Mum left looking like ‘drumstick lolly’ after ‘cooking’ herself with carrot oil

Laura was left with third-degree burns (Image: Kennedy News and Media)

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A mum is warning of the dangers tanning oils, after she was left with third-degree burns from 'cooking' herself in carrot oil during the recent heatwave.

Laura Bevin had been on a family day trip to the beach in Southport, Merseyside, with her tanned mum Carol Bevin, 29-year-old sister Nicola Bevin and four-year-old daughter Millie last month.

But, while she made sure to repeatedly lather Millie in factor 50 sun cream, 24-year-old Laura decided to completely forgo her own sun protection, instead opting to cover her skin in Calypso Sun Carrot Oil.

"Other than my face, from make-up, my skin is very pale – especially my legs. I'm usually dressed in black and covered up, this is the only summer that I put a playsuit on and thought 'oh I'll get a nice tan'," Laura, from Warrington in Cheshire, explained.

Unlike her mum and sister Laura is naturally pale
(Image: Kennedy News and Media)

Her skin started to feel tight
(Image: Kennedy News and Media)

"I do feel self-conscious being so pale because I think everyone looks a bit better with a tan, especially next to them as they're so brown. My mum and sister are really brown and they were using the carrot oil, whereas I'm really white.

"I don't know what I was playing at. I thought 'I won't burn, I'll just get a nice colour' but obviously not."

The family spent a total of seven hours basking in the sun, but by the time the evening came around, Laura was already suffering from painfully tight and hot skin, with later erupted into blisters.

"I kept smothering Millie in factor 50 sun cream not realising I was basically cooking myself," she continued. "I didn't blister straight away, I was just red. I looked like a Drumstick Squashie sweet or lolly."

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However, as the family travelled home in the car, Laura began to notice that something wasn't right, as the skin on her thighs and ankles "felt like leather and quite tight."

By bedtime, she was so hot she had to sleep on top of her covers with the fan on, and the following day she began applying natural yoghurt on her skin in an attempt to sooth the burns.

"For two days I lay there and I could only hobble around for toilet trips. Three days later, when I put the aloe vera gel on, all these blisters just came out," Laura explained.

Laura went to visit a walk-in centre where she was given tube sock bandaging around her legs, but when the pain persisted, she visited A&E, where she discovered she was suffering from third-degree burns.

Blisters began forming on her legs
(Image: Kennedy News and Media)

Doctors were forced to scrape some of the skin
(Image: Kennedy News and Media)

It turned out the tube sock had caused all the pressure to go to her ankle, where a huge satsuma-sized blister had formed, which wobbled when the mum-of-one walked.

"The blister was leaking a lot of fluid as it had become infected. They don't usually pop blisters at the hospital but they did this time because of the infection inside. They took some of my skin off with a scalpel to tackle the infection and put a lotion on my leg to help remove the scabs," Laura explained.

"When I went back the doctor removed a flap of skin that looked like chicken skin you get on a Sunday roast, but burned. It sounded exactly like chicken skin too. They were talking about a skin graft at one point as they didn't know how it would turn out but luckily my body healed well."

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Six weeks on from the ordeal, the care worker says she's "living like a vampire" and permanently has factor 50 SPF on, after being told her skin will be sensitive for the rest of her life.

Now, Laura is warning others that using such oils without protection is "just not worth it," following the agonising pain she went through.

"I won't use carrot oil in future. I've seen people sunburned before but you never think it's going to happen to you," she said.

"My manager said to me it looked like I'd poured boiling water on my leg. I honestly didn't think that the sun could do that to somebody. Anyone wanting a nice golden tan this summer I'd say it's just not worth it."

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A spokesperson for Calypso Sun issued a statement explaining it offers "a wide range of products from deep tanning oils to very high sun protection SPF50+ lotions and sprays."

"We truly hope Laura has a speedy recovery from her experience but would also like to remind everyone of the importance of choosing SPF products whilst out in the sun," they continued.

"Products that do not contain sun screen will not protect you from the sun. All Calypso Sun products are manufactured to UK British Retail Consortium Standards."

Lisa Bickerstaffe, a spokesperson for British Skin Foundation, said: "The British Skin Foundation would not recommend using carrot oil on the skin during a day trip to the beach.

"Always protect the skin with high factor SPF30+ with UVA protection of four or five stars when you’re out in the sun. Team this with other sun safe behaviours such as sun protective clothing, wide brimmed hats and sunglasses.

"Remember to reapply at least every two hours or after swimming, sweating and towel drying. Seek shade between 11am-3pm when the UV index is highest."

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