didn’t do anything and just lived with it, went in the sun, the ocean etc. only when I got back and went to yet another dermatologist he figured out that it was the sun cuasing this. that was about a month ago.

    Anyways what it sounds like to me for prevention is to use a high UV protectant sunscreen that is NOT waterproof and the Shirudo lotion all the time when in the sun. is that what is the most recommended? any other info or tips would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Hi Steve, thanks for sharing! It’s good you had a diagnosis rather quickly. Lots of PMLE sufferers had to live with it for years before putting a name on it or finding a solution. For me Shirudo AGR+E and Coppertone Sport 30 is the solution. Lots of PMLE sufferers use sunscreen with Menoxyl as it seems to help. Looking at all clinical studies (there aren’t many) conducted with PMLE sufferers, I think AGR, vitamin E and a broad spectrum sunscreen it the best solution so far. But it’s not 100% effective unfortunately. If you give it a try let me know!

  12. Hello Eloise,

    I live in southern Brazil and have suffered from allergy to the sun about 14 years ( started when I was about 12-13 years old) . Here where I live the sun is very strong and we have a few months of winter ; it is a city of coastline where life revolves around the beaches and outdoor activities. I was diagnosed with PMLE and I have had a hard time dealing with this, because I can not currently leave home early in the morning without having sunscreen on all exposed parts of my body and yet so need to get as much time as possible in the shade, otherwise , after a few hours my skin starts to get full of balls that later become reddish and begin to itch a lot and spread throughout the body and later the skin becomes very dry . As much as I ‘ve tested various types of sunscreen, it seems that none can help me stay half an hour in the sun without regret later … I really enjoyed your site , especially the possibility to read reports from other people who have difficulties similar to mine and I admire the perseverance with which you deal with PMLE .
    I wonder if you have any tips on non-staining sunscreen, as this is one thing that bothers me a lot; when I start to sweat , the sunscreen runs and my skin gets oily , staining my clothes and everything back: the car , the work chair , the computer , my phone .. what is black becomes white and what is clearer becomes yellowish .

    Thanks,
    Lucas

    1. Hi Lucas, thanks for sharing. Unfortunately I don’t really have any solution for sunscreen stains, I simply accepted it as part of my pmle treatment. But unlike you I don’t have to use it everyday on winter time or for any work related activities. Mineral based sunscreen (with zinc) tend to leave a white layer on the skin and surely on everything you touch. Some PMLE sufferers from UK mentioned using an all day sunscreen called P20. It’s a highly waterproof sunscreen that you can apply only every 10 hours on so. People use it to do Triathlon and hardcore outdoor/water activities where you can’t stop to apply lotion. So if this can get through a 6 hours swim in the sea I’m confident it should be good enough for a hot day at work? Unfortunately it’s not sold everywhere, but I’m sure if you do a quick search on Amazon you should find someone delivering in Brazil. So far reviews I got from PMLE sufferers using P20 and Shirudo AGR+E are not conclusive, as the waterproof barrier of the sunscreen will prevent full absorption of AGR+E lotion, Shirudo AGR+E being mostly water based. The two lotions don’t mix well and some “flaking” occurs. I don’t have any solution so far exept using a regular sunscreen with less waterproof ingredient, and we are back to the stain problem. Hoping you will find something, let me know if you try P20 or something similar, I would very much like to know how you experiment goes. Kind regards, Eloise

      1. Hello Eloise,

        Thank you for the tips! I will do some research on the P20 and if I have any news I’ll be in touch.

        Thanks,

        Lucas.

  13. What could I use as a natural base cream and add natural vitamin e oil to jus to use as a daily moisturiser.do u recommend coconut oil as a moisturiser for skin does it have any antioxidant properties should I use something like this all year on my skin before going on a sunny break.i couldn’t afford the shirudo cream and was wondering if anything I could do myself would perhaps help.at the moment I am using dermol 500 not sure if it’s so good to use long term and whether it will help wth my PMLE when I go back into the sun next year.

    1. Hi Davina, I’m so sorry it took me so long to reply. Your comment ended up in the spam folder with some others and I just notice it! Company usually do not reveal the % of vitamin E in their lotion. It’s difficult to know how much they actually put in there. I think “Derma E Vitamin E Intensive Therapy Body Lotion” contains a significant amount of vitamin E. A low cost alternative might be to simple ask your pharmacist. Ask him also about pure vitamin E. It’s over the counter here in Canada and you might be able to buy it as a single ingredient, and I could be mixed with a regular water based lotion. Ask your pharmacist about it.Argan Oil also contains a lot of vitamin E but it’s kind of expensive also. The most important is to also use a broad spectrum sunscreen on top. Only vitamin E won’t really prevent PMLE rash.

  14. Antihistamines do nothing. To the author- based on seeing your amazing sorry posted in multiple locations, and your writing style, I advise readers to see that you are a marketer.

    1. Hi Melissa,
      antihistamine might not help you but it does make a difference for a lot of pmle sufferers. It is recommended by dermatologists here in Canada for allergy related skin rash. Even if it’s not ideal it can still be a good idea to give it a try. If it’s not working for you it might be for others.

      The “polymorphous” in PMLE means the affection has multiple forms and varies from one another. I had testimonials of people who can’t even walk to their car without trigging a rash and other like myself who only gets it after an hour of exposure at least. Appearance and gravity of the rash differs greatly and the truth is something that can prevent my or your rash might not be effective for someone else.

      I develop shirudo lotion for myself first after trying almost everything. I put lots of efforts in producing the lotion for others as well. Of course I have to market it and tell my story, otherwise nobody will find it and it won’t be helpful to anyone. I’m not marketing this product for another company… I’m a PMLE sufferer for 24 years now, I formulate, condition and distribute this product myself with the help of a chemist and a cosmetic laboratory in Canada. I find ingredients, I answer emails, I fill customs forms, I buy bottles, I design labels… and sometimes I even package product and drive all the way to USA myself to restock warehouse. And I do all this part time because I have a full time job as creative director in a design company. I understand how people can get suspicious these days with all the scams marketers can pull on the internet. English is not my first language but I hope you will see how genuine and personal this project is, and that my intentions are far from fooling people into buying a fake product or something that might not helpful. Unfortunately no pmle treatment, including alpha-glucosylrutin and vitamin E, is 100% effective. If you read clinical studies on the subject you will find 80% of pmle sufferers had great results using AGR and vitamin E with sunscreen and it’s the highest rate of success for a single pmle treatment. For me it was enough to give it I try and I was happy to see I’m part of those 80%, and many others also had life changing results they are kind enough to share.

      Kind regards,
      Eloise

  15. Thank you for all the tips. I just put a label on this for me within the past 24 hours. So exciting to know there may be relief in sight!
    I am headed to Mexico tomorrow after a long New England winter. Thought I’d be ready and foolishly did some last minute tanning – got the rash yesterday. Given that I don’t have time to order the Shirudo lotion, do you have product recommendations or ideas for last minute prep?
    Again, thank you for the information.

    1. Hello Ann, if you still have a rash you could try a 12h antihistamine pill, something like Loratadine or Claritin? When I had a rash in the past it always made a difference. I would also try to find a lotion with the greatest amount of vitamin E… I don’t know what brand you have in UK but you might want to have a look before you leave. It won’t be as effective as AGR but I’m confident it will be better than nothing. Hoping you have a great vacation, next time Shirudo will be available in UK for sure. Thanks.