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BBawlight's avatar

Why did my skin feel like it was burning?

Asked by BBawlight (2427points) April 18th, 2012

Yesterday, my Physical Education teachers brought us outside. I was wearing short sleeves, something I don’t usually do. I normally wear a jacket or a long sleeved shirt under a short-sleeved shirt. When I went outside, my skin felt like it was burning. I quickly got under the shade and the burning stopped. My skin is naturally pale as snow. Did that have something to do with it? I don’t know.
I need to know if I will be needing sunscreen whenever I go outside without sleeves.

Any information will be stored in my brain for usage on my lifelong quest for knowledge,
BBawlight

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17 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Yes to sunscreen. Sounds like you will need 50.

Kayak8's avatar

@marinelife is right on target!

BBawlight's avatar

@marinelife I don’t know what you mean by 50… do you mean SPF 50?

Seek's avatar

You might want to see a doctor. Extreme sun sensitivity is a serious condition that may require treatment.

JLeslie's avatar

Burning like you are getting a sunburn, or burning like on fire?

JLeslie's avatar

@BBawlight Did you wind up with a sunburn? Or, once inside your skin was ok? I agree use SPF on exposed skin, at least 15. And, I would go as far to say keep your body covered as much as possible before you get it checked by a doctor. In the hottest places in the world, with the strongest sun, people cover their heads and wear flowing cotton or linen loose garments. Think Arab countries, the men even wear a dresslike garment and cover their heads when in more typical dessert dress. It is for practicality not just tradition. The sun beating on your skin is hot. Not that I expect you to dress just like that, but wearing comfortable clothes that cover you might make you more comfortable. Stay in the shade as much as possible.

BBawlight's avatar

@JLeslie No, the sun was only on me for a short period of time, like two seconds, before I sought shade. My skin was okay inside. I usually wear, like I said, long sleeve shirts under short sleeved shirts and at times, I’ll wear a light jacket.

JLeslie's avatar

@BBawlight There are skin conditions where people cannot tolerate sun at all. But, it sounds like this is new for you, not something that you have lived with your whole life. Would you describe it as a nerve pain?

BBawlight's avatar

Nerve pain? No. It just felt as if the sun were closer than ever. I haven’t been outside for months until then. I think I’m just not used to it. It felt like I was developing a strong sunburn as I just stood there.It was very painful. Like my skin was absorbing the sun…

JLeslie's avatar

@BBawlight Well, I get burned in 30 minutes without suntan lotion on, but with SPF 15 I barely get a change in color at all. I lived in FL for years, never used more than 15. You cetainly can use more if you want.

If the SPF and clothing works, then probably you don’t need a physician, but you cam mention whenever you are at the doctor next time for a check up.

One caution, I would bet money you are Vitamin D dificient. Next time you go to the doctor ask for the blood test.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor.

Buttonstc's avatar

Are you taking antibiotic medication for anything? There are some antibiotics which make one’s skin hypersensitive to Sun exposure. Not something most people are routinely aware about.

JLeslie's avatar

That is a great question @Buttonstc! Very true. And, some of the meds are commonly prescribed to teens.

BBawlight's avatar

@Buttonstc No, I’m not. It was just a usual day, except for the burning.

ambermasters's avatar

I just stumbled on your Q&A. I have this same problem. It started in my early 20s and has continued into my 40s. No one has any idea why. I have been to many doctors and they all say the same thing, “They have no idea what it could be.” They run several tests and try me on different medicines. A couple of things help me over the current sun exposure, but nothing prevents reactions if I am out in it again. I will say that sunblock doesn’t help. Also, if the warmth of the sun reaches my skin, it happens as well. Is this a problem with you?

BBawlight's avatar

@ambermasters It used to be (around the time I asked this question) I just felt… a prickly sensation on my arms and it burned. Like I was developing a sunburn by just standing there.

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