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

posted 6 years ago in Wellness
Post # 91
Member
2 posts
Wannabee

I’d like to share my experience as well. I just finished up getting through this two days ago with sunburn on my shoulders. Worst thing in the world. During the flair-ups, I was either pacing and panting uncontrollably, or balled up on the floor crying, shaking, and pounding my head into the carpet (not something that I usually do, btw). I’ve tried to describe the “psychological effects” to others, but it is impossible. The sensation is like a combination of hundreds of fire ants or hornets crawling madly and biting under your skin, along with the most intense itching beyond what you could imagine, along with….. heat that feels like someone is taking a blowtorch to your affected area. You will literally try to think of ways to make yourself go unconscious.

These flair-ups, or “episodes” lasted for 30-40 minutes each time, and by the time they calmed down, I was emotionally and physically exhausted. I tried lidocaine spray, aloe, vicks, and even peppermint oil. They ALL made it much worse.

This starts almost exactly 48 hours after a sunburn apparently, as did mine, and only effects about 1-5% of people I hear. I’m a bigger guy (6’1” / 280lbs) so I decided to take a double dose of 4 Benadryl / 100mg total at a time, along with 3 ibuprofens / 600 mg total, and repeat about every 4 hours. Benadryl label says 2 pills every 4-6 hours, but for me, the Benadryl took nearly two hours to kick in, so I repeated this regiment every 4 hours.

After a few doses and doing better, I decreased the Benadryl to 3 pills. You will be EXTREMELY sleepy and unable to drive safely, or attend work / school for a day or two. You may also experience some diarrhea from the Benadryl, so drink alot of water. Sleep will be your friend in time of trouble.

I went to an urgent care center, and the doctor simply didn’t understand, despite me explaining, and saying that I looked it up online (and told her I knew she probably hated to hear that lol). She dismissed it as simple sunburn and gave me a prescription of 50mg of Prednizone pills to “help with the swelling”. Based on other things I’ve been reading, I suspect that these Prednizone pills may also be helping me, so I would recommend this to others as well. As directed, you will want to take food with Prednizone, which I did, and I had not issues at all with upset stomach, etc, and was fine.

To also help through the worst of the flair-ups, thanks to the internet and people sharing their experiences, I would take an extremely hot shower. It hurts, but it takes the itching / crawling sensation out of the mix temporarily. A hot blow dryer will also help when you can’t be in the shower. This sounds horrible, but I would also press my fingernails VERY hard into my shoulders (where my pain was) on and off about 1 second on, 1 second off. Again, painful, but helped with the itching / crawling sensation during the episodes a bit.

Mine started almost exactly 48 hours after getting the sunburn, and I ended up with about 5 episodes spread out over a 14 hour period, which was undoubtedly shortened due to the heavy Benadryl, Ibuprofen (and maybe the Prednizone).

I really hope this info is helpful to anyone who needs it. This is horrible, and I hope you feel better soon.

EDIT: It’s been a couple of days, and there have still been some residual times of itches that seems to come on. Makes my heart race a little in fear it’s starting to come back big time, so I’ve been taking 2 Benadryl (the recommended dose, now) once or twice a day as I feel some itching just to be safe. Seems to be doing the trick without putting me completely to sleep.

Post # 93
Member
2 posts
Wannabee

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GrannyPantiesRock :  I hear ya! (about the doctors not understanding….not about the childbirth part since I’m a guy lol). I wish someone in the medical field would try to figure out what’s going on – there are TONS of people online reporting having this. Anyway, thanks for your contributions and info here. I came here to post some info I thought may be helpful to someone, but this actually looks like a great wedding site /community! 🙂 Hope you have a great afternoon!

Post # 94
Member
1 posts
Wannabee

Just found out what this is. It’s like nothing I’ve ever felt. Dealing with it as I type this. Trying ALL of your suggestions.

ps. Does anyone have a blowtorch?

Post # 96
Member
1 posts
Wannabee

OH MY GOD… I never ever felt down or suicidal but by god no one could prepare me for this.. long story short got burnt Friday 2pm all over had to work all weekend so loads of aloe to keep me going. Got up this morning feeling even better again and ready to hop in the story do hair and make up and head on with myself…. wrong move.. Got a shower at 11.am ( sun morning ) sat down to do my make up and got some itching on my chest and arm really annoying itching.. tried to help by thinkin it was the shower water on the burns so put some aloe and e45 cream on it.. wrong move, that moment in time was when I felt for the first time in my life suicidal. I’ve had a baby and I was drugged but what i remeber by god this was worse. I screamed at my partner who didn’t no why was happening I was running around my arms bent all over my body trying to hit it, scratch it anything.. then i have been sitting in a bath of porridge oats for the last 3 hours which has worked brilliant  ( scolding hot ) I tried cold it didn’t work..!! I had to ring in sick to work and now back out of the bath and the itch is back.. kill me now 

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GrannyPantiesRock :  

Post # 97
Member
1 posts
Wannabee

Thank you GrannyPantiesRock!  I know this post is four years old, but you saved my sanity last night with the suggestion to take a hot shower. 

 

Message me with your email address and I will send you a Starbucks card. I feel like I owe you a great debt! The least I can do is a coffee! ;)!

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