The theme these days is being burned. My aide came to work with one of the worst sunburns I've seen since I fried at Seaside Heights in 197...5? 6? Luckily NancyDance had given me a huge aloe vera plant and she coated herself in it. It was painful to look at. Such a deep bright red and so tight you could feel the skin screaming in your own body.
It sure seems odd that we'd stay outdoors all day when I was a kid and never get burned. Of course, the air pollution over NYC then was so thick it was visible from the highways leading in. A huge gray smog cloud perched vulturelike over the city. Seeing it, when coming home from trips upstate, meant we were 45 minutes from Brooklyn. So perhaps we were sheltered from the UV rays. There were no SPFs in those days. People rubbed oils and lotions on themselves to attract more sun. These days the sun feels much more intense. I'm dead-chicken white-skinned and had sun poisoning several times. Even sitting around outside I feel the sun prickling my skin like teeny thistles within a few minutes and know it's time to get shade. I don't tan, I burn. Which is fine because I don't want my skin to look like Samsonite anyway.
And there have been cooking burns. My greatniece's hand and arm were burned in a microwaved-butter accident just yesterday. Which brings the number of bad burns I've heard about in 5 days to 4- all from nuking food. Another reason I hate microwaves. In cooking burns (I've still got scars on my arms) if you don't cool the skin down and keep it cool your flesh will continue cooking. Cold water soaks are the best way, and I remember the many times wet sidetowels flapped around my hand or arm as I went on cooking.
But when I was a child the common "cures" used for burns were horrible. Butter. Butter? Hey, meat's cooking, better baste it! Noxzema skin cream? Sure, put drying astringent on it! Baby oil? Similar fry technique with a pretty smell. Then there were several marketed sunburn sprays and creams, all of which felt good when you first put it on, and dried to an unholy hell in 2 minutes. What were people thinking? Even Dorothy knew to put water on the burning scarecrow.
1 day ago