Thursday, 31 July 2014
Wanting A Tan OR Sitting In The Shade?
Today I want you to be really honest......when you go on holiday do you really sit in the shade?
You read the warnings of the harm the sun can do and you slap on a high factor suncream but who listens to the other bit of advice: avoid the midday sunshine from 12-3pm?
I hang my head in sunburnt shame.
After enjoying two weeks of very hot temperatures I wasn't as careful as I should have been. To make matters worse, I am the person who preaches to others about minimising skin damage, take good care of your skin and drink plenty of water, etc etc etc.
But the temptation of getting a nice golden tan overruled my sensible thoughts. I would let you give me a slap on the wrist if it wasn't for the fact they're so dry that it will probably be more painful than usual.
I have always done my utmost to never burn in the sun, I do wear a high factor sun cream and I do apply it liberally every hour for when I am trying to catch a few rays. But even when it got ridiculously hot I didn't move, I stayed lying on the sunlounger. I was determined to get some colour on my fair skin. And I did, but at what cost?
I have never burnt like I did this year. I couldn't understand it, what had I done wrong because I wore a top notch lotion and yet I still reddened like the infamous lobster. Every evening after taking a tepid shower I would apply copious amounts of after-sun but my skin was suffering badly so the next day I had to stay indoors and avoid the glorious sunshine.
Last Friday I was okay to sit in the sun again, so I thought, well, my skin wasn't red anymore so what harm could it do? How stupid was I? My selfish needs for a tan overruled any small doubts of burning again. I assumed my skin would be getting used to the sun by now, so I'd be perfectly okay. I lay in the sun devouring the latest Caitlin Moran book "How To Build A Girl", amazing book you must read it, and I was enjoying myself relaxing. Who wouldn't?
It wasn't until later that evening I realised something was seriously wrong with my left leg, this was no ordinary sunburn. It was so painful I was flinching everytime my skirt slightly brushed my shin. The next day it was even worse. Small blisters started to appear and by Sunday they had increased in size. I had got a second degree burn. Ouch! I kept applying cold wet cloths to soothe the burning but nothing was helping, it was excruciatingly painful. How stupid had I been??
I was utterly perplexed as to why I had burnt so badly, I've never encountered anything like this before and to be honest, I'd never had sunburn before let alone second degree burns. I hobbled to the doctors on Monday morning and it was confirmed what I had done. My GP gave me the brutal truth of what I had done and what will happen next and it's not a good story.
What I had failed to take into account when I was sunbathing is that the medication I am on does affect my skin. I've been itching for the past year because of it so it was without question I was going to burn if I sat in the sun no matter what usual sun protection I undertook. How ignorant had I been all for the sake of getting a tan?
Of course, I have learnt my lesson the hard way and I am now left with a very purple and red blistered shin which has a nice blob of saggy skin hanging from it which flaps across the top of very raw skin now the main blister has burst.
I am sure if I had avoided the midday sunshine I wouldn't have burnt quite so badly, moreover if I'd sat in the shade then I wouldn't be in this predicament at all. I am a very very stupid lady. I'd always prided myself on the fact that I was not some tanning whore wearing only low factor sun creams on my skin to cook myself senseless and was glad I didn't have a crepe paper décolletage like hardcore sun worshippers. Now I realise there were bits of advice I had foolishly ignored simply because I had never burnt before so surely I'd be okay.
If you are about to go on your holiday then please be careful, don't be daft and think a tan is more important than your skin's health. If you still think you want to get a tan after reading my story then I will be more than happy to send you a picture of my gruesome looking leg and maybe then you will think twice.