Last weekend, my husband and I went to Laughlin for Bike Week. Despite my olive complexion, I took sunscreen because I expected to be in the sun all weekend. I chose my kid's sunscreen, SPF 50, because I did not want to risk a sunburn and I am trying to take better care of my skin. Little did I know that I would have been better if I had left the sunscreen off entirely.
I applied the sunscreen (one of the new aerosol types) liberally to my arms, neck, chest and back before we left camp on Saturday morning. By the end of the evening Saturday, my skin was a little broken out, but I figured it was just from the wind or some other cause that was harmless. My neck is very sensitive and I just don't get alarmed too quickly about it any more. The next morning I woke up and it was a little worse, so I went easy on the sunscreen. By the time we got home, I was revisiting everything I had eaten or done because the discomfort level was rising.
My mind just kept going back to the sunscreen. I spoke to a friend who is a nurse and she recommended Benadryl to ease the pain but I would just have to endure it for a couple of days. I used topical and oral Benadryl as often as the packages allowed. After a couple of days, the Benadryl was doing nothing and the rash was now on my legs as well. By Friday I could not stand it and I went to the doctor. She was shocked when she saw me and, agreeing it was the sunscreen, prescribed an antihistamine, a steroid, and an anti-itch medication to help me get past this.
It is now Monday and I am still going nuts from the itching and ugly hives that will not subside. Yesterday I spoke to a friend and she not only had a reaction to her sunscreen, she had third-degree burns. She referred me to the article below that has lots of helpful information. We both have learned the hard way that more is not always better. Hopefully, as you lather up this summer, you can take a lesson from us and avoid getting burned by your sunscreen.