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Hi...I am a 28 year old female. I rarely sunburn and can count the number of times on one hand. However, three days ago, I spent about three hours at the pool. I covered myself in sunscreen prior to going and while there. When I came back, it appeared I had a nice tan. Then, as the hours passed, my back and the back of my legs became very red. Since I was in the sun, I spent even time on both sides of my body so as to get an even tan, but for some reason only my back side burned.
The real issue here is that now, after three days, I am experiencing extremely uncomfortable sensations that feel like pins and needles in addition to the fact that the burn hurts to touch, is hot, and red (although some redness has now gone away and some of the heat radiating from the burn has subsided). Is this normal for a sunburn? I haven't had enough of them to know really. But, I have literally been awake all night and in tears because I cannot bear this sensation of pins and needles. Is there anything that I can do to make this stop? I am desperate. I work and cannot function without sleep. I cannot take off work as right now as I have deadlines that must be completed on time. Please...is there anything that might help??? This is terrible.
Sounds like some allergic reaction there perhaps a trip to your Doc to get it checked out would be in order, Sun burn does hurt there are some preperations at the drugstore you can put on I believe the Cream to look for is 'After Sun Care" it will soothe it also try cold compresses ,if it really hurts take a painkiller. We have all been there sometimes in our lives its miserable is'nt it ,it will pass soon, make sure your sunscreen is strong enough and the Backs of your legs well covered.
about a month ago i got sunburnt really bad, now i have a deep itch in my upper back and arms. it's driving me crazy. i've been to the doctor, he told me i had a fungis frome scratching, he gave me medicine to clear the fungis up but i still have that deep itch
I have felt this pins and needles from a sunburn only once before in my life (both times on my back) and can attest that both times it was THE MOST unbearable feeling I've ever felt. There is nothing you can do to escape it - and to explain to those who have never felt it, 'pins and needles' doesn't really cover it. More like a dozen people surrounding you jabbing tacks in and out of your skin. And it goes on for HOURS upon hours. Both times I almost passed out from exhaustion just going through it.
*NO* oils or creams have worked - in fact, they MAKE IT WORSE (for me). The skin going through a state of dry -> moist just aggravates the condition.
The first time this happened to me I soaked a towel in ice cold water and kept moving it around my back. The second time I took my shirt off and kept placing my back on the coldest part of the walls I could find. The only way to make the sensation go down (not go away mind you) was making my skin as cold as possible and keeping it that way. The second time I was told to take Benadryl which did, but it's hard to say if the sensation calmed down due to the Benadryl or just due to time. By my advice is DO NOT do anything to make your skin's moisture change, whether it be taking a shower or applying ointment. This has made the condition even worse for me in the past.
Both times it happened to me it occurred 2-3 days AFTER I was in the sun and the redness of the sunburn had just started to go into a brown (and peel as well).
So try Benadryl and keep you skin in constant contact with something dry and COLD. But this condition is definitely one of the painfully persistent feeling that is completely incapacitating. I honestly think that if someone came up and could make it go away, with the price being I give that person all my possessions, I would have done it in a heartbeat. It's a completely intolerable inescapable nightmare of a feeling, that's for sure.
I went to the Beach this past Sunday and got a suntan not realizing the degree of my tan. I'm now experiencing this kind of pins n needles sensation on my back n left arm. Much irritated and annoyed. Had to look up my symptoms on line Thanks for your advice. Much luck for me.
Yes indeed the pain is unbearable - and no one understands what you are going through. I had an attack while at Typhoon Lagoon and almost went insane. I went to two first aid places while on vacation thinking that this would be a somewhat common experience - it does not appear to be. The cooling gels for sunburns do not work for this situation.
Out of desperation, I decided to do the "swim with the sharks" exhibit in their salt water area and the pain stopped. The water was only 70 degrees. So it may have been the cold salt water or just its time to pass. If I get this again at home I am going to try sea salt and cold water.
Yes I have just experienced this horrible Pins and Needles after sunburn, its is horrible , I am 42 been sunburned many times and never felt anything like it. My sunburn was a couple of days old healing ok had been putting creams on it and all was good, until I used a Lynx spray deodorant seconds after this came the pins n needles it was unbearable I had a shower straight away but no good did not help, I put creams moisturising creams and more showers what finally worked houre later was a Topical anti-inflammatory cream that after about 30 min after was much better.
It's all true: unbearable, no one understands, and not much to do about it but wait it out. Thanks for posting, everyone, and describing it so well. At least I don't feel alone anymore. Wishing you all a sunburn free existence from here on out.
I used to feel like I was the only person who went through this because no person (even doctors) could help me out. Like it has been said, only those who have felt it can explain it. I have had it so many times now I have lost count. From experience (not from doctors) this is pretty much how I get throught it, hope it helps those new to it.
Do not put any cream or oil on it, not even aloe. As much as friends and family say it will help, you are not going through what they experience when they have a burn. It makes it a lot worse. Don't scratch, stretch, rub, and don't sweat. Pretty much limit your movements.
Over the years I have taught myself not to change anything from the outside-in (scratching, moisturizing), but rather do it from the inside out. Drink as much water and gatorade as you can. It doesn't make it go away, but for what ever reason it made it bearable for me.
Unfortunately nothing makes it go away but time. It usually occurs for 24 hours on the 2nd or 3rd day after receiving the burn. So don't panic, its just for a day (once again from experience of getting it constanstly)
It plays with your mind and drives you nuts as if a form of torture, but try your best to keep yourself occupied or even sleep.
I thought i was alone in this. When I was young, I remember standing in the shower crying from the pain. It is relentless and is definitely best described by pins and needles jabbed into you at random around the shoulders, back, and chest. I am 38 now and I got burnt 2 days ago and have been hoping it would not happen. Well it started about 2 hours ago and just now easing up, I agree with the above post, anything put on the skin makes it worse, I have learned to just try to limit movement and try to focus on something else, there is really nothing to do about it except tough it out and wait it out. It is SO bad though. Had to respond, as it was comforting to know it happens to other people. No person would understand unless they have felt the same pain.
Take a hot bath!! I know this sounds crazy but it really works! I searched the Internet when my husband had this terrible burn. Live yogurt helps too! But the answer to your prayers is a hot bath! Soak as long as you can and good luck, I would never want anyone else to to have this pain!
You need a PURE ALOE VERA GEL.you can get it from any drugstore.it will say AFTER SUN.it will sooth you and calm your skin down.you can also get a aloe vera leaf.cut it open and apply it.HOPE YOU FEEL BETTER.I WILL PRY FOR YOU.I JUST GOT OVER PRICKLY HEAT AND AND AN ALLERGIC REACTION
I am having the same symptoms as all the people above, and this is now the second time I have gone through this. The pain is excruciating and I feel sorry for all those who have to go through it! I wish I could be writing with a cure, but I'm not. I however writing to tell anybody who goes through this there is something to help the pain and let the time pass for it to go away. I have found, and as weird as it sounds, warm showers makes the pain go away. unfortunately it doesn't make it go away fully, but when it comes back I just hop in the shower and repeat this until the pain goes away fully. The first time I had these symptoms I tried all applications, medicines, and a doctor but nothing worked. I just so happen to be desperate enough to try a warm shower and found it to be the only thing that helps. I hope this will help anyone who gets it and hopefully you don't get it again.
Vinegar - a lady I knew from Florida told me that that's what they use - provides instant relief. Sounds weird, but I've used it and it works - it only provides relief for the pins and needles - you will definitely use a lot of it and have someone keep applying it when it dries.
Have had this now for two days, on and off, absolute torture. Had sun burn twice in my youth, 30 years ago, but nothing like this. Then it was the usually hotness, peeling and itch when peeling. This is exactly as described, constant pricking sensations, itchy too but yet not itchable, appearing in intense bubndles acorss ches, neck, upper back, shoulders,
and if it abates in one area, starts in another, sometimes abating only to come back with a vengeance. I honestly thought I would crack up and had to lock myself in a room, silently groaning, least I frighten the kids with the contorted face and welled up eyes!!
I'm not fair skinned, a low block usually protects me and I tan, but I got careless this time, was without shirt in the sun at the worst time for a few hours, and baam, 20 hours later, this the worst torture ever. Creams, moisturisers, definitely make it worse, showers in tepid, moderately cold water only provided brief and not full respite, and when out, it's worse than ever. Got no sleep last night at all. Has some what abated now, but still there in bits, just cannot go to bed. The missus got worried, but I sensed it has to pass. Problem was I thought it did twice, only for it to come back with a vengeance. This is the second night of it. Hopefully it will be gone for good tomorrow.
What in the name of God is this specific sunburn condition that would make you want to tear your skin off but you can't that drains you mentally and physically.
Nothing I have read on the med sites I have scanned covers this. Thank God for meeting others here. Wish I had googled the symptoms earlier.
To think I have still to go through the usual post sun burn itch and creepy crawley sensation after this, though that will be a picknick in comparison.
I am 17 and ive got sunburn before but not one where I feel pins and needles it is the worse feeling ever. when I feel the needles my legs or arms or where ever the sunburn is starts to move on its own because of how painful it is. you just want to itch it away but then you will feel even more pain then before.
The first time I noticed this issue was six year ago after being burned pretty bad in a tanning bed. For months, every morning after my shower, the prickliness would start, mostly in my legs but also random places all over my body. I too thought I would go insane as I couldn't decide whether I wanted to cry or scream while ferociously rubbing my skin. Ever since then when it is spring or fall (especially) it comes back, not to the degree as the original episode but always in the morning after my shower. The only relief I find is to put pants on to limit the exposure to air circulation.
I have had this twice in my life and I've sworn to never let it happen again!! Especially now I've moved from UK to a sunny country.
8 years ago I got it on my back in Thailand whilst playing soccer on the beach thinking I could not get burned on a cloudy day. I also got it much worse last week after moving to Singapore and laying by the pool for 90 minutes with no cream on, my fault.
Usually for sun burn you should have a hot shower or bath to open your pores and then apply Aloe Vera or Tea Tree Oil. DO NOT TRY THIS IF YOU HAVE THE PRICKLES!! The warm water will only make it 100 times worse as I found out.
However, there is something I've used both times and it works for me.
Snake Brand Prickly Heat Powder.
Use it like talc. Put some in your hand and then lightly rub the affected area. Dont put loads on as it cools so much that it then becomes uncomfortable as well. Just enough so you can see it on your skin but still see your skin through the powder. Then lay down still and try really hard not to scratch the prickles. It will take around 15 minutes to cool you down but it definitely works.
Thanks for your post. I have just woken up and this condition has finally gone after 36 hours. It was my upper back that was effected. Like so many I made the mistake of trying different creams, fresh Aloe Vera all of which aggrivated it. Because it was the weekend no doctors were open so I went to emergency at my local hospital (feeling guilty cause there were so many sick people there) but I couldn't stand it any longer. I had to wait 5 hours to be seen only to be sent home with patches on my back that they use on burn victims.. well they were quickly ripped of when I got home as it incresed the pis and needles by 10 fold. Then I found this blog and thank god because I was going crazy, I have a high pain thresh hold and this is up there. I went back to the hospital (this time in tears) and tried to explain what I had read in this blog and all of your experences and guess what! THE DOCTOR STILL LOOKED AT ME STRANGE and was going to send me home with some over the counter pain killers. I demanded they give me something stronger (Codeine) and also something to help me sleep (Valium) as I had been up all night. They finally obliged and exhausted I went home, drugged myself up, put frozen peas in a towel and wrapped it around my shoulders which gave me great relief. I woke up 4 hours later and the pins and needles where still there so I took more pain meds and drunk a huge glass of water and went back off to sleep. I'm now awake and pain free but feel mentally exhausted. So DO NOT PUT ANY CREAMS OR LOTIONS IT. Only use ice-packs wrapped in a towel or even a tee shirt and use STRONG pain relief. Also an antihistime like Benadryl will be of benefit too if it's an allergy, well at least it will sedate you and help bring on sleep. Never in my life (49 yrs old) have I experienced something so delibertating. It was torture!!!! So glad I found your posts..
Just to add further to my post I was badly sunburnt on my back and it started 24 hours afterwards. I had no rash and it wasn't itchy (which is associated with prickly heat rash) just painful pins and needles and like electrical shocks going through my back non stop and aslo like someone jabbing me with 100 needles. Just an awful torturuos experience!!!!! Wouldn't wish it upon my worst enemy. Hope I have helped someone and there is light at the end of the tunnel. Remember keep it dry and cold and use strong pain relief and an antihistimine to knock yourself out. Good luck!!
It is shocking to me that this is not more known about! It is very frustrating to not be understood and then percieved as a baby because you're going crazy over a sunburn. I was told once that the reason it happens is because it burns through to the nerve endings. The nerve endings are now irritated which is why creams irritate it so much.
I am 24 years old sitting up at 3 o'clock in the morning with this same horrible sensation, it is the worst pain I have ever felt in my life, this is the third time I have suffered from it, the strange thing is that my sunburn was not even that bad, a slight redness on my back, my chest and abdomen also suffered slight burns but I have not had this sensation in those areas, it seems to be only affecting my back, so far i have not found anything to end or relieve this pain, hot showers only seem to make it worse, all I can do is sit here and try not to move, and hope that it goes away soon. As a former marine I am embarresed that this causes me so much utter agony, I just want to go insane. I would not wish this on anyone ever, it is almost unbearable.
The first thing I can say is are you in sunburn pain or is it excruciating pins and needles. I have had this pins and needles sensation for years and have found the cure... A STEROID SHOT. The pain of the sunburn occurs that first night. Then after 2-4 days of normal sunburn pain the pins start. It could be in the middle of the day or in the middle of the night. I have been told it is basically a severe reaction or described as sun poisoning.
But with all that what it is or is not doesn't make you feel any better. But it occurred to me during the 3rd day some years ago and I drove straight to Dr office. He gave me a shot of steroid and with in 15 seconds the most painful sensation to ever occur to my back was GONE. This has happened to me at least 4 times. I hope this helps everyone. It will work.
Same here ... Yesterday On Sunday I went to Santa Cruz beach and now I have this BAD sensation I didn't sleep whole night up till now 6:52a.m... I m very sensitive to sun always get red like tomatoes!..But the needles I feel first time in my life !!!!!! So as I said I m very sensitive to sun So I tired to prepare myself before going to the beach ,I did tan for the last 3 weeks if not more slowly by catching some sun for short time on Stanford campus ..so my skin got darker I didn't feel discomfort being in the sun anymore ..on the beach I was pretty much ok ..my body didn't get too red but my legs i I would say even my feet !!!its crazy !!! But crazy or not now I m feeling like cut my feet off with a little bit of my legs .. I tired plain yogurt around 3 a.m. That's when I realized if I right now don't do sth I will go insane ..it did relief a little after 10-15 mins but already in 15 more minutes I felt the same !!! Started putting all the cold things I could find in the fridge ...also helps but really not much ..now I took 600 ibuprofen and ketanov pill a very strong pain killer it's from Ukraine since I'm from Ukraine.. Now I'm laying down hoping that will help .. Trying to think about sth else.. But honestly !! I wanna break sth I feel like go around breaking things in the house !!! .. I just hope it will go away soon !!! And yes creams made it worse .. I'm my case ..
Sorry to hear you all suffer from this hellish condition but I'm happy I'm not alone. Today would rank as one of the worst days of my life. The last day of my honeymoon in Costa Rica. Two days ago I went to the beach and forgot my sunblock. I tried to limit my exposure but none the less I got a bit of a burn which caused this hellish day.
Last night I woke up around 2am with the pins and needles curse. Maybe we should rename it to hellish burning/itching stabbing pain that gets worse with pretty much anything you do. Normally this affliction puts me out of service for a day where I lay quietly in my room waiting for it to go away. Today I had to drive through the Mountains of Costa Rica for 4 hours and then sit on a plane for 6 hours.
I'm pretty sure anyone watching me must have thought I was going through drug withdrawal. Everything I did made the pain more unbearable. I consider myself a tough guy (35) but this had me on the verge of insanity. Stuck in a car and on a plane for most of the day while trying not to move or think about the horror of each nerve ending on my back firing pain messages to my brain was too much to handle. All I had was Advil which was like trying to stop a forest fire with shot glass of water.
Once home I hit the old trusty pain killers and now I'm only slightly aware that my back is still really really pissed off. As much as I hate taking them pain killers are the only thing that have taken the edge off for me. T3 or stronger. I have my alarm set so I can take more before the last pills wear off. We need more information on this condition. It must be documented somewhere. If there's ever a drive for donations to find a cure count me in. I ***** to be afraid of a sun burn.
P.S. It would be nice if people who told you it's not too bad it's just a sunburn could feel what we go through for just 10 seconds. I don't want to scar them for life i just want them to understand...
I've suffered with this every time i go abroad, it first happened when i was about 12 years old i was in ibiza.Im 22 now, it happened last year for over 36 hours, i was going INSANE in my hotel room, chucking stuff, i just wanted to pain to stop. it is literally the worst pain i've went through, after waiting for the doctor who NEVER turnt up to my hotel room, i went to one of there little hospitals, the doctor was great, he gave me a CHLORPHENIRAMINE Injection, and a course of DACORTIN 30MG tablets which deals with allergic reactions and is an anti inflammatory(Think its also a steroid plus, these things are the size of hockey pucks!). he also gave me just some basic antihistamine tablets to take called RUPATADINA 10MG .
Before you go abroad or go sun bathing make sure to consult a doctor and do some research about how you can prevent it, because you can, i can guarantee if i had that injection and them pills within the first 2 minutes i felt it coming it would have stopped a few minutes after.
My 22 year old son is going through this right now. He has such a high tolerance for pain that him yelling about this pain freaked me out so I just took him to ER since it was 11:30 pm. The doctor was a big jerk and said it was just a sunburn. He acted all annoyed that we were there for such a minor thing. It didn't seem to matter to him that my son was writhing there in pain. He told him to take Advil and wait it out. Our whole family became sunburned while out waterskiing and as our sunburns started to feel better on day three, his was getting worse. There has to be something else going on here to make all of you have this intense pain. Wish there was a doctor out there who could figure this out.
My boyfriend is going through this right now, we naturally went for the obvious Aloe Vera, after sun, camomile. He eventually couldn't take anymore and jumped in the shower freezing cold, with a bath towel over his back. After reading this I convinced him to try a hot shower, he was very sceptical but tried it as he was freezing from standing in the cold shower. He was in the hot shower for 15mins and was saying he was comfortable again. At first I was rolling my eyes at him thinking he was exaggerating, but after a couple of minutes I realised this was serious. I would highly recommend a hot shower/bath and AVOID ALL CREAMS OR OILS. Good luck :-)
Happened to me yesterday. It is torture. When it first happened in Cuba several years ago, I went to the medical centre in Santa Clara. The Cuban doctor gave me pills and some cream and charged me $45. It worked. I could have kissed him on the moustache. The best $45 I ever spent, but I would love to know what he gave me. It was a white greasy cream and some small yellow pills, but I have no idea what they were.
If you are experiencing this is may be something called Notalgia paresthetica
I have had the itch at the area of the left shoulder blade - same spot for over a year , I noticed it when I was in on holiday last year and to be truthful the pain was so bad I thought I had just sunburned that part in my back really badly as it was red and nothing else was showing . I thought I had missed sunscreen there . When I was on holiday this year I ensured I had plenty high factor sunscreen on my back but this made no difference the itch and pain was at its worse again with the heat - again I thought what is this itch pain and when I came home I researched the internet and came up with the above .
Notalgia paresthetica is a condition where the skin of the upper back becomes itchy, and there is often a darker
patch of skin on the itchy area. Notalgia paresthetica may be caused by a problem with the nerve cells that
provide feeling to the skin of the upper back (sensory neuropathy). Skin changes, if present, are due to chronic rubbing and scratching of the affected area.
Who's At Risk
Notalgia paresthetica can affect people of any age, of any race, and of either sex. However, it is thought to be
most common in middle-aged to older adults. Women seem to develop notalgia paresthetica more frequently
Though researchers are not certain what causes notalgia paresthetica, some studies have demonstrated spine
disease in the spinal bone (vertebra) at the level of the affected skin. Scientists speculate that spine disease
due to age or injury may press on a nerve providing feeling to that area of the skin, which leads to itching.
Signs and Symptoms
The most common location for notalgia paresthetica is the upper back, especially between the shoulder blades.
The area may be confined to only one side of the upper back, or it may occur in the middle of the upper back, over the spinal bones.
Notalgia paresthetica often occurs without any obvious changes to the skin. If skin changes do occur, there may be a well-defined patch of darker skin (hyperpigmentation) over the affected area.
Although periodic itching is the main symptom associated with notalgia paresthetica, some people notice pain, tingling, or a change in feeling (sensation) in the affected skin.
Dry skin is a common cause of itching, so it helps to apply a moisturizer to the itchy area at least twice a day.
If moisturizers are not helpful, try an over-the-counter cream containing an extract of hot peppers, called capsaicin, and follow the package directions carefully. You will probably not get immediate relief, and the capsaicin cream may take up to 6 weeks to have its full effect. If the capsaicin cream is effective, symptoms will likely come back after you stop using the cream.
When to Seek Medical Care
If moisturizers and capsaicin cream are not helpful, see your doctor for an evaluation.
Treatments Your Physician May Prescribe
Your doctor may be able to diagnose notalgia paresthetica by taking your history and examining your skin. In addition, your doctor might order an X-ray or another type of radiologic study, such as an MRI or a CT scan.
If you do have a diagnosis of notalgia paresthetica, your doctor may try the following:
I am now experiencing this hellish condition for the second time in my life. The pain is unbearable, as described above. DO NOT USE ALOE OR LOTIONS! Rubbing the afflicted area will result in more severe pain. That said, visit your local doctor or emergency care office and get a prescription strength topical corticosteroid, rubbing it in and the pain that results for 15 minutes afterward will be hell, but I promise you will feel better. Whatever you do, don't touch or scratch it. Also, get an oral steroid like prednisone or a steroid shot like mentioned above and take some painkillers.
I just experienced much of the exact same symptoms many are describing.
I went on vacation to the carribean and spent the first 3 days out in the sun without using any sunscreen on my body (I used 50 on my face and large brimmed hats, as I already have hyperpigmentation on my face- but that's a whole other forum). So yes, bad idea.
Well, the first day I got a little burned + tan, but it wasn't painful so I went out again the next day without suncreen. I definitely noticed I was burned much more on the backs of my legs, shoulders and back. Red and sore, yes, but nothing other than an ordinary sunburn..
By day 3, around dinner I started to notice a sort of tingling/pricking sensation on my upper back, between my shoulder blades. It was a bit uncomfortable but then started to spread around my back to my shoulders. Within a few hours it was full blown (only on my upper back, between shoulder blades, branching out to my shoulders) I was crying in pain. I have a very high pain tolerance, but this was unbearable. I will try to describe it: a painful pins and needs stabbing sensation. The only thing I could do was to pat/tap my back where the pain was, because it felt like it helped "break up" the pins and needles - but only when it was being stimulated with my tapping it. The pins and needles pain would shoot around the affected area at random, it seemed. It wasn't really itchy. Then, in addition to the clusters of pins and needles, there would be more singular pains that seemed more like a stab, and would send me shooting up and arching my back in pain.
This was like a form of torture. I could not sleep, I could not lay down, I tried to put a wet cold towel on my back, but that hurt on my skin and didn't do anything for the pain. It was pure hell.
I've experienced much worse looking sunburns in the past, and never had this feeling. It was non-stop for over 12 hours until I went into the pool (after applying a ton of sunscreen). The INSTANT I submerged the area, the pins and needles STOPPED. I eventually got out of the water and let myself dry, within a few hours the pins/needs had returned, BUT a much more dull, random tingles...
So now, its about a week and a half since the initial sunburn. My skin is reaaaaallly peeling, and it happens to be in the same area as the pins and needles. I am starting to feel a tingling sensation coming back around the affected area, so it feels like the problem is still lingering... I'm definitely not in pain, but its a slightly uncomfortable tingling. I want to know what this condition is because it's not a normal sunburn.
Amazing to find this page!
I'm going through the 'severe pins & needles' sensation as I type.
Absolute agony. In my 46 years, I've never felt such agonising pain, which brought me close to tears. It certainly made me shout & swear a lot! The neighbours probably now thing that I have Tourettes Syndrome!
Same as everyone says, this took 2 days after my sunburn, before it started. I've been burned many times in my life; last time, in Spain, I was covered in massive blisters, but never experienced this sensation before.
I got burned on Tuesday, badly (6 hours in full sun, gardening, with no shirt or suncream, stupid me!), & went to the doctor on Wednesday morning. She gave me 'Zerobase', a thick, emollient ointment, which i used yesterday afternoon, and all day today. All was great, until about 4 hours ago (8pm). I reapplied it to my back & shoulders, and within 20 seconds the stabbing started. MY GOD!! I've never felt anything like it!
I immediately had a very cool shower, & washed off the cream.
I thought that, as I'd prepared a hot curry just before I'd applied the cream, that maybe some spice was on my hands, & had caused the pain, so after showering for 20 mins, & feeling a slight easing of the pain, I reapplied the cream.
I REALLY wish I hadn't! The pain was worse than before. Absolute torture, & if I'd been asked to confess to ANY crime, I'd have done it, just to stop the pain. I really felt like I was going to pass out. I showered again, removed the cream, & covered my back in a cold, wet towel. The pain was no less.
I called my out of hours doctors, & was transferred to a nurse, who told me to take paracetamol, & call back if it got worse. Not much use really.
I chatted to an online friend, who suggested that I try applying natural yoghurt. I put a small amount on a 'test area', & again, within 10 seconds, that area was being stabbed. I quickly washed off the yoghurt, dried the area, & after a few minutes the stabbing died down a bit.
I then googled 'Sunburn Stabbing Needles', & found this page. I feel very relieved to see others have experienced this!! It's absolutely horrible, & I'd not wish the pain on my worst enemy.
Anyway, now that my back is dry, the pain is now at about 5% of what it was, with the odd stabbing pains here & there, some more painful than others, but NOWHERE near as bad as when my back was covered with cream, or water.
As others have said here... KEEP IT DRY!!!!!
I hope it doesn't last too long!
If you have it now, good luck to you, and my last three words are....
KEEP IT DRY!!!!
We are taking your advice to keep the area dry for my 17 yr old son. We have tried: vinegar, whipping cream, egg whites, Pure Aloe Vera, 99 Aloe Vera. The pain is aggravated into severe pins / needles / jabbing knife in spots. Numerous showers or luke warm baths in between each remedy also does not work. The only relief he has found has been with Advil, Aleve, and/or Tylenol, and also the Benadryl advice we found in a previous blog on this site. We are keeping it dry and keeping him medicated to make it through this very rough patch. The pain is such that there are screams and cries that I have never heard before. My husband has experienced this a few times before and knows exactly what the feeling is like. It's not fun. Someone should find a cure or pill that stops the sensation...
So glad I came across this post. This same thing happened to me last week. We had just gotten back from the beach. I had a slight sunburn on my back. Nothing horrible. I have had many sunburns before, including some that made me blister. This was just slight pink. On our first night home (about 3 days after I got the sunburn) I woke up with this slight pins and needles sensation on my back. I thought nothing of it and tried to go back to sleep, but I couldn't. 3 or 4 hours had passed by and it was driving me crazy. I tried putting aloe vera on my back. WORST DECISION EVER! This made it much worse. It felt like someone kept shocking me with a taser on my back in multiple locations at the same time. I tried taking a warm shower, a cold shower, putting lotion on, even just holding the cold aloe vera bottle on my back. Everything just made it worse. I never had anything like this happen to me before, so I looked it up and came across these posts. I saw that Benadryl helped, so I drove to Walgreens at 5am to pick some up. I took 2 and 30 mins later it was still getting worse. I started crying, so much so I woke up my husband. He didn't know what to do either. He read some more blogs that said cold helped. We have tile floor, so I literally laid on the floor with no shirt and rocked side to side so it would calm down. He thought maybe Advil would help, so I took 3. 1 hour later it was still getting worse. I started screaming and crying. I was about ready to run to the ER even though we don't have health insurance. I took one more Benadryl and laid on the bed crying. My husband started rubbing my back gently, and for some reason that helped tremendously! As long as he kept rubbing my back it was tolerable but as soon as he stopped it started all over again. I ended up falling asleep like this and when I woke up about 5 hours later it had stopped. I used to love to be outside and didn't care about wearing sunscreen, but I will NEVER get a sunburn again. This is absolutely the worst pain I have ever felt. Good luck to anyone who is unfortunate enough to get this.
Before I start, let me preface my advice by saying I am not a doctor, but I have been through this experience twice and can share my insight to help those who are suffering this unexplained malady. I previously had this happen to me 20 years ago, when I returned from a vacation in the Bahamas. My wife put Noxema on my back to moisturize it, and I immediately felt the crazy pins and needles sensation that has been described in this forum. It was pure agony, as I'm sure you all know. I jumped in the shower to wash it off, but when the water was not on it, it still was painful. I called my doctor cousin who suggested Benadryl, and I can't recall exactly what happened, but it eventually went away and I was groggy from the medicine so I was able to sleep somewhat. A few days ago, I was out in the sun way too long with no sunblock and I got red the same night. I used an aloe vera cream right away and for the next 2 days, it was a painful sunburn but manageable. Last night I came home and it was irritating me, si I applied the same cream as I have been the past 2 days, but this time the pins and needles came back. I immediately recalled that horrible night from 20 years ago. I jumped in the shower and washed off the cream, but I was still in excruciating discomfort. I thought it might have been the cream's additional ingredients that I reacted to, so I tried putting plain Vaseline on, but the pain would not stop. I did not have the benefit of the internet 20 years ago, so I came across this forum and tried some of the suggestions. This is what finally worked for me, no drugs involved at all:
I took a second shower to wash the Vaseline off, using no soap. I tried the hot water as suggested above, but it was too painful on my sunburned areas, so I switched to as cold as I could take without shivering. After the shower I put on a soft robe to pat dry. I then went into a room with a ceiling fan and a tower fan and turned both on. I sat on a chair for about 30 minutes in front and below the fans. Eventually the pain subsided to the point where I could manage it and went to bed within the hour.
This leads me to the following conclusions:
1. If you have had this happen before, you are prone to it, so use sunscreen and take care not to burn.
2. If you do sunburn, anticipate that after about 2-3 days, you will have it recur, so if you start do get the itchy feeling, DO NOT use any creams whatsoever. better to live with a little pain than a lot! It seems that when your skin makes the transition from old to new healthy skin, it triggers receptors in your brain that increase sensitivity to external moisturizers. Interestingly, it seems just touching the area in pain alleviates the situation as if you were scratching it. It must be the brain thinks that you are handling the situation, but it's a false hope as it jumps from place to place.
3. If you are reading this forum, you may be in the middle of an episode so just follow the same steps as I did:
4. Take a cool shower to wash off any lotions or creams. Be prepared to be uncomfortable for about 30-40 minutes after the shower as your skin dries. Therefore it is imperative to get yourself dried off as soon as possible.
5. Remove all clothing or towels over the affected areas, and stay in front of an air conditioner or fan. The sensation should start to lessen as time goes by. Hopefully within 30 minutes your skin will have dried enough to make the situation tolerable.
I hope this helps anyone who is experiencing this horrible ailment. Remember , prevention is a much better alternative. Good Luck to all of you!
I have the same "after-two-to-three day sun burn stabbing pins and needles". I've had it many times before. I live in New Zealand where you burn after 15 minutes.
I've never tried any of the medical solutions (pain killers, anti-inflammatory, steroids). The only thing that seems to work is a really hot shower, then staying dry and getting distracted by other things.
I also have dermagraphia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dermatographic_urticaria. I'd be interested if anyone else on here has it to and if it is related. It's basically a skin condition where you can write on your skin, which I think is basically hyper-localised inflamation (inflammation).
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