(Closed) Sunburn itch from hell. "Hell's itch!"

posted 6 years ago in Wellness
Post # 16
Member
1 posts
Wannabee
  • Wedding: June 2015

View original reply
GrannyPantiesRock:  I want to thank you so much! I was about an hour and a half in, having used hydrocortisone, and Benadry, and going through rounds of applying it, and taking a cold shower, then trying aloe, showering, trying menthol balm, showering, and applying desatin and showering – each round of goop brought on a new level of intensity! Then I saw the hot shower recommendation, and that cured me! It was at bedtime, so I wasn’t going to sleep last night, but you saved me! Thank you! 

Post # 18
Member
1 posts
Wannabee

Hello everyone. Just thought that I may help someone: Sudocream helps a lot with pain and actually heals the skinburn as well. This is what I did. After experiencing horrible pains coming in rashes all over my back after having a shower in the morning 26 hours after the exposure to the sun I did this. Took Nurofen painkillers and kept it coming according to the dosage instructions along with paracetomol in between, again, as is allowable by the dosage instructions; I had my mom apply the sudocream generously to the whole of the burnt area. Later in the evening, so that I could sleep, over night, I have wrapped mysef while still covered in Sudocream with cleanfilm (not super tight – the cream holds it in place and it clings itself up as well) and this kept the cream in place – soothing my back without it all coming off and causing discomfiurt if try to sleep otherwise. I am now second day with this burn and it bearable now and is getting better. Also, would like to note that having shower after the itch started only makes it worse. Treat your burnt area with Sudocream repeatedly without it washing off but just topping it up so it is creating superficial barrier to your burnt area and heals the skin in the process while soothing the pain. Hope this helps and will be glad to hear if the cleanfilm is a bad idea in any way. 

Post # 19
Member
2 posts
Wannabee

GrannyPantiesRock, Thank you for your post; I went to the beach two days ago and got a sunburn on my back and shoulders; two days later I’m sitting in the movie theatre with my son and the tortorous itching occurred.  I was twitching around in the theatre like a crazy man and did not want to leave as my son was enjoying his movie. If i tried scratching it, the pain would explode from the sunburn and the itch wouldnt go away.  It was a wonder i did not pass out driving home afterwards and my wife thought I was being dramatic about the whole thing; she applied calamine lotion and that worked for about 20 seconds; i then jumped in the shower and and let cold water stream down my back (although i’m sensitive to cold water i didnt even feel the coldness at this point) that was the only thing that relieved me ( i must now try the hot water after reading your post) I really thought i was going insane, dancing around with the itch that no one could relate to.  Now after taking some ibuprofen and benadryl, the itching as subsided some; I must get some peppermint oil but I wonder if that would make it sting?  Anyhow thanks again for your tips!

Post # 21
Member
190 posts
Blushing bee

does it look like this? Mine was in the middle of May, after some mild sun exposure (nothing heinous, a little red, no real burn).  I was exposed on Saturday at the lake, hopped a plane to Dominican Republic early Monday, and by Monday night I was in fits! I kept thinking “now wtf…I just got here and haven’t even been out in the sun or sand”.  Initially I suspected sand fleas (when it occurred to me I hadn’t touched sand yet), I thought maybe it was “the coral sand” causing a reaction (saw that somewhere it’s like fiberglass to your skin).  The more I scratched the more it spread.  I had little fluid filled bumps driving me nuts all over my chest!  The sand/water/sun irritated it that much more.  I bought hydrocortisone and it seemed to relieve the itching, but then the shit spread to my arms/elbows.  I for real thought I had caught something and was on the brink of quarantine.  

I Googled everything. I concluded it was a fungus brought on by coral sand coupled with sun, travel, booze, & humidity, and exacerbated by sand fleas, mosquitoes, banana boat tanning oil, & delta airlines. …and that the remains of my itchy, bubbled up body was going to be found the next morning washed ashore in Punta Cana tangled in seaweed, picked overy by gulls & fiddler crabs. I had accepted it.

I was too proud to go to the doctor while on vacation and would rather just die, but thankfully it cleared up by the last day.  As soon as I applied hydrocortisone and stopped scratching, it was like it cleared up on my chest.  Not so much my arms. I really wasn’t even scratching but the straps on my bags and camera were rubbing it, making it worse I’d say.  I also applied Wen (the cleansing conditioner) to it while in the shower, so the lavender in it might’ve had something to do with it clearing up.  I didn’t let that crap stop my fun, but people probably subconsciously shunned me in the buffet lines for looking nasty.

They ain’t shittin’ ya when they call it hell’s itch! That picture is me covered in cocoa butter (aka goop) that probably made it worse.  It was ruthless…I would’ve tried anything.  To beat it all, after it cleared up my chest started breaking out in acne bumps for a month.  I’ve finally got that under control but it’s probably from all the trash I clogged my pores with trying to relieve the itching devil.

Post # 22
Member
21 posts
Newbee

I’ve had this. Makes you want to rip your skin off! Thanks for the tips. 

Post # 23
Member
2 posts
Wannabee

View original reply
GrannyPantiesRock:  After posting you the itch came back with a vengance!  I found the cold water showers where more effective for me.  I called my dermatologist’s office after 5 pm and the answering service picked up; luckily they had my dermatologist call me back and she prescribed an antihistamine used for dermatitis, itching etc.. called HYDROXYZINE HCL, also a steroid cream called Triamcinolone; i have no insurance but luckily they were only a few dollars each at the pharmacy which was a miracle in itself.  Also lots of prayers when I was in agony in the shower helped while my wife was racing to the pharmacy; Today I feel 100% better but am cautiously optimistic since my last episode.

Post # 25
Member
2 posts
Wannabee
  • Wedding: July 2015

Get pissed on Bordeaux full bottle red wine did it for me, hells itch gone straight away after 2 bottles and a long dance (4 hours). Not joking, this is my second occurance of ‘hells itch’ in a year and have been close to suicidal each time. Then arrived this party and i drank and drank, and danced and danced. Hells Itch est dissapear! Au Revoir Hells Itch you evil thing!

  • This reply was modified 5 years, 4 months ago by  ralph.
Post # 26
Member
132 posts
Blushing bee

k0rtnei  

I have experienced what you are. My doctor said it was a mild sun allergy – like you I don’t need to get a bad sunburn, just a bit to much sun exposure and tiny fluid filled blister turn up and they are itchy!

Hydrocortisone works for me. But mostly I just keep myself lathered in sunscreen and wear hats (it is my face and chest that are most sensitive.

Post # 27
Member
366 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2016 - Church by the beach,

That sounds horrible i hope you feel better. It’s funny I have never actually sunburnt or got this itch and I love the beach and live a minute walk from it also have naturally pale sensitive skin. I don’t know if it helps or I’m lucky but my prevention plan is I always used appropriate spf suncream, nearly always cool my skin down with a cold shower after being in the sun then moisturise with aloe vera.

Post # 28
Member
366 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2016 - Church by the beach,

Post # 29
Member
1 posts
Wannabee
  • Wedding: June 2002

Okay, I am by no means an expert on Hell’s Itch, however, I have experienced this a few times in my life so I may be able to shed some light on the subject. Most recently on 7/18/15, I was out in the sun for a few hours. My wife took the sunblock with her and my daughter as me and my two boys went next door to jump in their pool. Knowing that we didn’t have the sunblock, I stayed in the shade for most of the afternoon. Then, the pool was in need of being cleaned and scooped, I hopped into the sun and did what was needed. When I finished swimming for the day, I got out and sat by the fire and was freezing even though the temperature was close to 86 outside. So after warming up by the fire and the sun went down, I decided to jump back in the pool. I was freezing again. When I dried off, my wife told me, man you got burnt today. My front, my back, shoulders, and neck were red.

Because I had experienced something like this the year or two before, and believe me, you remember “Hell’s Itch”, I acted fast to what I could best remember would work to cut down the transition from the burn to the insane itching that follows. I applied the green aloe vera and massaged it into my shoulders and back Saturday evening and Sunday morning. After church, I got home and reapplied the aloe and didn’t go swimming. Then Monday came and I made it through work well enough thinking that I beat it this time and so I decided to go swimming around 5pm. When I got done, I dried off and that’s when the insanity began!

After racing through trying to apply more aloe, that made it worse. Then I washed off the aloe and tried vinegar, which I had heard relieves it. Didn’t work. Then I began to freak out, like most others will describe maddening behavior.

Then my wife, the white horse, my rescuer, did the unthinkable. She applied hydrocortizone on my back and then when the itch lessened, she came back in and dumped baby powder on my back. I mean she super-coated me with it. lol. Then when I got up and began walking around, the itching came back. Then the lilght bulb in my head went off. I told her to come back in the room and dump more baby powder on me. Quite comical I tell you, laying on my belly and her dumping and dumping baby powder on me.

But here’s the thing. It actually worked! The itching went away as long as I didn’t move. Then after reading countless blogs for more references to this kind of “Hellish Itch”, I sent my mother in law over to the drug store to buy benedryl. I took mass quantities of benedryl and layed in bed unmoving on my left side and fell asleep. Woke up at 3am and took more benedryl. Took the next day off of work. Had more benedryl. Slept slept slept. Woke up Early Wednesday morning and back to a small general itch. No more Hell’s Itch. I finally beat it!

I hope that I can help someone beat it too.

Things to remember:

*This maddening itch usually begins 2 days after you are sun burned!

*Immediately start massaging aloe vera on the effected area(s) the moment you realise you got burned.

*Avoid any contact with water (at least not with chlorinated water, maybe water in general) for a couple of days.

*As soon as the maddening itch begins, take the biggest dosage of Benedryl that you can. Apply Hydrocortizone to effected area. Massage it in. Feel the intensity go down slightly. Get dusted (overboard) with baby powder or talcom poweder. Don’t move more than you need to. Get comfy because you are about to get very sleepy.

*When you wake up the next morning, take more benedryl, max dosage. Go back to sleep.

*By the time you wake up from your next long sleep, you should be in the clear. If not, take one more max dosage and nap one more time. Then you should be good.

***I just want to warn you that your stomach may be a wreck for a day or two because the benedryl plays hell on your stomach. Eat light to reduce bathroom trips. Hey, an upset stomach isn’t nearly as bad as Hell’s Itch, capiche?***

Post # 30
Member
1 posts
Wannabee

I recently went to Florida on spring break, and spent 3 1/2 hours in the sun with my shirt off and no sunscreen on the first day. Dumb right? Worst choice I’ve ever made.

After being out in the sun for 3 1/2 hours I got inside and realized how burnt I was. My chest was very painful to the touch. So I decided to get in the shower.

RULE #1: NEVER TAKE A HOT SHOWER AFTER BEING SEVERELY BURNT. I got in the shower and took a nice steamy hot one. I started to feel a slight itch coming, and I got out and dried off. And in a matter of less than 3 minutes, I was going insane. An unbearably painful and indescribably horrible itch was going through my whole chest. If I were to explain It to someone, I would say take the equivalent pain of 200 fire ants crawling and biting you under your skin, and multiply it by 1,000. At one point I considered ripping my skin off. Its not a constant itch, but about every 7.5 seconds this itch will return and feel unbearably painful for about 4 seconds. So, you do have a 7.5 second period where the itch will ease up, and your praying it will not return again, but it will. For me, it did this  probably over 1000 times.

RULE #2: IF YOU GET THIS ITCH, DO NOT ITCH IT. I know that this itch is absolutely unbearably terrible, but if you itch it, it will only get worse. No matter what you try, Aloe, itch cream, cold shower, slapping your chest 1,000 times, or taking advil or other pills, it will not help. It will only make it worse. 

THE SOLUTION: After going insane for more than 4hours, I was about ready to go to the hospital. But, luckily, I found the 1 and only solution to stopping the itch. Just follow these steps if you want to get rid of this living hell of an itch. 

1. Lay down on your bed or couch, turn the lights off, and clear your mind. Think of a happy place.

2. Take your shirt off and and take the biggest, coldest bag of ice you can possible find, and place it on the itching area.(for me, it was my chest). What this does is it slows down your mind and body, and numbs your itch glands. For me, it took about an hour. 

3. Yes, this itch will go away if you do this. But, for the next 2-3 days, you must be extremely careful if you don’t want this itch to come back. Put on your softest clothes, Do NOT even come close to the sun, stay inside in the cool all day, and DO NOT, I repeat,DO NOT get the affected area wet. If you do, it will only come back again. If you accidentally do get it wet, go back to step 1 before the itch can come back and haunt you again. In my case, I did not know the itch would come back if I got it wet again, so of course, I got in the shower and took a cold one the next day. And I felt the it start to come back, so I went back to step 1, and I stopped it. Thankfully. 

As you’ve read this, you definatly dont want to get this itch. It will ruin your whole vacation. So, ALWAYS wear sunscreen, and protect your skin from being burnt, or this itch will come and ruin your week. 

Thanks for reading. God be with you if you have this itch. Trust me, I know how it feels.

 

The topic ‘Sunburn itch from hell. "Hell's itch!"’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors