Lifestyle

Agonising sunburn terrorises 10-year-old boy

HELL OF AN ITCH: Dr James Ware says prevention is better than cure, urging people to take precautions before going in the sun after hearing about 10-year-old Zac’s harrowing ordeal.
HELL OF AN ITCH: Dr James Ware says prevention is better than cure, urging people to take precautions before going in the sun after hearing about 10-year-old Zac’s harrowing ordeal. Simarik

SUNBURN is never a pleasant experience but for one 10-year-old boy the experience was one of absolute agony.

Zac Noyes was camping with his grandparents when his sunburnt skin suddenly became excruciatingly itchy.

Zac's grandmother, Mt Colliery woman Vicki Walker, believes he suffered from hell's itch, a severe reaction to sunburn that can last up to three days.

Sufferers have reported the itch to be unlike anything else, with some saying it was like "having a circus of fire ants hatch under (their) skin" or being stabbed by a thousand knives.

"It's an allergic reaction that occurs 48 hours after the initial sunburn. It is sometimes triggered by cool water, and creams tend to make it worse," Vicki said. "He was in severe distress and agony."

When the group headed off camping, they had no idea what the day would bring.

"On Sunday, while with his dad, Zac got his shoulders and back very sunburnt," she said.

"The area was very red, hot and painful - all normal sunburn reactions.

"We went off bush-camping as planned and kept him well hydrated, sunscreened, moisturised, covered up and out of the midday sun."

Vicki said all her experience as a parent and pharmacist did not prepare her for the sudden and extreme reaction Zac experienced.

"Suddenly, mid Tuesday afternoon, the burn became intensely itchy," she said.

"Zac said he was going insane and was extremely distressed."

Vicki gave Zac an antihistamine while they prepared to head to the hospital.

"Creams and cool water did not help and we were out of phone range," she said.

Vicki, a pharmacist for 28 years, had never seen anything like it.

"It was awful, trying to put the pharmacist hat on to try to think what else could be done," she said.

"It was a shock I can tell you."

After a second antihistamine Zac's agony began to subside.

"After seeing what he went through, I'd recommend anyone with severe sunburn to take an antihistamine for three days," Vicki said.

Dr James Ware from the Condamine Medical Centre said there was very little information on the condition.

Dr Ware said patient accounts indicated antihistamines may relieve symptoms although this had not been medically researched and documented.

"Prevention is better than cure, so I'd recommend if you are going out in the sun, make sure you're protected with sunscreen, glasses, a hat and appropriate clothing," he said.

Topics:  hell sunburn warwick



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

Man hospitalised after air conditioning leak

Ambulance generic

Man taken to hospital after exposure to leaked refrigerant

WATCH: Cricketers pitch in in fight against violence

TAKING A STAND: Sponsor Adam Colrain and Warwick Zonta president Jacinta Fromm visiting Slade Park where the Warwick Redbacks played in specially made team shirts to support Zonta's message against domestic violence.

Warwick Rosewool Redbacks taking a stand

Fitness challenge no walk in the park

NEW CHALLENGE: Sandra Wilson found herself getting outdoors to walk almost every day as part of the Warwick Daily News Kick the Kilos fitness challenge.

How joining Kick the Kilos gave one Warwick woman motivation

Local Partners

15 things to do on the Southern Downs this weekend

If you're looking for something to do this weekend, here's some awesome ideas


Kernaghan's a 'boy from the bush' with a timeless quality

Country music singer Lee Kernaghan.

Lee Kernaghan is celebrating the 25th year of his breakthrough song.

Don't miss the free Bunnings Christmas party

Free Bunnings Christmas Family Night

WARWICK'S Bunnings Warehouse will come alive tonight for Xmas

Rose City unites in festive event

Erin and Keely Hilton.

Local performers entertain at Carols in the Park

Justin Timberlake stuns students with secret class

Justin Timberlake stunned high school students in Sydney

Carrie Fisher says Ford will be bugged by affair confession

Carrie Fisher is sure Harrison Ford is annoyed at her

Dakota Fanning rekindles romance with childhood sweetheart

Dakota Fanning rekindles romance with ex

Jennifer Lawrence apologises to the people of Hawaii

Jennifer Lawrence sorry for 'offensive' story

Cruz Beckham's single a 'one-off'

He is not planning to launch a full-time music career yet.

Louis Tomlinson's mother dies aged 42

Louis Tomlinson's mother has died.

Essential to get new Maroochydore CBD fundamentals right

LOOKING AHEAD: The central business district at Maroochydore is planned to be the heart of the Sunshine Coast.

SunCentral reports good progress on 53ha Sunshine Coast city heart

'Crucial' farm land eyed by defence department

Lawson Geddes moving the Brangus cattle to higher ground - which is the land the Defence Department is interested taking for the Shoalwater Bay expansion.

"You can't have one without the other.”

Former Shark Show for sale for $1.3 million

Vic Hislop at the old Shark Show.

TALK about a jaws-dropping real estate opportunity.

There's a whole lot of luxury in this home

The Endeavour Foundation's latest prize home in Mountain Creek.

WHEN it comes to desirable homes, it's hard to go past a prize home.

Ipswich City Properties asset portfolio retains its value

Ipswich City Council Administration Building, South Street, Ipswich. Photo: Claudia Baxter / The Queensland Times

New website launched by Ipswich City Council

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!