Sunburn is like allodynia
Allodynia means that touch hurts. It is a specific migraine headache term referring to stage four of the migraine timing cycle with chronic migraine due to medication overuse headache. It is also called central sensitization because the central nervous system trigeminal nucleus and cutaneous scalp fibers are inflammed. After sunburn touch of the involved area hurts, as would a shirt or a jacket over a sunburned shoulder or arm hurt. Toucn of the head, usually on one side where the headache pain is--hurts. Thus, wearing a hat or glasses or lying in bed on the involved side of the head is uncomfortable.
Treatment here is as treatment of medication overuse headache--cessation of pain killers, NSAIDs, caffeine, triptans, barbiturates, or opiates. This can be done all at once or the drugs may be tapered off slowly. The patient should do the migraine lifestyle, start a daily preventive drug, probably take 1 or 2 weeks of prednisone or medrol dose pack to decrease the inflammation and the headache, and then use DHE, timolol, or olanzaprine for acute headache pain management until the frequency of headaches backs off.
See other blog articles on medication overuse use headache and allodynia.