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Sunburn with horrible Pins and Needles Sensation
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Sunburn with horrible Pins and Needles Sensation

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.

Thank you for assistance.


This discussion is related to Sunburn .
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535822_tn?1389452880
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.
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Avatar_n_tn
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
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Avatar_n_tn
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.
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Avatar_f_tn
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.
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Avatar_m_tn
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.
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Avatar_m_tn
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.
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Avatar_m_tn
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.
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Avatar_f_tn
Have any of you tried cold Aloe Vera gel or juice?  it has properties that are particularly healing and soothing for burns.
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Avatar_f_tn
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.

Goodluck
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Avatar_m_tn
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.
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Avatar_f_tn
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!
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Avatar_n_tn
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
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Avatar_f_tn
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.
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Avatar_f_tn
Try a milk bath.  No kidding.  Put some milk in the tub with your bath water.  It soothes sunburn.
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Avatar_m_tn
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.
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Avatar_m_tn
I can not bear this!!!!!!!!!!!!!

feels like someone is jabbing me with needles. i was really panicing until i read this forum, i took two stone cold showers today and one red hot one, but only the hot one soothed it for ten minutes,

i even went to first aid room at work and put burn fluid on it and i could of cried, the most torturing feeling ever!!! i felt like ripping off my skin! its all over my chest and stomach,

im a 28 year old guy and would say im a wuss but this pain is almost bringing me to tears. no creams work, aloe vera, after sun, moisturiser, vinager, milk, hot baths.

i dont know what works but i can tell you these dont. the only thing that makes it bearable is gently rubbing my hands across it but as soon as i stop its back.

but take my advice, DO NOT PUT ANY CREAM ON IT! you have been warned people

please god let it be gone tomorrow, i cant cope.
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Avatar_m_tn
also, i burnt on sunday its now tuesday and only started happening today
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Avatar_m_tn
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.

The chicken pox would be preferable!
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Avatar_f_tn
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.
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Avatar_f_tn
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.  
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Avatar_m_tn
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.
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Avatar_f_tn
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..  
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Avatar_f_tn
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!!
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