A holidaymaker says she was left looking like a CHIPMUNK after she suffered a severe reaction to the sun – despite wearing UV protection sunglasses.
Holly Barrington’s face around the eyes and nose ‘blew up’ after being ‘poisoned’ by the sun’s rays.
She was left looking like a battered boxer and thought she’d gone blind after a day in the sun in Tenerife last month.
The 20-year-old was left her with huge puffy eyes and her father Simon Barrington, 47, desperately tried to apply aloe vera cream to her swollen face the next day.
But she says she was left “looking like a chipmunk” after pointing blame at her sunglasses who she believes did not protect her from the sun.
Holly, a biomedical science student at Salford University, claims she was told the UV rays could have pierced through the lenses.
She said: “I looked horrendous, I couldn’t even open my eyes because my face had blew up – I was so lucky I could fly home in the end.
“The doctor [in Tenerife] told me the swelling could be due to ‘sun poisoning’ – which I had never heard of.
“Despite the fact I wore suncream, I believed my eyes would be protected by my sunglasses but they must not have protected my eyes.”
On the second day of the four-day holiday on March 23, Holly hired a lounger bed facing the sea and spending the day tanning, Holly’s eyes swelled uncontrollably overnight.
Shocking selfies show the moment she awoke the next morning, where her face had blown up around her eyes.
After purchasing aloe vera cream and attempting to cure the condition, Holly woke up 24 hours later unable to open her eyes at all and screamed for her father’s help.
Speaking of the horror, Holly, of Huddersfield, West Yorks., said: “I was on holiday with my dad and had only flown out the day before.
“On the second day of the holiday, we hired a bed to be able to lay and face the sun as I usually do on holiday.
“I wore suncream and didn’t burn but when I got back to the room and had a shower, I could feel my face starting to swell and felt really hot.
“I looked shocking but I thought it would just sort itself out – I couldn’t even open my eyes and was screaming.”
Holly called for an emergency doctor to her hotel room after she feared she may not be able to travel home.
She added: “It was the last option as I had tried creams and nothing was working. I didn’t think I would be able to fly home and I panicked.”
Sun poisoning refers to a case of severe sunburn which occurs after being exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun for an extended period of time.
It is usually treated with antibiotics to prevent further infection.
The doctor, which cost 80 euros for the call out, reassured Holly the swelling would go down – but it took over a week before her face returned to normal.
Holly said: “I was told it was mainly cosmetic and allowed to fly home on the return trip.
“Everybody on the plane was staring at me, it was embarrassing but at least I was allowed to fly.
“I looked like a chipmunk on the flight back, I couldn’t believe what had happened.
“I thought ‘what if I look like this forever?'”
The university student believes the sunglasses may not have protected her eyes.
Holly is now hoping to warn other travellers of ‘sun poisoning’ and has urged anyone looking to lay in the sun to ensure they are protected from the sun’s rays.
Holly added: “I just want to raise awareness of the dangers of the sun.
“Everyone wants the ‘bikini’ picture in the sun but I know I didn’t know about sun poisoning and I will make sure I am protected next time.”