This is no regular sunburn itch. This itch is so agonizingly painful, that you would rather rip your skin off than have to deal with it. I’ve had sunburns before, but I swear this was the absolute worst experience ever! I wanted to cry, freak out and scratch my skin off all at once!
Again, let me reiterate: this itch is the worst sunburn itch you’ll ever have – you honestly can’t relate until you’ve gotten it. (And I’m so sorry if you do!) To describe it the best I can, it’s like someone is running knives over your back and once you (regretfully!) scratch the spot, you feel relief for about 2 seconds until the pain comes back and it comes with a vengeance! There are now a hundred little bugs carrying huge daggers running about, setting fire to your skin. It is the most irritating, annoying and painful itch I have ever had on my skin.
I got sunburned on Sunday and it has been exactly 48 hours since it happened. I’ve seen this all over the internet donned “The Itch From Hell” and a lot of the solutions are prescription lotions or pills. Not only did I not have the time (I couldn’t go a minute without the pain reoccurring) to go to the doctor/pharmacy, I probably wouldn’t be able to get a shirt on long enough without ripping it off and scratching incessantly.
I tried everything: I put on aloe vera gel (made it WAY worse!), tried keeping a cold cloth on the area (once I did this there was some relief but another spot would flare up!), putting ice cubes on my back (basically did nothing). Nothing worked! After about 2 hours of the most unbearable feeling in my life, running up and down the halls, itching, regretting it, screaming and crying, did I start wondering if I was going crazy.
At the very least, I was somewhat lucky; I got this when I got home from work so at least I didn’t have to worry about the pain before or at work.
OKAY. I know if you have this all you want is an answer!
Take a HOT SHOWER! I took about 10 cold showers that would just numb the pain until I got out and the towel irritated it again (or the air, or a stupid piece of hair that kept lightly touching the spot). I took one hot shower for about 10 minutes and it honestly helped.
Having a hot shower when you have a sunburn definitely isn’t going to feel good, but I swear it will help!
If you do have this, I would certainly try this first before you spend the money on the prescriptions. (It’s also a chemical-free option!)
UPDATE: I recently got together with my brother for his birthday at my mom’s house and he shared a story that started very similar to the one above; he experienced the hell itch too! I’ve heard of other people on the internet experiencing it, but I’ve never met someone who’s endured it before! It’s so weird how we both got it within weeks of each other and I’ve never even heard about until this year.
My brother got burnt on his arms and he said he tried everything and went to the pharmacy to get hydrocortisone cream but the pharmacist suggested Benadryl and an anti-itch cream. He got home took the medicine and rubbed the cream in and said it alleviated it for about 30 minutes then the pain would come back. He ended up going back to the pharmacy to get the hydrocortisone and said that calmed it down enough to be bearable.
Hopefully you don’t have this and if you do, hopefully it will help!