This Jogger’s Horrific Sunburn Is Your Official Reminder to Reapply Sunscreen

Don't let this be you!

Courtesy Twitter user @julienisbet

We can’t stress enough how important sunscreen is—and you’re probably sick of hearing it. But even if you diligently apply sunblock every day (even if you won’t be outside) there’s another crucial step we’re begging you to take: reapply.

Dermatologists recommend putting on a new layer of sunscreen every two hours. But as an English jogger learned the hard way, you’ll need to reapply even more often if you sweat.

Eleven-time marathoner Julie Nisbet took on a new challenge: running 69 miles along Hadrian’s Wall, which stretches from England’s East to West coast. She applied sunscreen as she got started, but it wasn’t enough. Her first layer of sunscreen didn’t last the 21-hour run in about 86°F heat with her. “Sweat and water had pretty much got rid of what I had on the back of my legs,” she told Daily Mail. Without more sunscreen to protect her, the summer heat did major damage.

After her extra-long run, Nisbet realized her sunburn had gotten bad. Really bad. Her calves were red and raw, and huge sacs of pus appeared as she started “screeching in pain.”

She went to the hospital, but the blisters got even bigger. She kept her legs under bandages to let them heal, but the process would take weeks.

Nisbet won’t be running for a while and is kicking herself for not putting on more sunscreen. But at least she can find humor in the situation.

If risk of skin cancer and wrinkles isn’t enough to convince you to protect your skin, hopefully Nisbet’s story of the sun’s immediate damage will. Your sunscreen won’t last all day, so be extra diligent over reapplying if you’ll be sweating or spending time in water. But if you do get burnt (it happens!), make sure to avoid these sunburn mistakes.

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Marissa Laliberte
Marissa Laliberte-Simonian is a London-based associate editor with the global promotions team at WebMD’s and was previously a staff writer for Reader's Digest. Her work has also appeared in Business Insider, Parents magazine, CreakyJoints, and the Baltimore Sun. You can find her on Instagram @marissasimonian.