Meet the teenager who dreads Britain’s heatwaves due to agonizing allergic reaction to the sun
Meet the teenager who is dreading Britain’s heatwaves this year as she’s ALLERGIC to the sun.
With Britain’s temperatures hitting a scorching 35 degrees in some places, Autumn Everitt-Brick, 18, from Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, is one of a few Brits who can’t wait for the cold weather to return.
Autumn is confined to her own home due to her extremely rare reaction to UV light and heat.
Exposure causes immediate reddening and agonising blisters to her skin, leaving Autumn terrified to go outdoors.
Autumn said: “I hate it when we have a British heatwave, even the slightest bit of sun exposure causes horrific pain so I’ll be stopping indoors for the next few days.
“Being allergic to the sun and heat has meant I can’t lead a normal life like any other teenager.
“Summer months, especially when we have heatwaves, is the worst time of year for me.
“I can’t even go outside for a second without the sun crippling my body.
“I’ve had to become nocturnal to escape the sun.
“People often think I’m lying but it’s absolutely devastating.
“All I want to do is simple things in life like walk to the shops or learn how to drive.
“My dream one day is to finally be able to sit on a beach and enjoy the warm weather and to even go on holiday with my family.”
When Autumn was 13 she went outside for less than 20 minutes and had a really severe reaction to the sun.
Her shoulders burnt so badly that her father compared her to a human candle.
Autumn said: “It was as though my skin was melting and I was inconsolable – the pain was horrendous.
“That’s when I think we all knew that something was really wrong as no-one burns like that, it wasn’t normal.”
“I’ve been to see various doctors, dermatologists and undergone dozens of tests including one to see if I was allergic to our pets.”
Autumn has since been diagnosed with multiple allergies and conditions including Solar Dermatitis, Vasodilation Disorder and Chronic Actinic Dermatitis.
She said: “All of the different allergies and conditions combined are devastating and make life extremely difficult.
“Even when I go to the hospital or doctors I go beetroot red as the lights in the waiting rooms are so fluorescent.
“Any UV light or temperature change can cause my skin to dry, crack and come out in hives and lesions which are extremely painful.
“School became hard as no-one understood what was wrong and people judged me.
“I began to miss most lessons as the florescent lights everywhere was causing me to react and I couldn’t escape the daylight.
“It was easier to learn from home and over time we’ve managed to get my allergies somewhat under control.
“My usual day now consists of me waking up around five in the afternoon, my dinner has become my breakfast and I stay up all night chatting to people from Australia.
“I can’t really remember life before my allergies, but I wish I could do normal things other people are doing my age.
“I’ve been told that the older I get the more the allergies should calm down, but who knows what the future holds.
“I now have a GoFundMe page to try and help get the necessities to help me lead a normal life, http://www.gofundme.com/letshelpautumn.
“Things like UV screens in the car and protective clothing really help, but sadly they don’t come cheap.”
Matthew Gass, spokesperson for the British Association of Dermatologists said: “Solar urticaria describes a relatively rare type of urticarial (also known as hives and weals) which is induced by exposing your skin to sunlight.
“Whilst it can start at any age it appears to be those aged between 20 and 40 who are most affected.
“Solar urticaria is caused by the release of histamine from cells in the skin called mast cells.
“The main symptoms of solar urticaria are itching, stinging and burning. Rarely the rash is accompanied by symptoms such as headache, nausea, vomiting, breathing difficulties and low blood pressure.
“Taking measures to avoid to sunlight exposure is important to prevent its occurrence and you can do simple things like wear sun cream, sensible clothing, gloves, photo protective window films and take antihistamines.”