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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