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Sunburnt - Ouch !!!

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Today I visited a friend who lives in Bournemouth - a seafront town. I haven't seen her for 4 years, and we had a lot to catch up on. So we bought some sandwiches and sat on the beachfront
chatting merrily.

I am not a sun worshipper, and am pale skinned, so use a factor
60 suncream - the strongest I can find. I used it properly - leaving a white film, as medically advised ( and even though I look stupid ), and use it every 10 minutes, but after 45 minutes
I started to burn. It was my usual cream so that wasn't the reason for the burn.

Several hours on , I look really deep red, my nose is sore and slightly blistered, my forehead is really bad, and my lips are cracked - I've just kept cooking. After that 45 minute session, I have been indoors, out of the sun. I'm so sore, I don't know what to do, but it is not bad enough to bother the hospital.

Has anyone any suggestions on what I can do to cool my face overnight ???

Also I have an unavoidable 2 and a half hour drive in the morning, and back again, which will mean more sun exposure, and I do desperately need to do something to cool my face.

Help !

Peace, Love, and Happiness, Always
Sonia - Sunburnt and sore
post #2 of 23
Can you visit a pharmacy and buy aloe vera? It should help to cool you down.
post #3 of 23
Sounds like you got burnt pretty bad. I got burnt like that last summer and used some stuff from Banana Boat called Sooth-a-Caine it is a blue spray gel with aloe. It has pain reliever in it as well. I am not sure if you can get it in the UK or not I would suggest any type of aloe spray, you can even put it in the fridge to make it cooler. If you have access to an aloe plant you could even rub some of the inside of the plant on your face. You can also take some regular headache medicine, tylenol or aspirin to help with the pain. I would also reccomend that you drink plenty of water as the sun can take a lot out of you and you want to stay hydrated. Having a sunburn in miserable, I know. I hope you feel better soon. (((hugs)))
post #4 of 23
You might check with a drugstore (I think this is called a pharmacy in the UK, but I'm not sure) and ask them to recommend a good product. Also, since you got so sunburned, maybe you should check to make sure your sunscreen hasn't passed the expiration date.
post #5 of 23
oh yeah, that reminds me, apparently a sunscreen is no good after a year, so its best to buy a new one every year.
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks, but it is midnight on Sunday here in th UK, and I don't have any Aloe Vera plants or sprays, or anything magical in the house, that will stop the burn. There are no shops open now either, so I'm very limited to house hold
stuff, really.

Oh well, thanks anyway. Guess I'll just have to leave it and see. I'm dreading more heat on my face tomorrow.

Thanks alot for replying though. I'm getting Aloe Vera first thing tomorrow!

Peace, Love, and Happiness, Always
post #7 of 23
Originally Posted by Kiwideus
oh yeah, that reminds me, apparently a sunscreen is no good after a year, so its best to buy a new one every year.

I didn't know that! Thanks for mentioning.....I usually buy a new suntan lotion every year, but I buy the really strong waterproof sunblock to keep around for my bf's little boy, I have had the same bottle for over 2 years now!Better get a new bottle.
post #8 of 23
Bummer about the sunburn. I understand about that stuff. i burn like the dickens and then I peel and turn white again. no tan to show for the pain.
I use solarcane( I think that's how you spell it) on all my burns. from work, the sun whatever. it works exceptionally well. I highly recommend it if you can find it over there.
post #9 of 23
Originally Posted by Sonia
Thanks, but it is midnight on Sunday here in th UK, and I don't have any Aloe Vera plants or sprays, or anything magical in the house, that will stop the burn. There are no shops open now either, so I'm very limited to house hold
stuff, really.

Oh well, thanks anyway. Guess I'll just have to leave it and see. I'm dreading more heat on my face tomorrow.

Thanks alot for replying though. I'm getting Aloe Vera first thing tomorrow!

Peace, Love, and Happiness, Always
Soak a hand towel in ice water, wring it until it just barely drips and apply it to the burned areas. When it warms up, repeat until you feel better. Under no circumstance, put anything oily or greasy on it.

I'm fair-skinned, too and am very careful about my sunscreen. I have some aloe vera gel, with benzocaine that works wonders. A couple of years ago, I used it on a second-degree scald and it worked like a charm.

I'm not sure what OTC meds are available, in the UK but a pharmacist should be able to recommend something good.
post #10 of 23
This is what I suggest for you....

If you have some Ibuprofen (in the states it's also known as Advil), take some of that. You can take up to 2400 mg per day...do not exceed that! It's a pain killer, but it's mainly used for inflammation which your skin right now is inflammed to the max. That will help, but you should also take a luke warm bath/shower since your temperature might be high too. With a sunburn, you can get really sick from heat exhaustion because the temp of your skin is so high. Another thing that helps but most people don't like doing it, is getting a wash cloth & soak it in white vinegar. I know it stinks to high Heaven, but dab this all over the burn. It really takes the sting out of the burn and helps it heal quicker. When ever I get burnt really bad, I do that right before I go to bed & then shower in the morning. Also, like everyone else said about the Aloe...you need to get some of that. I'd recommend getting an Aloe gel or lotion FOR sunburns. They usually have lidocaine or benzocaine in them which is a numbing agent and pain reliever. This will definitely make your skin a lot more comfortable! Don't forget to drink lots of water too, ok? You need to rehydrate your skin since you practically cooked it!

Hope that helps you!
post #11 of 23
One more thing you can try is mayonaise, yeah I know sounds silly. My best friend got sunburned severly and that is the only thing listed in the household remedies book she had besides the aloe plant and vinegar. She slathered a bunch on her and she swears it took evey bit of the sting out. She did look kind of funny but at that point she didn't care anymore, after about an hour she said that the heat was gone in the sunburn. Me..I don't know if it works but it can't hurt.
post #12 of 23
My being a fair skinned strawberry blonde haired person i know about the sunburns ouch First off the skin is needing moisture so get some kind of lotion preferably with aloe in it and apply to all burned areas,also keep reapplying it often. Second take some kind of pain medicine just follow directions on the bottle for pain. Third after about a week or longer you will start to peel and ITCH get a container of powder and apply as best you can when the itching starts this is mainly to block the air from the sunburn and it will stop the itching. Drink plenty of water and sleep in the coolest way that you can. If you can get into a tub of tepid water you dont want ice cold it will send you into shock so lukewarm will do just stay as long as you can in the water until you cool down with a wet rag on your face. I feel for you and know that this hurts so here is this to hopefully give you some relief now and in the future. I would say hugs to you but i know that is painful to you.
post #13 of 23
Sonia, you must be burning so badly tonight! My suggestion was going to be the same as Shell's, except I've always used apple cidar vinegar. You can also put it in a spray bottle and spray it on your skin, that way it's cool to your burn and you don't have to feel a washcloth on your skin. I would also recommend aloe vera. Sure hope this helps and your drive isn't too agonizing tomorrow!
post #14 of 23
On really bad burns leaving a wet washcloth could and will dry out the skin which will mak it hurt even more (I know 'cause I did it last year.) I don't know if you can get it in the UK but my family has always used Noxema on sunburns. It has menthol in it which is a cooling factor and it feels so nice and ice cold against a wind or sunburn. I can be in the sun for 10 minutes and burn so I use a high sunscreen too. I was at a ball game 6 years ago and I burnt my left arm and neck and upper chest area so badly that I have a permenant tan line. It's fading a bit now but I can still see the color change in my skin. I blistered and peeled that time. It hurt like everything, I couldn't let the sun touch me weeks after.
post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for your advice.

The Sunblock I had was new, and in date. I shall however be contacting the makers about this, as the supermarket brushed me off. The way in which suncreams are stored in a Supermarket can affect the product, and the bottles were slightly warm when I bought it, due to close proximatey lighting.

In the end, my nose was so sore, I rang my local casualty unit for advice - I didn't have any white vinegar, mayo, or Aloe Vera at home - as I didn't feel it was bad enough. I will put the advice on here for anyone who is caught in the same position, because in the morning I was merely scarlet and not deep crimson red, and certainly 90% of the heat had gone.

You make a mix of milk and water, in equal parts and soak a breathable cloth in it. Lay the cloth on the burn and replace everytime it dries out a little. I also added 2 ice cubes into the mix to keep it cool as it was was by my bed all night ( too laxy to get up ! ) and as an added attempt to cool down, I also had a fan running all night, pointed above my head - not at my face, as the breeze stung, and I wanted to minimise the drying out of my skin.

In the morning, my face was a lot better, but still very dry, sore, and chrimson red, and my nose was all bumpy with blisters. The hospital had said on the phone to give the milk/water mix a try, and come in first thing if there is no improvement.

In the morning, as there was such an improvement, I asked my Dad to go to the local drug store/chemist in the morning for pain relief and the pharmacist advised the new After Sun by Ambre Solaire - which has some cactus juice in it, to rehydrate skin, and Piritin Allergy Tablets, to deal with the redness. It was brilliant. I am officially no longer a Cherry Tomato head !!!

On my 2 and a half hour drive in the sun, the next day, I wore factor 80 Total Sunblock Sunscreen, and a hat and loose scarf, in the car, and kept the air conditioning on. I applied throughout the drive, the sunblock. Once at my destination, I kept out of the sun, and swopped Sunblock to the After Sun Lotion, and when I finally got home, my Dad couldn't believe the improvement in my colour.

Stupidly enough, and because I was more focused on my face than my arm. While I had a long sleeved shirt on, on when I got burnt, the sleeve rode up on my arm, and so about 4 inches up my left wrist, was burnt too. On Monday morning - after no treatment at all, I have little blisters, and it was really sore. I have now applied the 'treatment' above and the changes have been very impressive.

Thanks again to all who posted !!!

Peace, Love, and Happiness, Always
post #16 of 23
I was burned horribly in a tanning bed malfunction a few years ago with 2nd and 3rd degree burns on everything. I spent 3 days in the hospital for it and now I burn very easily.

Someone told me to cool your skin use cantaloupe (sp) rinds and gently rub them on the burn. It helps to moisturize and also cools it. I was too far gone to mess with it, but I have tried it on other less severe burns and it works well. Noxema does the same--its a facial cleanser. I was told not to use vinegar because it will dry the skin and make it more painful. I've never tried that because the smell of it makes me ill. Good luck and get better.
post #17 of 23
Sonia, I'm glad you will be contacting the makers of the sunblock you were using at the time of the burn. Please let us know what becomes of that! I've done that same thing and gotten the worse burn of the summer on my left face, neck and arm on the drive home from the beach! You have given us wonderful advice! I'm writing it down so that I may pass it on when necessary. Sure hope I don't need it this year and I bet we can guarantee you won't be needing it again any time soon! Stephanie
post #18 of 23
I'm so glad you're OK now Sonia.

I just love the sun- I can spend hours in it, get a bit burnt but a few days later I've got a lovely tan. and I've never worn sunblock.

Interesting about the milk and water, I'll remember that one. Thanks.
post #19 of 23
Sam - PLEASE wear sunblock! The more often you burn when you are young, the more chances you have of skin cancer when you are older! Please wear sunscreen - you will still tan, but it will lessen your chances of skin cancer and NZ has a high incidence of skin cancer. Don't hurt yourself! My mum's friend died of the disease.
post #20 of 23
I've attached a pic of what I used on my arms when i got burned. Worked very nice. You can pick it up at a dispensing pharmacy.

What you need is lotion on your arms. But you need to make sure that it is a WATER BASED lotion and not oil. An oil based lotion will do the same as butter. It will cook your arm.

Glad to know you are doing better.
post #21 of 23
Thank you! Living here on the beach, I'm sure that will come in handy at some point!

Sam, I mus echo the wisdom just given-Please wear sunblock!!!
post #22 of 23
You need to keep moisture in your skin for a very long time right now. Keep applying moisturizer every little bit. I once got burned like that and my lips still peel from it (it was about 5 years ago). The only thing that really works on my lips is Carmex (I don't know if that's available in the UK). Anything with menthol in it will help cool the burning sensation, but keep applying moisturizer until your skin is no longer peeling and no longer discolored.
post #23 of 23
I'm glad you're feeling better. I was wondering what happened with your burns. OUCH! you poor thing...
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