Monday, July 07, 2008

Like leprosy, only not contagious

My sunburn has already gone through the first four stages of healing.

  1. It has been discovered.

  2. It has been repeatedly remarked upon by others. Goodness, got a little pink there, didn’t ya?

  3. Suggestions for cures have been presented by various persons. I had some aloe vera / lidocaine gel on hand, so that’s what I used – but the suggestions were all noted and appreciated. There will be other sunburns, I can count on that. Because I never learn. NEVER.

  4. We have been through the four days of steadily decreasing discomfort, going from yelping and cringing when touched to a mere irritable grumble when prodded.

And now, we enter the Fifth and Final stage of sunburn healing: The dreaded peeling phase.

My décolletage and arms look like I sprayed them with Pam and rolled around in bean bag chair filling. I have developed a compulsive habit of rubbing at them, and it is only by dint of extreme self-restraint that I avoid attempting to, one by one, with an expression of intense concentration, all day long.

There is no end to this peeling. None. The peeling, it is Epic. It’s bad enough that it, like the original burn, is being remarked upon. “Oooooh, got a sunburn, did ya? Yeah, cause, you’re peeling pretty good there.”

Gosh, really? Wow, I hadn’t noticed that half my body was attempting to peel away from the rest of me. Thank you for letting me know.

But of course, the best moments are when someone recoils in horror, squeaking, “OH MY GAWD! You’re, like, PEELING!”

Maybe they think sunburns are a virus? Or perhaps they suspect leprosy?

Impossible to say.

I really hate this phase of sunburn recovery. Hate. It. Granted, the Red Phase is more painful and all, but the peeling is just plain ugly.

Not to mention kind of gross. I mean, really! Everywhere I go, I’m keenly aware that I am shedding bits of myself. I feel almost as nasty about rubbing at my arms right now as I would if I were picking my nose – I just really don’t want anybody to see me doing it.

But it itches. And in an unguarded moment I will start rubbing at my arms. Suddenly I realize that I’m sending a cloud of dead skin into the air around me! GAH!

Then I try to act cool while surreptitiously looking around to see if anybody looks like they’re uploading a cell phone video of my antics to YouTube. Because obviously a video of me itching at sunburn-healing-phase-five peeling would be a hot YouTube item.

Fortunately, the phase (and associated paranoia around being videoed) will be over soon.

In related news, Mary Kay Satin Hands Satin Smoothie Hand Scrub does a pretty decent job of removing sunburn peeling. It’s gentle enough that it doesn’t, you know, HURT your poor newly exposed skin, but rough enough to get the bulk of the peels currently frolicking on your limbs in a wildly inappropriate manner (the hussies!) OFF.

And it has a gentle peach scent, too. Much better than, you know, charred flesh or frantic washcloth.

In other related news…I seriously think that I should be excused from cooking until the peeling is over. For, you know, obvious reasons. Right? Right.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go order some pizza for dinner tonight, an act of supreme hygienic nobility that shows my boundless love and self-sacrificing nature.


Lisa T said...

Weird. Because my youngest came home from a weekend at the lake with his dad (and therefore a sunburn of course) and the peeling is the part I'm looking forward to. Everybody tries to get the largest intact piece.

Written down, this does kind of sound sick.

Celestial said...

Always used the "After the sun lotion" from Walmart. Think it might be Banana Boat. Keeping it well moisturized always helped me with peeling.

And Lisa, you're not alone. I can't resist peeling the shedding skin. Nor could my mom.

Leoal said...

I love peeling the skin too. It is really satisfying when you get a big one. Besides, I figure people are shedding skin all the time, it's just more obvious at times like this. After all, like, 75% of the dust in your house is skin. Or something. I didn't look it up, I just heard it somewhere once.

Anonymous said...

Ooh, yeah, the peeling is the fun part. I'm burned right now and actually hoping I peel some. Very strange.

Lydee said...

nah, i'm with you tama, I'd rather use some sort of skin scrub stuff in the bath to try to tame the peeling. oh well, perfectly good excuse to not cook ;-)

Rena said...

Oh honey, I am so sorry.

I wonder if what would happen if you shook really hard like a puppy. How far would bits of skin fly?

Ick. I grossed myself out.

-C said...

You could look on the bright side and realize that you just got a much cheaper full body peel than the peels they offer at the swanky spa's. Of course if you factor in the cost of the vacation, I suppose it might be cheaper to go to the swanky spa. So nevermind....

Threeundertwo said...

Who doesn't love to peel?

Funny post.

Heidi said...

Gives new meaning to the movie Gattica, huh? They would be able to find you in an instant. Freaky. Oh and it could be worse. Last weekend my 12 yr old niece spent the entire day telling me I would be sorry that I didn't put sunscreen on. And then followed that up for the next couple of days with "I told you so".