"Oh, use aloe!"
No thanks, since I'm allergic to aloe. Last time I used it, it felt like I was burned with fire. I'm also allergic to cocoa butter, which like aloe, are in 99% of sunscreens. I need to find that 1% left since I now live in the desert.
Warning: Ew things in the next paragraph.
I have never been this badly burned. I have yellow blisters about the size of my fist on the back of my shoulders and smaller ones on the tops of my shoulders. My right foot and leg and left ankle swelled up last night. And I am so red that people have flinched when they see me. Since I can barely move, my muscles won't relax and they end up becoming incredibly tense so that I am in even more pain trying to move.
So what have I been doing so that I don't die? Calling my medic grandpa for advice, mostly.
Baking Soda Baths: It will dry the absolute heck (look, language clean up so I don't offend new readers!) out of your skin and basically make you an alligator while using it. But it extracts heat and even if it stings some, it's generally very soothing in luke warm to cool water (think a pool in early summer or late spring). Use an entire small box or half a big box for a full bath. (Baking soda paste- the same but with less water- works for mild burns and allergic reactions on the skin also.)
Lotion or No: Aloe is typically the best thing to use but since I can't, I've always been told to use cucumber or vitamin e lotion. It does very little to help unless its pure, not lotion, because the lotion holds in heat. Sometimes it can be soothing on mild sunburns so I would use it. Do not use on severe sunburns. Ever. (Warning: Gross til the end of the paragraph.) Why? Well basically, it will act like a cooking oil and cause annoying little bug bite sorts of feelings... which are not bug bites but actually your skin sizzling and frying.
Tea Baths: I haven't been able to do this one yet but basically, make about two gallons of unsweetened herbal tea (I assume peppermint tea isn't a good choice). Let it cool and then pour it into a tub full of cool to luke warm water. It's supposed to help soothe the pain. The problem with that for me is that I can't lift my arms high enough and my boyfriend is sick so he needs to be in bed.
Other Tips: Stay in cooler rooms, especially if you can have a fan on you.
Wear light, thing, airy, baggy clothes if you must but its better not to wear any at all.
The same goes for sleeping; a sheet is best if you can manage it.
Don't go outside unless you absolutely must.
Wear sunscreen (after the burns are healed or it might sting- it does to me at least).
Once the redness is gone, load yourself up on lotion to help get your skin healthy.
Tylenol, ibruoeofen, Motrin, etc. can help with some of the pain but follow those directions specifically or take less if you cannot handle the full recommended dose. Seriously, don't get me in trouble.
Stay hydrated. Put down your diet coke or whatever that is. Ice water, cold juice, and some tea are good but carbonated drinks are not because that affects the bloodstream.
If you get a spray bottle and wash it out, then fill it with ice water, you can spray the burn. It's easier than using a washcloth to lay it across the burn, but that also works as long as you regularly rewet it with ice water.
Do not wrap the burns unless a doctor says so because that will hold in heat.
If you do go see a doctor, ignore everything that I've said in this entire post and do as they tell you because I am not a trained medical professional. My grandpa was a medic bit his advice is specific to me and I'm only sharing what works for me specifically, he has no idea this blog even exists.
(Warning, icky again until the last paragraph.)
Don't pop the blisters. It's your body trying to help heal itself.
If a body part swells, get it above your heart (I was laying like a 90's valley girl on the phone for two hours last night since I couldn't lay on my back and then I propped my feet up on a pillow to sleep on my stomach).
Don't scrub the burn in the bath. (I use a washcloth, put a gentle soap on it and get it foamy, and then squeeze it over the burn. It helps ease the pain.)
Like I said, listen to a doctor. I'm not a medical expert and my grandpa only gave advice to me. Normally I don't need all sorts of disclaimers but this has medical things. I really am very sorry for missing this post but I'm not willing to give up yet, so I'll be back later today with an I post.