Boy allergic to sunshine can step out from the shadows after his home is fitted with special light filtered windows
Protected: James Creag, eight, must always cover up outdoors as his skin reacts to daylight
A boy who is allergic to sunshine can now step out of the shadows in his own home.
James Creag, eight, suffers from a severe skin condition which means he must use cream on his face and cover every inch of his body with clothes – otherwise daylight could trigger a painful reaction, even when he is indoors.
But he can now at least relax at home after a local company fitted specialist filtered windows.
James, from Salford, was two when his
parents, Claire, 30, and Daniel, 32, noticed his hands were badly
swollen after playing in the garden on a sunny day. They rushed him to the doctors and were told he was allergic to grass.
He was given medication, but the symptoms persisted and he regularly had extreme swelling on his face and hands.
James was eventually diagnosed with severe Erythropoietic Protoporphyria (EPP) when he was four.
EPP is a rare photosensitivity condition which affects one in 300,000 people.
James, who goes to Beech Street
Community Primary in Winton, Salford, must apply special cream and take
Beta-Caroten tablets to prevent his skin from flaring up.
Claire said: 'Each attack lasts between five and seven days and is very painful.
'I can’t bear to see James suffer. He is used to having to apply the cream and wear the hat every time he goes outside but sometimes he gets upset.
'It’s hard for him, especially in the summer as people stare and ask why he has a jacket on.'
The Dermaguard windows were donated and fitted by the local housing trust.
Claire said the house is now ‘bright and lovely’ and that James no longer had to ‘play in the shadows’.
Housing officer Jill Swann-Hunter said: 'It’s great that we have been able to do something so simple that has made such a big difference.'
Relief: James and his mother Claire behind their new special filtered windows
EPP is an incurable genetic condition and both Claire and Daniel are carriers.
James’s sister Grace, 13 months, does not have the condition.
His family hope he can eventually take part in a clinical trial.
Prof Lesley Rhodes, a specialist in experimental dermatology at Salford Royal where James is treated, said: 'EPP is a rare and severe disorder as the skin can become painful and swollen. It is often hard to diagnose.
'I think window films should be funded by the NHS and they are really important for children Adult trials so far have been very promising but they are not yet available for children,' said Prof Rhodes.