- It has been discovered.
- It has been repeatedly remarked upon by others. Goodness, got a little pink there, didn’t ya?
- 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.
- 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 pick.each.flake.off, 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.