Sunburn is a telltale sign of spending too much time in the sun and can cause your skin to become red, hot, and inflamed. Fortunately, you can provide relief with simple remedies such as taking painkillers or cooling off the damaged skin. But remember that it may take several days before the burn entirely fades away.
Sunburned skin is bad enough on its own. If it gets to the point where you develop blistered skin, you’re looking at second-degree burns. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) has made it clear that painful blisters require extra special attention and care – so take a look through the list in the article for ways to alleviate this nasty condition with simple home remedies for a bad sunburn.
Wear sunscreen outdoors or adopt other protective habits to prevent this from happening again! This advice applies especially on those cool and cloudy days when you wouldn’t expect to be affected by UV rays.
- What is a Sunburn Blister?
- Sunburn Blisters Symptoms
- Causes Of Sunburn Blisters
- Factors Affecting Sunburn Blisters
- Complications Caused By Sunburn Blisters
- Home Remedies To Treat Sunburn Blisters
- Preventing A Sunburn Blister
- Frequently Asked Questions About Sunburn Blisters
What is a Sunburn Blister?
Following a blistering sunburn, painful sunburn blisters may develop and become visible several hours to one day later. As embarrassing as it can be, the burning sensation will typically begin to wane after 48 hours – yet even with that passing time, lingering discoloration in either lighter or darker shades may remain for up to 12 months.
Sunburn Blisters Symptoms
If you’ve experienced a severe sunburn, you may be all too familiar with the telltale signs of blisters. These white bumps appear on affected areas and contain fluid that’s both painful and extremely itchy. Redness and swelling are also common in their vicinity.
A sunburn blister can appear like tiny bumps on the skin and contain a fluid that may consist of plasma, serum, lymph, or blood. Most times, these blisters are white or transparent in color.
Sunburn blisters can be excruciatingly painful, and the healing process can take up to a week. These burns are uncomfortable and increase the risk of developing skin cancer.
Causes Of Sunburn Blisters
Sunburn blisters are tiny and agonizing liquid-filled bumps that can surface on severely burned skin due to overexposure to both UVA and UVB radiation from the sun. There is a three-tier categorization of this kind of burn classified by size and intensity, with higher grades indicating graver levels of harm.
A sunburn blister usually falls into the second category, which affects both layers of your skin – namely, the epidermis, the outermost layer, the dermis, or the underlying segment comprising blood vessels and nerve endings. This often makes them distressing for those enduring it.
Factors Affecting Sunburn Blisters
Is your skin feeling hot, tight, and tender to the touch? You may have experienced a second-degree sunburn that manifests as sun blisters. The factors affecting the severity of sunburn blisters include:
- Skin complexion. Darker skin tones are more prone to blistering due to the melanin that provides greater sun protection.
- The Time You are Exposed to the Sun. The length of your exposure to the sun’s UV rays is linked directly with the intensity of your sunburn. The longer you remain in direct sunlight, the higher the risk of blisters and other bodily damage due to UV radiation.
- Location. Being at high altitudes or near reflective surfaces like sand and water can increase your risk level.
- The Intensity of UV Radiation. On moderate to intense UV radiation days, keep your time in the sun at a minimum and employ additional protection methods such as hats, sunscreen, and sunglasses.
- Protective Measures Taken. Broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, when applied correctly and regularly, will provide some protection from sunburn blisters.
Complications Caused By Sunburn Blisters
Severe sunburn causing sunburn blisters also results in sun poisoning. The symptoms of sun poisoning include the following:
- Severe blistering
If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, you must seek medical attention immediately. Do not attempt to pop or pick at sunburn blisters. A popped blister can cause infection and potential scarring, which may require additional treatment.
Home Remedies To Treat Sunburn Blisters
Treating mild sunburn blisters is simple and can often be done with a few home remedies.
Are you feeling unbearable heat radiating from your skin? If so, a cold and damp cloth or towel can provide the cooling relief you need. Simply soak it in cool water before applying it to afflicted areas for quick comfort. Cold, damp compresses can help reduce both inflammation and irritation. Alternatively, cool showers or a bath with chilled water can give you a much-needed respite from the burning sensation.
Aloe vera is a well-known remedy for soothing sunburns and alleviating the pain that accompanies them, and there’s a good reason why. Aloe will not only help soothe the affected area but also aid in healing any blisters too.
Sunburn blisters are caused by inflammation, which means leveraging aloe’s anti-inflammatory properties could be highly effective when it comes to reducing discomfort fast.
The natural vitamins of aloe vera gel can help to hasten the healing process and promote collagen production. However, you should not apply aloe to open or pop blisters. Open blisters could irritate and lead to infection. Only use aloe on sealed blistering areas to ensure your skin’s safety.
Apply Antibiotic Ointment
If your blisters have already popped, you take precautionary steps to protect the skin:
- Rinse the affected area with mild soap and water
- Gently clean with soap and water, and apply an antibiotic ointment (i.e., Bacitracin, Vaseline, or Aquaphor)
- Cover cautiously by using a loose bandaging or gauze material to avoid infections.
Take an NSAID
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are available without prescription and can diminish inflammation. For instance, aspirin and ibuprofen belong in this category of drugs. When inflammation occurs in your body, it can generate various symptoms, such as blisters, discomfort, redness, swelling, or pain.
To promote your speedy recovery from sunburns and blisters, you must stay hydrated by drinking lots of water. The Skin Cancer Foundation has reported that fluids will move to the affected area when suffering a sunburn, depleting other parts of your body. This makes it even more essential to ensure sufficient water intake to prevent dehydration.
Seek Medical Attention
If your sunburn blisters are particularly severe or aren’t improving, it’s best to see a doctor. The healthcare professional can assess the damage and advise on the right treatment for you. Depending on the situation, if necessary, they may also recommend prescription medications, such as corticosteroids or antibiotics.
Preventing A Sunburn Blister
If you have experienced a sunburn blister before, you know how painful and uncomfortable it can be. Luckily, you can take some easy steps to prevent sunburn blisters from occurring in the first place.
Protect the Skin
The best way to avoid a sunburn blister is to protect your skin from the sun’s rays. Protecting the skin means wearing sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30, wearing sun-protective clothing such as wide-brimmed hats and long-sleeved shirts, and avoiding the sun during peak hours from 10 AM to 4 PM. You should also reapply sunscreen every two hours, even on cloudy days.
Stay in the Shade
If you must be outside in direct sunlight for an extended period, try to stay in the shade as much as possible. Additionally, apply a sunburn-specific cream or ointment before heading outdoors. The cream or ointment will provide an extra layer of protection against harmful UV rays that can cause blisters and other skin damage.
Check Your Medications
Before heading out into the sun, make sure to check if your medications may lead to an increased chance of burning. Antibiotics and oral and topical acne treatments are known contributors that can result in heightened sensitivity to sunlight.
Frequently Asked Questions About Sunburn Blisters
1) How long do sunburn blisters take to heal?
Sunburn blisters can take a whole week to subside. Beyond the physical pain, these burns also raise your chances of skin cancer and melanoma. Even after healing is complete, visible blister scars may linger on the affected area for up to one year – appearing as dark or light spots.
2) What are the symptoms of sunburn blisters?
Sunburn blisters are painful, itchy bumps that will appear on skin severely burned by the sun. These little sores look like white bubbles filled with fluid and often have red, swollen skin surrounding them.
3) Can I apply aloe vera gel on sunburn blisters?
Applying a moisturizer or aloe gel to blisters is an acceptable treatment option. But, to ensure they stay breathable, steer clear of petroleum jelly and other heavier products that trap heat or sweat.
4) What fluid does sunburn blister contain?
Sunburn blisters are filled with various fluids, such as serum, lymph, plasma, and pus. Generally speaking, this fluid is clear and watery in appearance; it seeps into the blister from surrounding tissues to protect your epidermis while aiding healing – so whatever you don’t pop or pick those irritable blisters.
Sunburn blisters can be excruciatingly painful, and the healing process may take up to a week. It is essential to wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher when outdoors or adopt other protective habits such as hats, sunglasses, and avoiding peak hours in direct sunlight. If you develop sunburn blisters despite your best efforts at prevention, several home remedies available will help reduce inflammation and discomfort while aiding in the healing process. However, if symptoms persist for more than 48 hours or worsen, then seeking medical attention is recommended. Finally, remember that staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water helps promote speedy recovery!