View Full Version : Sunburn

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06-29-2010, 04:02 PM
Hi everyone. So, on Sunday I played a few hours of tennis and got pretty bad sunburn on my shoulders and legs :crazy: Now, before we get into prevention, I actually DID use sunblock. Turns out, that it may be old and thus the lack of effectiveness..... :(

Anyway, the damage is done and now I am left to deal with the consequences. I am doing my best to stay hydrated and I am using lots of lotion and aloe on my sunburn. I am also taking some tylenol to help with the pain. I'm also wetting paper towels and sticking them in the fridge for a bit and applying those every so often to help with the heat and pain.

My question is, have any of you trained with this situation before? I am going to class tonight with the intention of giving it a shot, but I have a feeling I will end up sitting off on the side and will be practicing my observation skills instead. It hurts to move my shoulders too much and even the polo I am wearing right now hurts on my one shoulder. I'm guessing that ukemi and being sensei's uke will not work out in my favor.

Also, if you have any advice on treatment, that would be appreciated as well. ::eagerly waits to see responses::

06-29-2010, 04:45 PM
I think you will most likely aggravate the sunburn if you practice and cause more friction irritation. My two cents........

Michael Hackett
06-29-2010, 07:15 PM
Try using a spray bottle of tea to spritz your burned skin. It works for me really well. Four or five tea bags steeped in a quart of water does it. I think the benefit comes from the tannic acid found in tea. I've always used the ubiquitous Lipton tea bags. I've only been sunburned once bad enough to affect my normal life and that did the trick.

Walter Martindale
06-29-2010, 08:13 PM
I recall reading that extra virgin olive oil helps applied externally to the sunburn helps speed recovery but I would bet you're not going to practice for at least a couple of days.

06-29-2010, 11:00 PM
Don't push it... If you peel blistered skin off prematurely, you risk infection and/or scarring. Just take a few days off to tend to the injury. The mat will still be there when you get back.

Janet Rosen
06-29-2010, 11:11 PM
The list nurse says stay off the mat and don't risk irritating, infection or scarring.
Re remedies: olive oil won't do anything except possibly act as a temporary analgesic right after an acute burn; on a serious burn I would avoid anything that thick. Aloe vera as an immediate remedy is good; vit E oil later on when healing can help prevent scarring.

06-30-2010, 08:58 AM
From your description, your burn's bad enough that getting on the mat shouldn't even be under consideration. Treat it like any injury, i.e., with respect, and resume training when you've healed.

Peter Goldsbury
06-30-2010, 09:20 AM
I once traveled to an IAF Congress by motorbike. I took a few days to reach the location (Tanabe, in 1988), but on the last day of riding I got very seriously sunburnt. Large blisters formed on my arms (I was wearing a full-face helmet, so my face was unaffected). I was staying in a traditional ryokan (with Doshu and all the Aikikai notables), but the following morning, the owner of the ryokan took one look at my arms, as I went down to breakfast, and I was immediately despatched to the casualty section of the nearest hospital. By chance, the doctor also practised aikido, so I received very good treatment. I had the blisters dressed every morning before the start of the Congress sessions--and any aikido training was expressly forbidden. I was General Secretary and had to run the Congress sessions, but everyone saw my bandaged arms--and learned the reason. The treatment enabled me to bike back to Hiroshima, everywhere fully covered, in relative comfort.

06-30-2010, 10:15 AM
Man I'm Portuguese. I don't burn, I tan.
But I was a cook and suffered third degree burns before... Aloe and wrap it up. Don't know what to say? if it is on your shoulders, I'd give up rolling for a week or so to let it heal.

One of the Samurai tenets is self preservation after all, for what it is worth. :/

06-30-2010, 12:03 PM
I'm guessing that ukemi and being sensei's uke will not work out in my favor.

Also, if you have any advice on treatment, that would be appreciated as well. ::eagerly waits to see responses::
You are not looking for a cheap excuse to not to go practice? :p

There is an old saying from Himalaya: Everything that is not killing you, will reinforce you.

06-30-2010, 01:03 PM
Well, I will take everyone's advice into consideration. One of my dojomates gave me a leaf (correct word?) from his aloe plant and I have been applying that. Still keeping hydrated and am taking tylenol to help with the pain. Unfortunately, I didn't get some of these responses before I headed off to class last night. :/ Anyway, I took it slow and easy and my ukemi was alright. Granted, everything was backwards ukemi. I still don't think I could manage forward rolls.

I guess the smart think to do is just be aware of the technique and if I have to sit out, then I will sit out. Like you all said, there is no reason to make this condition worse then it is. I am am pretty stubborn when it comes to injuries and I don't usually know when to sit out. Thanks for helping me put things in perspective.... I needed it.

Lyle Laizure
06-30-2010, 04:12 PM
Oh the memories this brings back. I used to get one good sunburn a year. Painful enough not to want to put a shirt on. I never let it keep me off the mat but I'm not the sharpest spoon in the drawer. Everytime I did this my sensei would use me as uke and did on particular technique that would send me sliding on my shoulders. An exquisite pain it was.

07-02-2010, 12:31 PM
Just take it one day at a time. If you feel like training, by all means go ahead. I'm Irish though, and have learned to live with many burns and go about my business as per usual, and normally don't mind a little extra pain. You never know if you're going to have a bad burn during an altercation, so might as well train with it just in case. However, if you do sit out, aloe is very good, and the tea idea is good too. I found that an epsom salts bath with a little lavender and chamomile is good for what ales you as well. Take care, and good training to you.


07-02-2010, 11:13 PM
Well, I trained in every class. Backwards ukemi was no problem at all. Doing forward rolls was a totally different story. I ended up praying my partner would give me more and more energy so I could launch myself over without making contact with my arm or shoulder at all. Otherwise.... my gi felt like it was scratching my burn. Anyway, it is healing alright. I am now in the ucky peeling stage (which I was hoping to avoid...)

Janet Rosen
07-03-2010, 12:04 AM
. Anyway, it is healing alright. I am now in the ucky peeling stage (which I was hoping to avoid...)

Glad its on the mend. Now is when I'd probably take some vit E oil and blend it in my hand w/ some general purpose skin lotion (something lightweight, not a heavy cream) and apply it; the vit E really aids in healing and prevention of scars.

07-04-2010, 11:14 PM
Thanks Janet. I will start doing that. :) I also went out and got new sunblock. :rolleyes: Went and played tennis today and not only did I use new 50 spf sunblock, but I also wore a tennis sweater to keep the sun from doing anymore damage to my shoulder.