We've all done it.
Spent hours letting the sun caress our bare skin. I've done it more times than I can count.
I was the little girl with freckles who's nose was ALWAYS sunburned.
One summer when I was a pre-teen I went to seven peaks with my friends. At my friends house getting ready to go we looked for sunscreen. She had two small bottles. We chose the better looking hardly used bottle over the obviously much used surly tried and true bottle. Had we looked closely we would have seen that the one we chose to bring was not water proof. That sunscreen was basically good for nothing as we ran in and out of the water, sweated up and around the stairs to the water slides and probably never reapplied when we sat to dry off and eat snacks on our towels...
That night my body was basically one big blister...
Once when I was pregnant with Bear I went swimming and because I wasn't planning to spend any time just sitting in the sun, and because the pool was in a shady area, I didn't put on a single drop of sunscreen. The sun burn that followed left me looking like a lobster. Not only had I spent hours completely surrounded by the sun, but to wash off the chlorine from the pool I took a really hot bath. (i really do know better, but i was pregnant at the time and the blood just wasn't flowing to my brain properly;) The hot bath water made my burning skin burn even deeper. I remember laying on a blanket in my living room red and naked as a new born, screaming baby. My body cold and my skin stretched tight.
I could go on and on with stories like those....
Having suffered so many sunburns, I know how to tend to and treat them, I know how to get the sting out.
Add a cup of apple cider vinegar to a bath of cool water and soak in it for fifteen minutes. This will take the sting out and help the burn to heal faster.
Aloe Vera has never made any SUN burn of mine feel any better. Of course it's helped with regular burns, like the time I got a bad burn on my arm and Phil brought a mostly empty bottle of blue aloe vera burn gel and left it on my porch in the early morning hours with a note telling me to put it on my burn... We had only been out on a couple of dates at that time he was already stocking up on "brownie points" lol!
Another sun burn treatment involves something called sunbreeze and a night emulsion cream it smells weird and is really uncomfortable, but good golly it works...
My favorite treatment though, is lavender oil. I mix it with cetaphil lotion and rub it all over any kind of burn any time I think about it. This one is the best one for kids. It feels nice, sinks right into the skin, and best of all it has a nice relaxing scent. In the summer time its awesome to have a bottle of it in the refrigerator keeping it nice and cold when you apply it.
So yes, I know how to tend to sunburns, I know how to make wearing clothes bearable, how to tolerate having someone put their, hey how's it going let me touch you and massage you, hands on your sunburned shoulders causing that breath catching pain...
I am a sun lover, a sun addict. I want to stay outside soaking up the sun long after everyone else is sick of it. When the temperatures reach into the hundreds, I am disappointed because it forces me into the shade. And in my 28 years of sun loving I've learned to put on sunscreen and put it on every chance I get..
This week hasn't been the warmest or the sunniest, but close enough. I've spent the whole week out in my garden, at the park, and sitting back in my lawn chair watching my kids play.
All done under the influence of sunscreen. SPF 50, reapplied periodically.
I first noticed a problem on Wednesday. Though I'd worn plenty of sunscreen especially on my face, my nose was quite red. That night my hands and face were on fire. Dazed and confused I was thinking it was a hot flash.
Thursday I started to notice that it hurt my skin just to have the sun shine on it. With my bare hands, face, and feet bearing the brunt of it. It literally feels like a fire burning on my skin, yes I do know exactly what that feels like...
Friday I had an appointment with a gastroenterologist for my tummy troubles. A doctor is a doctor, lol, so I asked her about it. She told me that with the antibiotic that I've been taking, its probably photosensitivity.
No amount of sunscreen keeps my skin from burning, and no amount of lavender oil takes the sting away.
My hands arms and feet are hardly red with burn, there were tiny blisters on one arm for only one night and they were gone by morning.
This really can hardly qualify as a bad sunburn, and yet it hurts more than any burn I've ever experienced. Washing my hands, putting on lotion, a gentle breeze; my poor hands have hardly been able to stand these things.
Yesterday when we went on some errands I couldn't go without wearing long pants, a long sleeved sweater, a hat and some gloves. I am sure I looked totally lame with the temperature near or reaching 80 degrees...
Fortunately I have finished the round of antibiotics so hopefully my skin can go back to normal now.
And it better, because who knows what's waiting for me around the next corner...