My Worst Sunburn Ever

by SuzyQ
(Glen Allen, VA, USA)

I got my first and worst sunburn when I was about 15 years old and living in Brooklyn, New York. It was a hot, July day and my friends and I decided to go to Coney Island Beach for the day. We left around 10 a.m. and took a bus to the beach.

Now I was never much of a beach person and this was my first trip to the beach this summer. (Note: New York public schools didn't let out till the end of June, so I hadn't been on summer vacation that long.) I took a towel to lie on and we all packed some snacks and spent the entire day at the beach, returning home around 5 p.m.

Now this was a long time ago -- way before it was advised that we wear sunscreen. However, I did slather that Coppertone lotion all over my body (the one in the golden brown bottle) and lay out on my back for a couple of hours, then turned, and lay on my belly.

By the time it was time to go home, I knew I was red, and I was really proud of it, too. "WOW. Look how burned I got," I thought (stupidly). My skin felt tight and tingly and when I got home, I hopped in the shower to wash off the lotion and sand.

All of a sudden, I didn't feel real well and my skin started to get extremely painful. I wasn't quite sure what to do, so I tried to lay down on the bed, but any type of
pressure hurt really bad.

My mother gave me some stuff to ease the pain, but it didn't do much good. I could hardly sleep that night, since I had to lie in one position. It hurt really bad to move.

The next day it was worse (if you can believe it). We went to the doctor, who gave me some shot (I don't know what it was for, but I think infection) and a prescription for more pain-killing lotion. I was in severe pain for about three days before it started to subside. Then, of course, the skin started to peel, and I began to look like a diseased animal.

The bottom line was I had a very bad sunburn, caused by stupidity on my part. That was the first and only time I ever laid out in the sun for such a long time without proper protection. I think that cured me of my interest in beach vacations. To this day, I dislike the sun, sand and the beach.

I do protect myself from the sun with sunscreen and wear a hat. However, that painful sunburn is never far from my mind whenever I'm outside for extended periods of time. It was definitely a defining moment in my life, even if I was only about 15 years old at the time. (Not I'm old enough to know better!)

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