As summer ebbs ever closer, they start popping up everywhere. Bright red, wincing, and trying (yet failing) to hide the tell-tale signs with cleverly applied makeup, there’s nothing more depressing than an early summer sunburn victim. Sure, we’ve all been there, but, somehow, we forget the terror of those tan lines and burned bums by the time June rolls around each year. In the interest of jogging your memory and preparing you for a SPF-filled summer, Frisky staff members and friends have valiantly offered up their sunburn horror stories.
“You always see TV shows where a little kid paints a sunscreen smiley face or something on a sleeping adult. As it turns out, that actually happens. Except, in my case, it was one of my adult friends and the burn lasted weeks.” — Pat
“I’m a redhead, so basically anytime I leave the apartment without sunscreen between May and September, I’m a walking cautionary tale. I guess the most horrific instance happened years ago when I was 12 and on a family vacation with my parents and sister in Hawaii. We spent an entire day at a private beach and I thought if I skipped the sunscreen I could be tan like all my cute little non-redhead friends. Let’s just say after weeks of painful, blistering skin and hot pink burn lines around my butt, I never made that mistake again.” — Wendy
“I fell asleep on a boat for an hour while going clamming and got the worst sunburn of my life on my back. I was wearing a bathing suit under a halter, so that was cute. Even worse, though, half my face burned ’cause I was lying with my face down and to the side.” — Nia
“Burns on the tops of your feet are the worst. Especially if you’re wearing flip-flops. That happened to me the day before I had to run a 10-K race. God that hurt.” — Joe
“As a child, I never burned. But then high school came around and on a family vacation to Florida, my nose got so burned it turned into one giant blister. I couldn’t even wear sunglasses because that put too much pressure on the pus-filled skin covering my nose. I had to wear a big hat and stay in the shade for the rest of the trip, gently slathering aloe on my face.” — Catherine
“When I was younger (maybe 3?) I had this cute little black and white striped bathing suit. I wore it during vacation in Grand Cayman with my parents, and after a day on the beach, I was tan where the white lines were and white where the black lines were!” — Bianca
“I’ve had a few winners, but the worst is my mom. She had to go to the hospital after tanning in Florida all day. Her parents told her to put lotion on, but she refused. She got second-degree burns all over her body, and her arms and chest are still covered in freckles.” — Lauren