Low Melanin/Pale Skin

ChrisD

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Does ME in some way affect melanin levels?

When I first got sick in 2016 and then went Keto, I could actually tan better than I ever have (being quite a pale person), but then I stopped Keto and I do think my Sun exposure had gone down around 2019/20 and now this year I am so white no matter how much sun I get.

This might seem like first world problems to people who can't tolerate sun at all, but I am moderate-severe and can manage a few hours a day or ten minute spells throughout the day (warm UK summer at the moment).

But my main query is not about the vanity of having a tan but whether this gives a clue as to how light is interacting with the skin/cells and if there is some link to red blood cells etc. - I don't know! any ideas?

I've noticed that quite a lot of other sufferers are also very pale, usually down to being stuck indoors but even the ones who frequently share that they are out with their skin exposed.
 

junkcrap50

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Sounds unsual, but perhaps possible.

Likely explanation is under-judging amount of sun exposure due to being indoors so much. I would think that with normal activity, the daily activities of walking to car in parking lot, running errands, going out to lunch, etc. adds up more than we think - maybe not much each day, but adds up over weeks and months. Also, some constant sun exposure may keep our melanin cells from being downregulated (if that's possible in these cells/with melanin). Also the number of time and missed sun exposure saying indoors also adds up over months and years.

Another explanation is low MSH (melanocyte stimulating hormone). Its the hormone that stimulates the skin cells that produce melanin. In the mold world, Dr. Shoemaker has found low MSH levels in his biotoxin / mold patients as a result of their immume response and toxin burden. I can't remember if any studies has looked at MSH levels in CFS specifically. It's something you can test for at Quest if you can get an order. MSH is also something you can supplement with Melanotan II peptide injections (subq). It is popular among some as "sunless tanning" is possible (still need some exposure, but can get a tan and darker tan very quickly).
 
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As far as I know, ME includes a lot of symptoms but not pale skin. Have you tested yourself for it? Most ME-diagnosed people will experience difficulty in thinking & sleeping, a sore throat, headaches, dizziness, tiredness, tenderness in the lymph nodes, especially the neck or armpits, gastrointestinal problems, chills, and night sweats, allergies to food, and shortness of breath.

The vitamin K, E & D you get from the sun is healthy. You can get yourself an MSH supplement if you lack some melanin hormones, that would help.
 
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When I first got sick in 2016 and then went Keto, I could actually tan better than I ever have (being quite a pale person), but then I stopped Keto and I do think my Sun exposure had gone down around 2019/20 and now this year I am so white no matter how much sun I get.
I've experienced Vitamin D supplementation darkening my skin. Googling this showed that others wondered about this. Could it be that you're not getting enough?

As for the dangers of sun exposure, I've been using CBD oil to offset the risk of skin cancer with regular sunbathing. It's incredibly effective.
 
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I have the same problem. I've have had major fat and skin atrophy, so it's possible that I have lost melanocytes as well.
 

Oliver3

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Does ME in some way affect melanin levels?

When I first got sick in 2016 and then went Keto, I could actually tan better than I ever have (being quite a pale person), but then I stopped Keto and I do think my Sun exposure had gone down around 2019/20 and now this year I am so white no matter how much sun I get.

This might seem like first world problems to people who can't tolerate sun at all, but I am moderate-severe and can manage a few hours a day or ten minute spells throughout the day (warm UK summer at the moment).

But my main query is not about the vanity of having a tan but whether this gives a clue as to how light is interacting with the skin/cells and if there is some link to red blood cells etc. - I don't know! any ideas?

I've noticed that quite a lot of other sufferers are also very pale, usually down to being stuck indoors but even the ones who frequently share that they are out with their skin exposed.
Part of it could be tissue hypoxia too or low blood volume