After a lovely weekend spent mainly relaxing, sailing and swimming, it really is a tough life sometimes, I woke up Monday with bright red and extremely painful hands that hurt when I just moved my fingers and a painful patches of skin on my face. My first lesson was that whilst make up did tame the redness on the face it dried or irritated my skin ultimately making the situation much worse.
My “problems” started when I managed to burn my hands, knees and feet whilst sailing on Saturday. This was not particularly painful, more embarrassing when I was out and about with bright red skin and heading to the movies to watch 50 Shades of Grey (two plus hours of my life I can’t get back!).
I had plans to pop round to our American Friends house for a catch up and also to see their not so little puppy who we looked after over New Years Eve with some lunch and a swim thrown in. Despite my sunscreen application (I HATE sunscreen so much but it is essential here) I managed to burn my face, shoulders and arms and so I tried some coconut oil on my hands and face before heading home to sooth the burn. I did notice in the car that I was looking pretty red but just cursed my pale British skin which never ever tans, had a shower because my skin was feeling a bit warm and went to bed.
In the morning though my hands looked seriously sun burnt and were very painful for me. Of course I had planned to go to Court with one of my colleagues which is fun when you look like a beetroot. I lost count of the number of people who asked me if I liked the sun a bit!
Tuesday morning I had had enough of the pain in my hands and booked a Doctors appointment. I also texted a picture of my hands to my Mum who is a nurse who suggested I try an antihistamine which sounded like a good idea but I also figured it was just sunburn. I walked into the Doctors and before I could even finish telling her what was wrong she informed he was I having quite a bad allergic reaction. Ooops! She was pretty annoyed I had left it pretty much three days to visit the Doctor and prescribed me a bunch of lotions and pills to fix the problem. I tried to explain I thought it was just sunburn but I don’t think she believed me.
I started the tablets and cream and by the evening my hands stopped hurting almost altogether and the redness in my hands has now gone right down. My face is a lovely shade of paleish pink still but hopefully that will go down altogether shortly too.
Thinking about what I had done differently since the sunburn the only thing I could pick out was applying the coconut oil on my face and hands so it seems I might be allergic to that. I have allergies to shellfish and horse hair so it makes sense that’s not the end of my allergies but it was a bit of a surprise as whilst I don’t like coconut fruit to eat, I use the milk and cream in cooking a lot with no problem.
I’m planning too try a little spot of the oil on my skin when everything has gone down to work out if that is what I am allergic too but I’ve never experienced an allergic reaction like this before and hope I never do again. I’ve been planning to get myself tested for allergies so it might well be a good idea to do it.
So that was definitely an unexpected and a bit embarrassing turn of events but I had a lovely weekend and am hopeful to be back to myself by this weekend. One lesson learnt though is I really do have to be careful about wearing sunscreen so I don’t get burnt again as I have been bad at applying it since I arrived in Darwin. I am also grateful that my reaction wasn’t as bad as some that people experience with their allergies.