A surprising number of people have found my blog by searching a variation of Forehead + Raised + Swelling + Cellulitis + Sunburn. I wanted to present and update, as I’m not so sure what I had was Cellulitis.
Remember a few weeks back when I spent an unfortunate Monday night in an emergency room in Florida? I’d gotten a crazy welt looking rash on my forehead inexplicably and the ER doctor ‘thought I may have Cellulitis.’ This means that I had a bug bite, scratch or small cut that was infected by bacteria.
The diagnosis seemed to fit at the time – Alex and I had noticed a bug bit on my forehead on that Saturday, we went paddleboarding on Sunday, and I noticed the rash on Monday. So it made sense that maybe the bug bite we noticed on Saturday got infected while in the ocean on Sunday.
‘ Cellulitis’ didn’t completely fit to me – I’d looked up symptoms and pictures after we got back from the hospital – but I accepted it and moved on. It was a one time thing and it’d gone away so why spend too much time worrying about it?
Since that week in Florida, I haven’t spent extended time in the sun and when I did, I put sunscreen on like always.
Saturday, (or, the Best Day Ever) I’d put sunscreen on before our hike but failed to reapply. I have to say, I was too wrapped up in the moment to think about sun safety. After we got home Saturday afternoon, I’d noticed that one side of my upper chest was a bit red and burned. I noted and dismissed it.
On our drive Sunday to camp in Utah, I’d noticed that the part of my chest that was burned was also slightly raised. Like a welt. Like ‘Cellulitis.’ Later, after we’d gotten to our campsite, I’d noticed that the back of my shoulders were also raised in a similar pattern to the shirt I wore Saturday. Alex confirmed that it was a bit burned, felt my back to confirm I wasn’t imagining things and he agreed. My back was raised where my skin appeared to be burned. A small section of my forehead was also slightly raised and red. All of these raised marks were gone within 2 days.
All of this seems to refute the Cellulitis diagnosis. Most recently, my skin wasn’t infected. It was burned. And it was raised. The photos of cellulitis on the internet (quite vivid, if you look) don’t match what I’ve experienced.
Now, I’ve only done minimal research at this point and intend to make a doctor visit to discuss this further. And I’m certainly not a doctor or any type of medical professional – this is my own experience and speculation. But in the meantime, it seems that I may have some type of ‘sunburn allergy’ or sensitivity – if that’s even a thing. I’ve been extra, extra careful about sunscreen this week and will continue to be attentive going forward.
To all of you who find me by searching for Cellulitis, I hope you enjoyed the comparison to a Klingon I presented in my last post but unfortunately, I’m not sure that I fit your bill. As soon as I nail down a reason, I’ll be sure to update to give you forehead swelling searchers some insight and, hopefully, relief.