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Woman Left With Horrific Sunburn Despite Using Factor 30

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Woman Left With Horrific Sunburn Despite Using Factor 30

*Warning: This article contains images that some people may find distressing.*

A woman has been left fearing to leave her own home after being hospitalised with a huge sunburn across her entire back - despite claiming to have repeatedly applied Factor 30 Malibu sun cream.

Danielle Fitzsimons says she was hospitalised when the pain of her burns - which measures around 1ft tall and 1.5ft wide - became so 'unbearable' she couldn't lie down or even have more than one hour's sleep per night.

Danielle has been left with a horrific burn covering her upper back (Credit: Kennedy)
Danielle has been left with a horrific burn covering her upper back (Credit: Kennedy)
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The 31-year-old mum, her dad Stephan Fitzsimons, 54, and her kids Khloe Fitzsimons, nine, Hayleigh Fitzsimons, eight, had been enjoying the sun for three hours on Bumcrama Beach, Northern Ireland, in the weekend's blistering heat wave sun.

Danielle bought SPF 30 Malibu Lotion Spray for the first time beforehand, and claims to have applied it multiple times, yet later that night she woke up shivering with pain.

By Monday her entire upper back was covered in pus-filled blisters that popped when she lay down.

Danielle, from Newtownstewart, County Tyrone, said: "I'm covered in thousands of little blisters and my skin's all torn off. The pain is horrendous and I'm lucky if I get more than an hour's sleep per night.

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"I can't lie down, I can't brush my hair, I can't do anything. I feel ill because the pain is so bad. It's unbearable. I don't understand why everyone else was fine and I'm the only one that ended up like this.

She went to a hospital where she was told her injury was 'as close to third degree burns as sunburn gets'.

Danielle says she used Malibu SPF 30 sun cream (Credit: Kennedy)
Danielle says she used Malibu SPF 30 sun cream (Credit: Kennedy)

"People at the hospital said it's about as close as you can get to third-degree burns from the sun. They had me on gas and air to do the bandages and I've been nearly every day since.

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She says the 'horrendous' pain has left her fearful of leaving her house as UK temperatures soar and she's been put off spending time in the sun ever again.

"It's left me scared to go out. I can't go out at all because if any sun touches my back, even through the bandage, the pain just makes me completely weak.

"When your skin's damaged it makes you scared about skin cancer, and this has put me off going out in the sun all together if I'm honest, because I can't believe how badly burned I've ended up.

"When I try and lie down the blisters are just busting and running down my back and my shoulders."

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Danielle says she doesn't even mind if her back scars as long as the pain subsides soon.

She said: "I applied the cream before I even left the house, then I applied it when I got there and then while I was there too. I think that's more than enough times to apply it."

The hospital said Danielle's burns were 'as close to third degree burns as sunburn get' (Credit: Kennedy)
The hospital said Danielle's burns were 'as close to third degree burns as sunburn get' (Credit: Kennedy)

Danielle has contacted Malibu regarding their product and she's currently in the process of filing a complaint.

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Malibu said they are waiting for Danielle to fill in the appropriate complaints forms however stressed that the majority of the public don't realise how much lotion they need to apply to remain properly protected.

A Malibu spokesperson said: "We await Danielle’s completed complaints form.

"As a company we adhere and conform to all UK and European regulations. Our product formulations go through stringent testing to gain their SPF claim and we operate strict quality control in house.

"When a sun protection cream/lotion is tested, a certain amount is applied to a certain area of skin. The skin is exposed to artificial sunlight for a certain amount of time and depending on how the skin behaves determines the SPF.

"A normal fair skinned person would burn in 10 minutes without sun care. If they use SPF30 this will give them 30 times longer in the sun before burning than without use (no matter how many times its applied). This equates to 300 minutes, five hours.

"An appropriate application should be two-to-three tablespoon of lotion to an average body in a swimsuit. (If you hold your palm upside down and dip, the depression is one tablespoon).

Danielle is a mum to two daughters (Credit: Kennedy)
Danielle is a mum to two daughters (Credit: Kennedy)

"This is quite a lot a lotion and our problem is that the majority of the public do not realise how much protection they need to apply to get their SPF coverage. If they don’t apply enough suncare then they do not get the SPF they are expecting.

"The ethos of our company is that suncare should be affordable to everybody. We also try to educate so people are aware how key application is as well."

For information on how sunburns should be treated, please read the NHS guidance here.

Featured Image Credit: Kennedy

Topics: Health, Life

Gregory Robinson
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