I fell asleep in the sun and my face was so swollen my own SISTER couldn’t even recognize me
A holidaymaker has revealed how her face became so swollen from sunburn that her own sister didn’t recognize it – after falling asleep on a beach for five hours.
Isabela Chatwin, 21, from Utah, saw her face swell up to look like “a giant marshmallow” after deciding not to wear sunscreen while vacationing with friends in San Diego, in California.
The 21-year-old assumed she wouldn’t need SPF as it was a cloudy day and she was only planning to take a short nap on the beach.
But four days later, the interior design assistant woke up to find her face had swollen so much she couldn’t see and her skin had burst into painful blisters.
When she returned to her hometown, her three-year-old sister Aero was confused because she didn’t recognize her big sister.
Isabela Chatwin saw her face swell until it looked like ‘a giant marshmallow’ after deciding not to wear sunscreen while vacationing with friends in San Diego, California
Hilarious footage shows the bewildered youngster in the doctor’s waiting room asking “is that Bela?” while her mother Kim, 54, reassures her.
Isabela said: “I fell asleep on the beach for five hours. When I woke up my skin looked completely flawless for the rest of the day, the next morning it was bright red.
“I thought it was just sunburn and it was as bad as it was going to get. I woke up the next day and it was swollen and blistered on my cheeks and it was sore.
“On the fourth day my face was so swollen and the blisters had burst. I could barely open my eyes, I could barely see.
“I thought it was going to be final. I was very scared. He barely looked human. It was like a giant marshmallow, completely puffy.
“When I got home I was wearing a surgical mask to hide it, so Aero knew it was me because of my voice.
“I took it off for the first time at the doctor and that’s when she saw my face was completely different and she ran up to my mum saying, ‘Is that Bela?
“I teased her and said ‘my name’s Jessica, nice to meet you’. Then she said I looked like a turtle.
Isabela went on vacation with friends to San Diego, Calif., and assumed she didn’t need sunscreen because it was cloudy. Pictured: After the swelling healed (left) when her face was swollen (right)
The 21-year-old assumed she wouldn’t need SPF as it was a cloudy day and she was only planning to take a short nap on the beach. Pictured: Isabela before falling asleep
When she returned to her hometown of Lehi, Utah, her three-year-old sister Aero was confused because she didn’t recognize her big sister. Pictured: Isabela and Aero
She said she would be “really careful” in hot weather, saying she would wear sunscreen if she was out for more than an hour.
What is sun poisoning?
Sun poisoning is a severe case of sunburn – caused by prolonged exposure to UV rays.
Dermatologists warn that it can happen to anyone if they stay in the sun for a long time without protection.
Wearing sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, and protective clothing can protect against the reaction.
A normal sunburn usually begins minutes to hours after sun exposure and can cause redness, itching, warmth, pain, and tenderness.
On the other hand, sun poisoning has more serious symptoms and may require medical attention.
The skin condition can lead to a rash, blisters, fever and chills, nausea, dehydration, and confusion.
After rushing to see a doctor, she was diagnosed with sun poisoning, prescribed steroid creams and told to stay out of the sun for three weeks.
Sun poisoning is a severe case of sunburn, which is a reaction to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.
Isabela shared the footage on TikTok last week five years after the incident and says she spoke out to warn others how important it is to wear sunscreen no matter how bad the sky is cloudy.
Isabela said: “It’s funny to look back, but it was excruciatingly painful. I usually wear sunscreen because I have very fair skin.
“It was a cloudy day, it had rained and I didn’t know I was going to sleep that long.
“No matter what the sky looks like, if you’re outside and the sun is out, protect your skin no matter what.
“I’m really careful now. I put on sunscreen if I’m away for more than an hour and I don’t do tanning booths because I don’t want to take any risks.