Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Severe sunburnt eczema

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 2 Replies
  • Posted By: Wizardoftheplains
  • June 15, 2008
  • 10:04 PM

Hi, I am a 42 year old male. This is a sunburn problem, complicated by dry skin / atopic eczema. My skin is generally quite dry and random patches can dry out, causing the itch-scratch cycle, resulting in rashes and bleeding. I apply Doublebase (a prescription moisturiser, with a gel base) daily to stop my skin drying out.

Apologies in advance for the graphic detail!, but I haven't been able to find a standard description of it. "Severe sunburn" is normally listed as red, shiny and/or blistering, but mine is more like a 3rd degree fire burn, presumably because of the dry skin condition.

I haven't been able to get out in the sun for a long time, and 1 week ago I sunbathed for an hour, on a hot afternoon. This was a mistake, as it went pink, and gradually over 2 days the skin on top of my shoulder dried, went hard and cracked like crazy paving. I applied a little doublebase to help it heal by keeping it moist, and it soothed the itching. On the 3rd day it dried out at work (an office), so I splashed some water on it to rehydrate the gel in the skin. This was also a mistake, as the hard cracked surface turned instantly to a disgusting grey mush! I wiped off the surface with toilet paper, leaving a weeping mess. I then stuck a layer of tissue to it, to stop it weeping and help it dry out, and went back to work. (This may have been a catalogue of errors on my part, but it all made sense at the time!!).

Over the next few days the tissue paper helped it scab over, although the scabs were also very cracked, weepy and hard, and felt disgusting. I used Doublebase again, very lightly, to fill the cracks and prevent infection to the tissue underneath. Gradually most of the cracked surface has broken off, revealing good new skin underneath. My shoulder currently has random small cracks, scabs, and solidified ooze, which will need to heal a 3rd time.

So, is all well now, and is this normal? Or, what is best to apply to it? I am a little worried about triggering cancer or melanoma or something like that, because of the severity.

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2 Replies:

  • EWWWW...:o! Have you seen the doc for this bout of sunburn? This doesn't sound like a typical eczema. Just one hour in the sun did this? Did you use suntan lotion or sunscreen? Please research the food allergy connection to eczema. Most docs dismiss this, but often there is a connection to dairy, wheat, processed foods, and others. You may also be "allergic" to the sun. Research NAET. Is this eczema there all the time or does it come and go? How long have you had this problem? DOM
    acuann 3080 Replies Flag this Response
  • DOM quoth...>EWWWW...:o! Have you seen the doc for this bout of sunburn?No, I only thought of going to see him yesterday, and now I'll have to wait all week or take time off work (which I'd rather not). I am used to skin problems, and seeing the doctor doesn't usually occur to me! > This doesn't sound like a typical eczema. Just one hour in the sun did this? Did you use suntan lotion or sunscreen? Yes, 1 hour on a hot day; but no lotion of sunscreen. But it only went pink, and for 2 days went redder and stingy, as sunburn does, and looked like it was going to peel. I've always had a delayed reaction to the sun.> Please research the food allergy connection to eczema. Most docs dismiss this, but often there is a connection to dairy, wheat, processed foods, and others. You may also be "allergic" to the sun. Research NAET. I may be - perhaps because I haven't had enough of it in recent years?> Is this eczema there all the time or does it come and go? How long have you had this problem? I had it severely in my youth (eczema/asthma combination), and it cleared up when I left home, and came back 4 years ago. For 2 years it gradually spread, I got depressed and I was afraid it might kill me (through open wounds, infections etc). But gradually I've learned how to manage it better. It itches most of the time in the background, and I scratch here and there throughout the day. I take combinations of Piriton, paracetamol/codeine, and ibuprofen to help me sleep. Sometimes it looks like clearing up, and other times I despair! But life is gradually improving.Steve
    Wizardoftheplains 1 Replies Flag this Response
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