an ode to sunburn

As if you needed another person to tell you what not properly protecting yourself from the sun does to your body, here I am to advise you.

Two summers ago I received the worst sunburn of my life, as I fell asleep on the beach when I finished reading my copy of If I Stay. (Was it the sun or the passive narration that put me to bed, who knows. That’s neither here nor there.) My friends were in the water for the duration of my nap, not that that mattered as we were in the sun during the hottest part of the day.

I knew something was wrong almost immediately. It hurt to walk, but I had thought that was because the sand was hot. But the following symptoms led me to believe something was wrong, including: extreme dehydration, vomiting, and almost passing out. I definitely had sun poisoning covering the backs of my legs.

The backs of my knees were the worst, and because I couldn’t bend them, I couldn’t walk. Putting any weight on my feet led to swelling and brushing, and eventually boils and peeling. Here are some fun pictures that I hope will serve as a cautionary tale:

The pain was not fun, but the shame was worse. It’s pretty easy to take care of yourself when you’re at the beach, out in the sun, etc. So whatever I had felt was both self-inflicted and also deserved. Please make sure to cover up, reapply, and repeat.

Happy sunbathing, people!


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