A two-year-old British girl has become the country’s youngest recipient of UVA treatment, using a sunbed.
The day Stephanie Brown was born her skin erupted with painful blisters. At first, doctors believed her skin was reacting to her new environment but, as time went on, it became apparent that the little girl was suffering from a serious skin condition.
For months, Stephanie’s parents went without answers while they saw their daughter suffer, constantly, with painful blisters from her head to her feet. The blisters weren’t just uncomfortable; they were disfiguring and drew attention.
“People would have such extreme reactions to Stephanie,” said Maria Brown, Stephanie’s mother. “Grown adults would stop and stare – it was unbelievably rude and very hurtful.”
“We once cleared a whole shop just by walking in. People immediately jumped to conclusions and thought she was contagious.”
“Once staff refused to carry her onto an aeroplane and I was gobsmacked, she was treated appallingly.”
At four months, Stephanie was diagnosed with mastocytisis and at six months, she was finally, specifically diagnosed with diffuse cutaneous mastocytosis, a very rare condition that occurs in only 1 in 500,000 people. The condition, generally, affects children and tends to improve over time and resolve itself by puberty.
Now two-years-old, Stephanie is the youngest patient in Britain to be treated with UVA through the use of a sunbed.
“After the first 20 sessions I was concerned that [the treatment] wasn’t working, but it was remarkable how much difference it made from that point on,” Stephanie’s mother said.
“Although using something like a sunbed to treat a baby might seem strange it’s perfectly safe and has really helped Stephanie.”
While Stephanie is not cured, her skin has benefited immensely from the treatment. She may need more UVA treatment in her teens but it is hoped that the condition will be, largely, resolved by then. – Jen R, Staff Writer.
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