Woman reveals how her face DOUBLED in size due to sun

Woman reveals how her face DOUBLED in size due to sun – Talktalk News

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A festival-loving woman was left ‘looking like the Sloth from The Goonies’ after her face doubled in size when she suffered ‘sun poisoning’. 

Ruby Brewer, 23, from Bromley, saw her neck erupt in a red rash, and her eyes swell up so much she was forced to peep through small slits because she’d forgotten to put on any sun cream during a hot day. 

In a rush to get to the Love Supreme Festival, in Glynde Place, in the South Downs of East Sussex, and meet up with pals on July 2 she forgot she needed to apply SPF in the heat. 

Ruby Brewer, 23, from Bromley, saw her neck erupt in a red rash, and her eyes swell up so much she was forced to peep through small slits because she’d forgotten to put on any sun cream during a hot day

The sales assistant, pictured on the day of the festival before she got sun poisoning, forgot to apply SPF 

Two days after enjoying the festival, Ruby woke up to discover her face had doubled in size and her eyes closed, leaving her ‘looking like a character from The Goonies’.

She said: ‘When I woke up, I went to open my eyes and that’s when I realised I couldn’t open them fully. I was really shocked when I looked in the mirror and saw how big my face was.

‘My face had doubled in size and there was just a small slit that I could see [through]. My skin was all blotchy and red and my arms and neck had rashes on them.

‘I looked like Sloth from The Goonies or even a chipmunk as my cheeks were so large.’ 

In a rush to get to the Love Supreme Festival, in Glynde Place, in the South Downs of East Sussex, and meet up with pals on July 2 Ruby forgot about the heat. PIctured: At the festival with her friend Ciara 

The sales assistant’s mother, Miranda, rushed her to A&E on July 4, and she was hooked up to an IV drip containing antihistamines and steroids to reduce the swelling, initially believed to be caused by an allergic reaction.

It took three days for Ruby’s face to deflate and after researching her symptoms online she believes she was suffering from sun poisoning – a case of severe sunburn.

Music lover Ruby, who admits to now being ‘scared’ of the sun, is sharing her experience to highlight the importance of wearing sun cream and wears SPF 50 daily to avoid it happening again.

Ruby said: ‘My mum jumped out of bed when she saw me and kept saying ‘don’t panic, we’re going to go to hospital now’. She guided me in and spoke to the receptionist.

‘As we didn’t know what it was, she said that I’d had an allergic reaction. I was asked if I had any known allergies, which I don’t.’

Ruby had booked day tickets to attend the festival on the Saturday with her web designer boyfriend (pictured) Eliot Smith

Ruby had booked day tickets to attend the festival on the Saturday with web designer boyfriend Eliot Smith, 23, and planned to meet friends.

In a rush to meet them, and facing a lengthy car journey, Ruby rushed to get ready and didn’t apply any sun cream despite the strong sun that day.

Ruby was in hospital for days and could barely see anything as her eyes had swollen so much

Ruby, who was wearing trousers and a halter neck top, was at the festival for eight hours before Eliot drove everyone home at 11pm.

Despite spending the day in the sun, Ruby said she didn’t feel any tightness or burning on her skin and simply enjoyed the music.

The following morning Ruby felt her neck itchy, as the day wore on, a colleague mentioned how Ruby’s neck appeared swollen and then the itchy sensation travelled to her face.

During the course of the evening Ruby’s face started to swell and armed with a wet flannel and hay fever tablets she settled down for the night hoping for a decent night’s sleep.

It was on Monday morning, two days later, that Ruby woke and got the shock of her life when she couldn’t open her eyes fully, and saw her swollen appearance in the mirror.

Ruby said: ‘[My moisturiser] definitely came off by the time I got there because it was so hot, my moisturiser had sweated off.

She even posted photos of herself on social media, she was shocked to experience such a reaction to the sun’s rays

‘I hadn’t applied any [suncream] anywhere else – not on my arms, or my chest.

‘We were in a rush to get there, all my friends were already there, we had an hour-and-20-minute drive.

‘We only had a day ticket so we wanted to make the most of the money that we spent. The weather was hot and sunny, it was about 26 degrees, I wasn’t wearing a hat.

‘I didn’t feel any burning. I just felt hot and was enjoying the music so wasn’t paying much attention to how I felt.’

At Princess Royal University Hospital, in Locksbottom, doctors quizzed Ruby about whether she had any known allergies and gave her steroids and antihistamine.

Ruby said: ‘They then put a cannula in, gave me medication and monitored me to see how I’d react.

‘They gave me an antihistamine injection and steroid injection that did slightly bring down the swelling.

‘They monitored me for five hours and the swelling did go down, they then prescribed me steroids and antihistamine and sent me home.’

Ruby also suffered a rash across her neck as well as her face and eyes swelling up. Doctors had to administer steroids and antihistamine

Ruby is now scared of the sun and tries to avoid the rays with shade or an umbrella

Both Ruby and her mother were left scratching their heads at the source of the mystery reaction.

After ruling out it was something she’d eaten, Ruby researched her symptoms online and found a news article featuring photos that looked like she did.

WHAT IS SUN POISONING?

Sun poisoning is the term used for a severe case of sunburn – caused by prolonged exposure to UV rays.

Dermatologists warn it can happen to anyone if they stay in the sun for a long time without protection. 

Wearing sun cream, sunglasses, a hat and protective clothing can protect against the reaction.

Sun poisoning can lead to headaches, fevers, swelling, nausea, dizziness and dehydration.  

It can usually be treated by getting out of the sun, taking a cold shower, drinking extra fluids and using aloe vera. 

Dr Emma Wedgeworth, consultant dermatologist and British Skin Foundation spokesperson, told MailOnline: ‘We see a number of skin reactions which can be related to the sun, including a sun allergy known as polymorphic light eruption, which may have been responsible for this reaction.’ 

Ruby said: ‘When I got home I said to my mum ‘it can’t be something that I’ve eaten because I didn’t have an internal reaction’.

‘Obviously I had my festival so I knew I’d been in the sun for a long time. My mum asked if I’d put any suncream on, which I hadn’t.

‘I started googling ‘sun allergy’ and found an article where someone had sun poisoning, I clicked on it and saw a picture of a woman whose face had swollen up.

‘I put two and two together after seeing pictures of people who looked like me. It was a bit of a relief to know what it was. Now I’m just scared of the sun.

‘I slowly deflated over those few days thanks to the steroids and I was back to normal by Thursday.

‘My skin was super tight, super itchy and if you touched it, it was really scaly – it felt really horrible.’

Now on the mend from her experience, Ruby slathers herself daily in SPF 50 and is urging others to use sensible precautions when going out in the sun.

Ruby said: ‘I’ve got this really good SPF 50 cream that I now put on underneath my makeup and I have the matching spray, which I carry around with me at all times.

‘I spray that over my makeup and when it’s sunny and I’ve been out for a long time and I haven’t been able to re-apply, I just spray it on top of my make-up.

‘I feel more comfortable now that I have that.

‘I would say to anyone who thinks it won’t happen to them, “You’ll definitely eat your words” because I never thought it would happen to me.’

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