Woman suffers third degree burns from the sun
A WOMAN has suffered third degree burns after spending a day out with her family.
Sasha Cook, a former Hervey Bay resident and a mother of three, spent five hours kayaking with her family on December 27.
Despite taking precautions, it was not enough to hide from the sun's rays.
"I was wearing a hat and was in and out of the shade, but I didn't put sunscreen on my legs," she said.
"I do take care with the sun as I have a skin condition prone to melanoma.
"I didn't realise the severity of how badly I was burned until I got home that night."
The damage one day of sunburn caused will now take about a year to clear up.
The 27-year-old went to the chemist and no matter what medication they prescribed her including aloe vera, it would fizzle on the burn and Ms Cook would have to wash the substance off.
"The pain was excruciating," she said.
"I'd much rather be in labour, than that."
Six days after the incident, Ms Cook went to a doctor which is where she was diagnosed with third-degree burns.
"The doctor looked at the legs and was just in shock at the severity of the burn," Ms Cook said.
"The legs were also completely swollen.
"It will take a year to heal.
"And when the top skin layer peels off, my skin will be as sensitive as a baby's."
Ms Cook is undergoing burns treatment, and has bandages regularly changed.
"I can barely walk at the moment and have to use a walking stick," she said.
Ms Cook's children were also out on the kayaking day but only received minor sunburn.
"We were very sun smart with the kids, and I guess I forgot about myself," she said.
Ms Cook is warning others to use extra sun protection, and act accordingly when something is not right.
"You really don't know how burned you are getting when you are out there," she said.