OT - Sunburn Stories

Submitted by RockinLoud on June 14th, 2010 at 10:10 AM

Well I did it.  The weather was beautiful out this weekend and I finally decided, since summer is nearly upon us, that it was time to hand wash the family car and put a coat of wax on her because I hadn't done it since last summer.  Which I did and the car looks great.  BUT, I was intelligent and for some reason - despite being a pasty white guy who has a small amount of Irish heritage that mostly manifests itself in my skin type - decided "hey, I don't need sunscreen, I won't get burned very bad".  I even kept looking at my shoulders while outside to see if they were starting to get red or not, and I couldn't see any redness... until I went inside that is.  Then I realized, "uh oh".  Uh oh indeed.  I knew at that point that the pain was coming, and it was going to bring its friends along too.

I spent the night laying the bathtub with cool water and baking soda hoping it would help.  I don't actually know if it did or not.  And the rest of time I spent slathering aloe gel on myself, with some help from my wife to get the places on my back I can't reach of course. I can't imagine what people did before that stuff was widely available (they probably weren't as dumb as me in this instance to begin with).

So basically I pretty much exist as a human lobster at this point.  Just dunk me in some butter and put me out of my misery.

Let's hear your sunburn stories, whether you or someone you know.  Should be a good way to pass the time on the road to recovery.



June 14th, 2010 at 10:26 AM ^

sun burn i ever got was on a overcast day with the sun coming out every so often... i was camping with friends and we went to the beach and i had my shirt off because it was hot and muggy... i didn't think sun screen or sun tan lotion was needed because it was cloudy... well we all decided to get our drink on for that entire day and night so i was feeling no pain what so ever... the next morning when i finally got home (still drunk) and woke up from my after camping nap my whole chest, shoulders, and neck were on fire... it hurt to put a shirt on or put lotion on... for the next 3 days i was in a ton of pain...


June 14th, 2010 at 10:31 AM ^

Tea bags - it's the best remedy.  Get them wet and place them on the burnt areas which will draw the heat out and get you through the pain portion of your program faster.


June 14th, 2010 at 10:31 AM ^

I got sunburned in Miami.  I went down to the beach just to check it out, and then I realized that there were gorgeous, scantily clad women everywhere.  So my walk on the beach went from the planned 10 minutes to about . . . 2 hours.

By late evening, my shoulders were purple. 


June 14th, 2010 at 10:33 AM ^

Hurts like hell while your in the shower, but feel good after that.

Training for our national sailing team, I went out with out sunglasses late one fall afternoon, on a windy day. It was sunny and the wind direction forced me to stare into the reflection of the water.

The result was some very VERY sun burnt eyes, like so dry they couldn't even be closed. For  the rest of the week ( in highschool) teachers would send me to the office because they suspected I was stoned out of my mind.

Now, its what I tell people when ever I am stoned out of my mind.


June 14th, 2010 at 6:14 PM ^

I second that one...the last time I got sun burnt bad, I decided to try the hot tub. It hurt at first, but it seemed to expedite the recovery.

This was not my worst experience with a sunburn. That time I needed prescription style silvadene cream.


June 14th, 2010 at 10:36 AM ^

Being from Puerto Rico...I miss my tan that happened naturally before I went to Michigan.  So...obviously my first summer back I'm like "SCREW IT! NO SUNBLOCK!"  Yup...got a tan alright.  Then stayed in the sun even more...got red.  Spent the night on my back with aloe gel on my back.  Then the peeling...but seriously, my back was hurting for a week.

Kalamazoo Blue

June 14th, 2010 at 10:53 AM ^

When I was a kid (late 60s/70s) we never wore sunscreen. I hadn't heard of SPF until I got into college. Getting the annual burn was just part of the season. Kind of unbelievable by today's standards.

There was one upside: The teenage girls would coat their bodies in baby oil for a deeper tan. The smell of baby oil always brings back great memories.

st barth

June 14th, 2010 at 11:09 AM ^

The thing about sunburns is that it's not so much the temperature but the time of year and the sun angle that get you.  In Michigan, midday on June 21 (summer solstice) is most dangerous.  Even worse is that the Michigan winter might last until June so suddenly you step outside, take your shirt off because it's warm and...pow...you've scorched yourself under the harshest light of the year.

As for stories, my worst burn was probably when I was about 18 or 19 years old.  First time out to the beach that year.  It was hot day but we were staying cool by standing in waist deep water tossing frisbee & footballs around.  Didn't use nearly enough sunscreen on the shoulders and they got torched.  Not only did my shoulders end up peeling but they also blistered.  Very painful and difficult to move for a few days.  My friends were also pretty red after that too, but I think I was the worse.

Personally, I love the beach & enjoy having a tan, but at the very least, I recommend using sunscreen on the moving parts like shoulders & back of knees.  Learned that the hard way.


June 14th, 2010 at 11:09 AM ^

Many years ago (when I was about ten) I got a poison ivy rash *everywhere*.  A couple of days later I went to visit some older cousins.  They were supposed to watch me and limit my sun exposure, but that didn't happen.  I got a nasty, all-over burn, but the poison ivy peeled right off with it.  That's what I remember, anyway.

Sgt. Wolverine

June 14th, 2010 at 11:14 AM ^

I once made the mistake of spending 2-3 hours on the beach without using sunscreen.  I had a shirt on, but I ended up with blisters on the back of my neck.  Worse, though, was the serious burn on the tops of my feet and my ankles.  It was no fun putting on shoes for the next few days.


June 14th, 2010 at 11:47 AM ^

A remedy my father always used was vinegar. I remember because he use to always stink up the car on the way home from the lake the first weekend of the summer. He would get burnt pretty bad every time but would get a gallon jug of vinegar and dump it all over himself and let it soak in. He said it never hurt after that and it took the burn right out. I have never tried it but have heard of many people at the lake doing it.


June 14th, 2010 at 12:06 PM ^

But the one that stood out was a Spring Game...one of those rare ones in the 80's rather than freezing. You know, first time out in the sun after a long cold winter. Didn't get THAT burnt really; but had my sunglasses on. Looked like a reverse raccoon for a week. A pirate one at that, because the sun was on one side and it was darker there than the preverbial other cheek.


June 14th, 2010 at 12:28 PM ^

This game is invariably 90-something and sunny the whole time and you just bake in there.  Used to be you could tell what year someone was by how their face was burned;  right side only was more upperclass while freshman had the entire face burn.

Monocle Smile

June 14th, 2010 at 12:25 PM ^

2008. I can't eradicate this memory because not only was it a rare win that year, but the sight of Steven Threet extending the ball in front of his body as he did the most hellacious white-boy high step into the endzone is a beautiful thing to remember.

As a band member, we get to wear baseball caps during the game, but there are spots on the outside of our cheekbones that aren't protected. Just outside of my right eye a blister so awful formed that my skin cracked and liquid started leaking out. Now I use SPF 100 on my face.

My "favorite" sunburn probably comes from sandals. I dress like a 60-year-old man when it comes to footwear and I have sandals with the double strap, so every summer I get red/tan rectangles on the tops of my feet.


June 14th, 2010 at 12:30 PM ^

Went on vacation with some buddies back in '00 and I got piss drunk at the house we were staying at.  My friend Dave decided to get buck naked for a dip in the pool.  obviously no one else wanted to go out to the poool with him.  He ended up passing out on some patio furniture some time around 4am.  I woke up around 11am and found him still passed out in the same spot on his back with his hat over his face.  Needless to say he should have put the hat somewhere further south.  Also needless to say that it ruined all of his plans with the ladies for the week. 

Florida Blue

June 14th, 2010 at 3:52 PM ^

I have a lot of Cherokee Indian in me so I don't burn as bad as most people and I don't need as much sun screen as most people do...or so I thought.  I was in Hawaii 3 years ago and we rented Kayaks to take through the ocean and out to this island.  It was really cool and the island was fun to explore but I made one crucial mistake.  Normally I never ever need sunscreen for my legs because they don't catch the light directly and I never burn on my legs.  However in the kayak your legs are straight in front of you and they have water around them reflecting even more light on them.  I didnt' put any sun screen on them and it was about 2 hours each direction.  My legs were the color of apples for about 4 days and my ankles and feet were absolutely fried.  Still a great kayak adventure but I will never forget that sunburn.


June 14th, 2010 at 5:28 PM ^

Lake Havasu, AZ in July. The official temp that day was 125 degrees, and I spent an hour swimming in a friend's pool without putting on any sunscreen. Huge, huge, HUGE mistake. Took me a few days to get over that one. You'd think that since I spent my high school and college years lifeguarding, I'd be smart enough to put some sunscreen on before venturing into that atomic heat. Nope. As a side note, don't let anyone tell you about how "It's a dry heat". What a bunch of bullshit, when the temp gets over 100 degrees it doesn't fucking matter if it's humid or dry, it's HOT! 


June 14th, 2010 at 7:06 PM ^

I was in the Arizona desert when it was 114 degrees, and honestly, it didn't feel extremely hot.  The only problem I had was that my lips got chapped almost immediately.  If I didn't have a bottle of water to my lips, they were chapped.

Blue in Yarmouth

June 15th, 2010 at 8:11 AM ^

Try going out in 120 degree weather with 80% humidity and then go out in 120 degree weather with 20-40% humidity and tell me it doesn't make a difference. I can tell you that it does.

I have vacationed in some very nice climates where there is very little humidity. I can handle 120 without too much difficulty and feel quite comfortable to be honest. I feel hot and lazy, but comfortable all the same.

I have also vacationed (and live in) areas with high humidity. Often times in  the summers where I live we have 90-100% humidity. When you have a humidity of 90% even 80 degree can seem too much.

I'm not trying to be confrontational, but humidity does make a difference.

Blue in Yarmouth

June 15th, 2010 at 8:05 AM ^

When I was 8 my family went to Prince Edward Island on vacation. It is about a 6 hour drive and an hour boat ride from where I live.

While there my little brother (who was 6) fell asleep on the deck at the cottage and baked for a couple hours. The whole way home I sat in the back of the station wagon with him, peeling his back.

When we got home we went to a friends house to play baseball. It was a nice day so we were all playing with our shirts off. My brother burnt again on the raw skin I had exposed by peeling his back.

After being home a few hours a blister the size of a plate formed on his back. Mom took him to the hospital and he had 3rd degree burns on his back from the sun. It was incredible. He was slathered in ointment, covered in gauze and wrapped in a body sock. This dressing had to be changed every few hours.

It was by far the worst sun burn I had ever seen.

My worst burn was similar, though I was 25 when it happened. I had played in a beach volleyball tournament one friday/saturday and during it got a bad burn on my shoulders. Through the week I started peeling and my wife loves peeling sunburns (so she peeled mine).

That weekend we had two soccer games Saturday/Sunday. It was a blazing hot weekend with nothing but sun. My arms were already well tanned and my shoulders were protected by my jersey so there was no cause for worry (or so I thought).

Apparently polyester doesn't sheild the sun much. I got a burn on the raw skin of my shoulders that my wife had exposed by peeling them. In my case, they were 2nd degree burns so not as bad as my brothers but the blistering was crazy. Both shoulders were like huge blisters. I rarely exit the house without sunscreen now.


June 15th, 2010 at 8:07 AM ^

Me and some buddies were on an all-night drinkfest when noonish rolled around and we went to the pool. I passed out and slept in the hot July sun and woke up more burnt than I have ever been in my life. I was literally red...Which earned me the title of "Lobster Boy" for the rest of the summer. After the red was gone, in a month, I was tan for almost a year.


June 15th, 2010 at 8:46 AM ^

or does "Sunburn Stories" sound like the title for a paperback collection of adult short stories?

"Victor, babe", Sandra called out to him as he diligently heaped more of the sunbleached white sand onto the mound he was preparing for his castle. "You should take off that shirt. You don't want to get a 'Farmer's Tan'."

Victor nodded in Sandra's direction with a teasing smirk and quickly peeled the thin piece of white cotton up off of his sweat speckled, sculpted chest and powerful shoulders. It ruffled its way through his flowing, shoulder length blonde locks before pulling free and falling from the end of his long, defined arms. A powerful sea breeze grabbed the light fabric for a moment and held it against his back, before finally releasing it to float down over his toned, perfect butt that pressed firmly against the inside of his skin tight cut-off denim shorts.

Sandra's small but shapely breast heaved, and she unfastened two buttons of her pale green, see-through blouse, to let the heat out.


June 15th, 2010 at 2:46 PM ^

I get totally Blatto ruined on Cuervo the first day of my HS Spring Break. Yadda yadda yadda...almost get jumped by a buncha dudes, but my friends were all football players(I was about 5'7'' 130 lbs) Continue drinking til I can't stand and pass out in my condo.  Flash to two days later, and I am already peeling.  Come to find out that the hottest girl in my school LOVES peeling dead skin so I spend that evening sitting between her legs, drinking beer, having her peel the dead skin off my back. One thing leads to another and we do it ALL NIGHT LONG*


* The last sentence was a total fabrication, but the rest?...True Story


June 15th, 2010 at 4:40 PM ^

I second the dry heat vs humid heat. I spent a week in Phoenix in July when it was 120+. You get used to the heat pretty quickly.  Got back to Detroit where it was 85 and humid and it felt oppressive.  The sweat just can't evaporate and cool your body like it should.


June 15th, 2010 at 11:10 PM ^

Forgot to put sunscreen on the tops of my shoulders. Remedied that mistake after about an hour, but by then it was way too late. Blistered rather spectacularly, to the extent that I had to put gauze pads on my shoulders for a week.