Like two raw ham hocks.

on May 30, 2012 in Ze Bloggy Goodness with 24 comments by
[This post is gonna get graphic. You’ve been warned.]

I have a terrible sunburn.

Let me give you the facts:

  • I have porcelain skin. Truly, if this was 1812, I would be a CATCH thanks to my pasty whiteness. The fellas wouldn’t be able to resist. But in 2012, I’m just pale.
  • I burn. I do not tan. I burn. Always and forever. [Well. That not 100% true. I went through a very short season in college where I went to the tanning bed and I was brown then. Or, orange. But not white or red- which is the normal.]

On Sunday, a crowd of us went lazily tubing down the Buffalo River. Such a lovely holiday weekend event. I bought a brand new bottle of sunscreen, 30 SPF, and brought it to the river so that I wouldn’t run out and it wouldn’t be ineffective because it was from former summers. I also wore a hat because I didn’t want my moneymaker to burn.

[I mean my face. But that’s a joke. We all know it’s my typing fingers that make the moola around here.]

But I knew.

. . . . .

I knew about fifty-five minutes into the experience that my skin was roasting. The problem with that realization is that I was one hour into a four hour float down the river. No escaping the sun.

It was a great experience with my pals, except for the COMPLETE PANIC IN MY SOUL about the sunburn I was receiving.

And alas, I’m cooked in some special designs and areas.

My chest, my shoulders, and my back are about a 6 on the burn scale- a decent pink shade, with some stripes where I was less than thorough in my application of sunscreen. It’s that three inch line across the center of my back, right where the back of my swimsuit meets the straps, that is fire-engine red, registering at an 8 on the burn scale.

[By the way, you know I’m making up the burn scale, right? It’s not science.]

But in the words of Shakira, it’s my hips that aren’t lying today about the effects of a sunburn.

I apparently totally missed the sides of my legs when applying sunscreen.


It’s no 3rd degree situation, or sun poisoning, but wowsa. We’ve got ourselves a pair of raw ham hocks over here.

. . . . .

I blame Scotland. I think my skin doesn’t know what to think since I spent the summer of 2011 in Edinburgh, covered in long sleeves and long pants. I took my epidermis back to it’s British roots last year and let it remain it’s milky white shade and now, we have a full sun-hating revolt on our hands.

Burn, baby, burn.

Yesterday, I lathered in aloe and took Advil. I shall do the same today.

Lesson learned. If you need me this summer, I’ll be inside. Or fully clothed.

. . . . .

Do you have any magic sunburn relieving tricks? Help a sister out.


  1. ~VA~
    posted on May 30, 2012 at 6:13 AM  |  reply

    My main magic is just waiting for it to go away, but I LOVE spray-on aloe (the kind with lidocaine) so that you don’t have to touch the burned areas, and it numbs your skin really well because of the lidocaine.

  2. posted on May 30, 2012 at 6:45 AM  |  reply

    Advil, and be sure you’re drinking tons of water–it helps your skin heal faster! 🙂

  3. posted on May 30, 2012 at 6:45 AM  |  reply

    That sounds painful. I don’t have much experience with burning, but my husband does. Have you seen this going around Pinterest? It’s worth a try.

  4. posted on May 30, 2012 at 7:16 AM  |  reply

    Oh girl, I got it bad on Sunday too. The guy at the store pointed at my legs and said, “Oooh, you got burnt.” I shockingly replied, “I hadn’t noticed!” He mentioned Preparation H to help with the pain and swelling from the nasty burn. My superhero ability is obtaining intricately random burn lines. My mom swears by a hot shower to take out the sting, if you can handle it.

    Good luck and I feel your pain, literally!

  5. posted on May 30, 2012 at 7:18 AM  |  reply

    oh…I feel you.
    I’m close to the same way, though not as bad as years past when it comes to white and burning.
    I got some sun Monday as well. 🙁
    I hope you feel better soon!

  6. posted on May 30, 2012 at 7:50 AM  |  reply

    I feel ya, Annie. I also have porcelain skin. I’m so sorry you are hurting. Ever tried a vinegar bath? Used to work when I was a kid. But major smelly.

  7. posted on May 30, 2012 at 7:51 AM  |  reply

    You’re going to laugh but Desitin, the diaper cream. It’s a bit messy but would totally wash out of pajama pants etc. It takes the burn right out. Doesn’t help the color but it will make your skin feel so much better. And it’s got moisturizers.

  8. Libby
    posted on May 30, 2012 at 8:34 AM  |  reply

    Noxzema! it cools it off and works like a miracle butttt it does smell a litttle strong. You can find it with face wash at Target!

  9. Brittany
    posted on May 30, 2012 at 9:48 AM  |  reply

    Vinegar is your best friend. Not even kidding. Put it on with a cotton ball or washcloth if its a rather big sunburn and then let it sit for a few hours (I always put it on before bed and then just wake up and shower). The red will be gone. There is no peeling. It’s amazing.
    Also, when I lived in Costa Rica, I swear my skin decided to stop tanning. I can go all day without sunscreen (and I am pasty) and I won’t burn or tan or anything. It’s scary.

  10. posted on May 30, 2012 at 10:29 AM  |  reply

    one thing that really helped my burn on a recent cruise was to use lots of cocoa butter moisturizer. Keeping the skin hydrated is one of the most important things.

  11. Cousin Katie
    posted on May 30, 2012 at 10:32 AM  |  reply

    You get it from Aunt Ruth… and I from Mema… This red-headed freckled kid knows that Solarcaine is the best medicine when it comes to the aloe route. Solarcaine with aloe in the spray can (like hair spray) is even better. Spray it on. Buy two cans. Good luck!

  12. Kim
    posted on May 30, 2012 at 12:11 PM  |  reply

    On the worst of the burned sites Preparation H is the ticket. It moisturizes and takes down the inflamation. Lots of water and keep the skin moisturized. Aleve or naprosen will work better for the pain because it is an anti inflamatory. In the future if you decide to leave the house 45+ waterproof sunscreen reapplied every 2 hours is the ticket for fair skin. neutrogena 55+ is best for your face and those places you most frequently burn. Hang in there this too shall pass.

  13. posted on May 30, 2012 at 12:37 PM  |  reply

    I know I shouldn’t laugh at your skin’s demise… but you wrote this so humorously. Thanks for the laugh 🙂 I am no expert at burns, I inherited my dad’s olive skin. But my kids managed to get my husbands porcelain white (and occasionally red) skin. We are big fans of 60 proof all natural sun screen. Wishing you a less crispy-fried summer. Amanda

    • posted on May 30, 2012 at 1:06 PM  |  reply

      amanda, which brand of natural sun screen do you use? we are an active outside family and i am trying to steer our children away from the parabans in the regular stuff. this past weekend we tried three (applied one to face, one to arms and the third to legs) and they worked great on our son and youngest daughter. our middle child who usually tans well without burning was red. just wondering what your family had found success with.

  14. Travis
    posted on May 30, 2012 at 1:14 PM  |  reply

    And we have another contender for best blog title ever.

  15. posted on May 30, 2012 at 1:30 PM  |  reply

    All I have to say is ouch! And, been there done that. Have you ever tried Burt’s Bees soap (for poison ivy) or jewel weed salve? I’m thinking this may help with the burn and impending itchiness. Just what comes to mind but maybe worth a try!

    You cracked me up 🙂

  16. Deanna
    posted on May 30, 2012 at 2:38 PM  |  reply

    I tweeted this at you yesterday, but in case you missed it, Earl Grey tea is fantastic. Just soak it on your skin once it’s brewed (luke warm, of course), and it helps take the sting and the red out. It can make a mess though, so I recommend doing it in the bathroom!

  17. Ali
    posted on May 30, 2012 at 2:47 PM  |  reply

    My mother always used to soak me in a bath of cool bath of tea. She said there was something in the tanic acid contained in tea that helped heal badly burned skin.

  18. posted on May 30, 2012 at 7:43 PM  |  reply

    From one pasty white girl to another, I feel your pain. Alas, I have no surefire cure for a burn. I do as you are doing now – advil and aloe. However, seeing as a few people have mentioned a cool teal bath, I may try that in the future. In all reality though, I avoid burns by using 50 SPF or higher, wearing hats and trying to stay in shady areas any chance I get. It may not be the funnest way to spend a summer but being pasty means a higher risk of skin cancer.

  19. gmh
    posted on May 30, 2012 at 8:09 PM  |  reply

    Cool it before you put on anything that will hold the heat in- including most creams and salves. Cool baths, ice water in a spritz bottle, anything to get it cooled off.
    Then, I use aloe gel with lidocaine. I dilute it with a bit of water so I can put it in a spray bottle. Store it in the fridge. Spritz it on every hour or so. You’ll feel normal again soon.
    Be careful with many sun blocks. Some scientists are finding that the ingredients can interact with the sun in cancer-encouraging ways. Lightweight fabric cover-ups are often better than the creams.
    I lifeguarded outside for 5 summers.

  20. Nicole
    posted on May 30, 2012 at 11:44 PM  |  reply

    Vitamin E cream. I live in Australia where I swear the sun reaches out and actually touches the earth. My skin burns like an egg on a driveway in summer. VITAMIN E. Puts the moisture and essentials back into your skin.

  21. posted on Jun 02, 2012 at 1:04 PM  |  reply

    ouchies! being Latina, i DO get sunburns, but they quickly turn into tans. I’ve had the luck to not peel too much, or burn too badly. but I tan WAAAYYY too quick! just in the walk from my car to my office in work-issued sandals, I have strap tan lines on my feet. use aloe. best thing i’ve ever used. archaic, but it works.

  22. posted on Jun 02, 2012 at 1:09 PM  |  reply

    ouchies! being Latina, i DO get sunburns, but they quickly turn into tans. I’ve had the luck to not peel too much, or burn too badly. but I tan WAAAYYY too quick! just in the walk from my car to my office in work-issued sandals, I have strap tan lines on my feet. use aloe. best thing i’ve ever used. archaic, but it works.

  23. posted on Jun 02, 2012 at 5:21 PM  |  reply

    Ok, I totally get the sunburn no tan situation– that was me until a couple of years ago. I learned in a first aid class that cool things (Aloe, cold showers, etc) are actually not the right response to burns. The guy explained that cool closes the pores on your skin trapping the heat underneath. This is what causes peeling. Heat however, opens the pores.

    He said what you SHOULD do, is take a hot shower. Not scalding, but as hot as you can stand it and stay under it until it’s no longer painful. I did this when I got 9 on the burn scale in Mexico and it totally worked. The pain went away faster and for the first time I had a tan! I promise, give it a shot.

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