Sunburn blisters is often not a serious condition and is short-lived, but it is important to try to avoid it because it can increase your risk of developing skin problems thereafter, such as wrinkling and skin cancer. Some people usually under estimate the strength of the sun while they are outside there on the beaches. The wind and getting wet, such as going in and out of the sea, may cool your skin, making you not to be able to realize you’re getting burnt. Therefore, always be aware of the risk of sunburn if you are out in the strong sunshine, and look out for your skin getting hot.

Sunburn Blisters  – Overview

The sunburn blisters often develop as a result of long exposure to radiation from the sun. They are a result of severe sunburn. Usually, a blister is a bubble that appears under the skin and it is filled with fluid. These bubbles on the skin are unsightly and are uncomfortable. In some cases they are accompanied by swelling in the area they form. These blisters actually protect the underlying tissue hence, it is necessary to keep them intact.  The intensity of sunburn and the development of blisters consider the following:

  • The skin type of the particular person
  • The intensity of the sun’s rays
  • The time of exposure
  • How long the exposure had occurred

The blisters can form on any exposed part of the body including the lips and the nose.  It takes some time for the body to show the symptoms of sun poisoning blisters. The skin usually becomes red, warm, sore and tender. It may start to flake and peel few days after the sunburn, and will usually fully heal within 7 days.

Symptoms of Sunburn Blisters

Sunburn blisters symptoms

Sunburn Blisters

The symptoms may not last longer but, the damages caused to the tissues due to sunburn are sometimes permanent.  This can produce serious health effect. Sun burns are a major cause of skin cancer in a number of people. The pain and discomfort will be more due to sunburn blisters between 6 and 48 hours after exposure. The symptoms include the following:

  • Reddish skin which is tender and warm to touch
  • Blisters that develop hours or days after exposure and cause itching
  • Fever, chills, pain, rash swelling and nausea
  • Peeling of the skin in the burned areas after some days

Overall symptoms

They include the following:

  1. Rashes

It is normal to see a rash that is developing after the sun poisoning. Rashes because of sun poisoning may prolong for about 4 days. It normally appears like the tiny pimples in the starting and then turns into a rash that is associated with the redness and swelling.

Calamine lotion as well as the anti-inflammatory medicines might assist to reduce pain as well as the swelling. The rash may disappear within a couple of few hours after using specific treatment. The better idea indicated is to use sunscreen with SPF above 30 so as to protect the skin from getting a rash.

  1. Swelling

Swelling, as one of the usual signs of sun poisoning, can be able to persist for up to 48 hours. Proper treatment may assist to clear it in about 12 hours. Corticosteroids as well as ibuprofen might assist to alleviate pain and also the swelling. Never use any greasy oils such as the petroleum jelly on the affected area as it blocks the pores and then aggravate the whole situation. Avoid wearing of very tight clothing as it will aggravate the swelling.

  1. Pain

You have pain normally within the first few hours of getting the sunburn. The pain is normally the outcome of a damage that is done to the tissues. For the very mild cases of sun poisoning, the pain normally disappears within a day. Severe sunburn can lead to more pain that lasts up to 3 days. Using of the cold compresses and also taking the painkillers assist to reduce the pain

Sunburn Blisters Causes

It is not that much important to stay on the sun for long hours, but there comes a point in everyone’s life where they may experience sunburn. Those with fair skin are far more likely to develop sun blisters that those with darker pigmentation. These blisters can show up anywhere on the exposed body, and it may take a couple days for them to surface.

Causes of Sunburn Blisters

Our body is protected by a certain pigment in the skin called melanin. When the amount of exposure to the ultraviolet rays exceeds the ability of melanin to fight the radiant sun burn occurs. A light skinned person has more chances to get sunburn and blisters than a dark skinned person when exposed to the mid – day sun for 15 minutes. The major causes for sun burn are as follows:

UVA rays

These dangerous rays penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin and damage the production of new skin cells. Exposure to this kind of radiation for long hours causes dryness, roughening and wrinkling of someone’s skin. High UVA doses cause the skin to develop sunburn and blisters.

UVB rays

These harmful rays cause more damage to the skin as compared to UVA. They cause skin damage and skin cancer as well on the worse side. The effect is mainly on the surface layers of the skin. When exposed to UVB skin releases chemicals that will dilate the blood vessels. This will cause loss of fluids and inflammation of the skin.

Sun Blisters on Lips

sunburn blisters lips

Sunburned lips

Strong rays during summer can affect not only the skin but also your lips. Your lips are at more risk when exposed to the sun than the rest of the skin, since it has a very thin skin layer.  Prolonged and constant exposure to the sun – whether by choice or as occupational hazard – can result to sunburn blisters on the lips as well.

Many people are likely to apply sunscreen on the skin before going out, without taking the lips into consideration. If the skin is sensitive to the sun, in the same way it means that the lips are just as sensitive. When it comes to lips protection, one will need to use a lip balm with a high sun protection factor (SPF), in order to avoid getting sun blisters on the lips.

The damage done by the UV rays can range from mild to severe, depending on the amount of time of exposure to the sun and the type of skin one has. As we said above, fair skinned people present a higher risk for such problems. Sun blisters appear often after severe sunburns.

Sunburn Blisters on Nose

Someone may not like to see one or more sun blisters on nose, which is a prominent feature of the face. The skin around the blisters also turns red, and it does not look that good either. Sun blisters erupt on the nose, when you are exposed to the sun for a prolonged period of time. They appear as fluid-filled bumps on the skin surface.

The blisters are formed as the nose skin tries to protect the damaged sunburned skin from infection so as to heal it fast. You may see these blisters on your nose within one hour after you exposed yourself to the sun, or they may appear after a day. They are not just painful, but are itchy as well. These symptoms cause so much of discomfort that you feel like breaking the blisters. However, you should avoid that, as it can damage the skin tissues.

Sunburn Blisters on Face

While minor sunburn symptoms are skin redness and pain, however, severe sunburn skin symptoms include sun blisters, skin burns, sunburn rush, infection and dehydration. Untreated sunburn with prolonged exposure, can sometimes lead to more serious conditions, from poor circulation of fluid to the vital organs.

Sun blisters on your face can range from being fine blistering, seen during sunburn peeling condition to being large water filled blisters with raw and tender skin beneath. When you develop sun blisters on your face, you may consider some of the following treatments:

  • Applying cool compresses and taking cool baths. Both help with the pain and irritation.
  • Taking pain medication. According to eMedicineHealth, ibuprofen and aspirin can be taken to reduce pain and inflammation, especially during the early stages.
  • Applying moisturizers. Doctors will advise you not to apply heavy oils on the blisters. Light, water-based and fragrance-free sunscreen moisturizer should be applied after taking cool baths.
  • Aloe gels. Herbal remedies, aloe based serums and gels in particular can sooth the irritation on the skin and aid in healing.
  • This is perhaps the most important treatment of the five. Drink a lot of water and fluids rich in anti-oxidants like green tea, to keep you hydrated for faster skin healing.

Never burst the blisters as it can lead to infections and other severe skin conditions. Many sun damaged skin treatment creams are available on the market for different types of sunburns. Consider looking into buying a product made with natural ingredients and designed for your sunburn blister.

Avoid exposure to the sun as this can aggravate the symptoms or already sensitive skin. Apart from staying cool and providing hydration, consume alkaline diets, consisting of vegetables and fruits that provide vitamins and minerals, which will help in your speedy recovery. Seek medical help if the blistering is severe as Doctors can prescribe medical treatments appropriate for your symptoms.

How long do Sunburn Blisters Last

As we mentioned earlier in this post, sun blisters will heal after around seven days or one week to be realistic. The indications of sun poisoning is normally similar to sunburn, so people may not pay a lot of attention to it, but, things might become more serious as time passes by.

You will have immediate negative effects of the sun poisoning for up to one week, but the long-term effects might continue for more than one week. For much severe cases, sun poisoning can be able to take even up to 10 days or even longer to resolve, and mild cases of the sun poisoning can take up to 4 days to do away with the symptoms together with skin peeling.

Normally, you will begin to experience symptoms of the sun poisoning within half an hour after exposure to the sunlight. And the pain feeling might begin within 7 hours after first, which might prolong for about 3 days.

How Long do Sunburn Blister take to Heal

Sunburn healing will depend with the immune of the affected person and the after effect activities you carry out to heal the blisters. Normally at least after a week when you avoid further injury from the sun you will have healed. For instance, a cool compress and application of Aloe Vera gel helps to relieve pain while soothing the skin. According to doctor Grinsted, this skin condition can not affect individuals who are in 40s or 50s of their age. During this age, the skin is tough enough to resist the sunburn rash

Avoiding further exposure to the sun will increase the chances of healing fast. Apply sunscreens of 50 Sun protection factor provides maximum protection of the skin from the ultraviolet rays. Protective clothing such as a hat, goggles and long-sleeved dressing are also important while going outdoors for a long time on a sunny day.

Sunburn Blisters Pictures

sunburn blisters picture

Blisters on shoulder

Sun blisters can appear on the skin after severe sunburns, and they can be extremely painful. These blisters will typically appear several hours to a day after the initial sun exposure. The blisters can appear on any part of the skin that was exposed to harmful rays from the sun. We have included some of the best pictures in this post to enable you get a clear image on how sun blisters looks like at different areas of the face.

Sunburn Blisters Treatment

It can take several hours for the full damage of the sunburn to show itself. So at the first sign, get out of the sun and follow this expert advice from dermatologist Jeffrey Brackeen, MD, a member of The Skin Cancer Foundation.

  1. Act Fast to Cool It Down

If you’re near a cold pool, lake or ocean, take a quick dip to cool your skin, but only for a few seconds so you don’t prolong your exposure. Then cover up and get out of the sun immediately. Continue to cool the burn with cold compresses. You can use ice to make ice water for a cold compress, but don’t apply ice directly to the sunburn. Or take a cool shower or bath, but not for too long, which can be drying, and avoid harsh soap, which might irritate the skin even more.

  1. Moisturize While Skin Is Damp

While skin is still damp, use a gentle moisturizing lotion (but not petroleum or oil-based ointments, which may trap the heat and make the burn worse). Repeat to keep burned or peeling skin moist over the next few days.

  1. Decrease the Inflammation

At the first sign of sunburn, taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), such as ibuprofen, naproxen or aspirin, can help with discomfort and inflammation, says Dr. Brackeen, who practices at the Skin Cancer Institute in Lubbock, Texas. You can continue with the NSAIDs as directed till the burn feels better. You can also use a 1 percent over-the-counter cortisone cream as directed for a few days to help calm redness and swelling.

  1. Replenish Your Fluids

Burns draw fluid to the skin’s surface and away from the rest of the body, so you may become dehydrated, explains Dr. Brackeen. It’s important to rehydrate by drinking extra liquids, including water and sports drinks that help to replenish electrolytes, immediately and while your skin heals.

  1. See a Doctor If

You should seek medical help if you or a child has severe blistering over a large portion of the body, has a fever and chills, or is woozy or confused. Don’t scratch or pop blisters, which can lead to infection. Signs of infection include red streaks or oozing pus.

Home Remedies to Get Rid of Sunburn Blisters

Sun blisters can be treated at home with the following remedies. Getting rid of sunburn at home provides an easy and quick way to provide relief and risk the spread of infection.

  1. Vinegar

Dilute either white vinegar or apple cider vinegar in water and applying it directly to the sunburn blisters will provide relief. This can be done with a soft cotton cloth, and will help to absorb the heat of the blisters, as well as heal them faster.

  1. Cold Compress

Sunburn blisters hurt, are hot, and cause a lot of discomfort. Putting a cold compress on the blisters will help to reduce inflammation and pain. Soaking a towel in cold water, squeezing the extra water out, and applying the towel directly to the affected area will help ease discomfort.

  1. Honey

Honey is one of nature’s finest healers and will work great to prevent infection. Honey can be applied directly to the blister or can be mixed with vinegar and applied to the blister.

  1. Dry Bandages

Sunburn blisters have a tendency to pop and ooze out the fluid that lays trapped inside. This can cause infection and should be avoided at all costs. Putting dry cotton bandages over the blisters will help prevent them from popping and allow for faster healing.

  1. Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera has been used for centuries to treat skin problems, and is known around the globe for its ability to help treat sunburn. Aloe Vera gel can be bought in the store, but taking the gel directly from the plant is the best method. Simply cut the aloe Vera leaf and extract the gel that is inside. Apply this directly to the sunburn blisters and let it dry. There is no need to rinse this off, and will provide quick healing to painful blisters. It is also great for moisturizing the skin.

  1. Lettuce Leaves

Lettuce leaves help to greatly provide relief from pain and swelling associated with the blisters. A few fresh lettuce leaves should be boiled in water for ten minutes. This water should then be cooled completely and put in the refrigerator to become cold. This water can be applied to the blisters several times throughout each day. Cold lettuce leaves may also be applied directly to the blisters.

  1. Buttermilk

Buttermilk has an amazing cooling property to it and is great to put on blisters. It will help take away the heat and soothe the skin that is inflamed and uncomfortable. If you don’t have actual buttermilk, you can mix one cup of yogurt and one cup of water and get a mixture that will offer the same results.

  1. Chamomile

Chamomile is super soothing to sunburn blisters and adding a few drops of extract to some water is a great home remedy for getting rid of sunburn. A towel or washcloth dipped and wrung out and applied directly to the affected skin will greatly cool it down and provide extended relief. You can also do this with chamomile tea if you don’t have any chamomile extract.

  1. Cucumber
Sunburn blisters remedy

Cucumber to get rid of blisters

Cucumber is another great home remedy for getting rid of sunburn. It is extremely cooling to the body, and applying a cucumber paste to sunburn is great for drawing out heat and keeping skin feeling cool. Eating fresh cucumbers will also help cool the body from the inside and speed along healing.

  1. Oat Meal

A paste made from oatmeal powder and water is a popular way to get rid of painful sunburn blisters. Oatmeal provides great relief to irritated skin and has been used for years to treat skin conditions. The paste can be applied to the blisters and rinsed off after about 20 minutes. Soaking in a bath with oatmeal powder added to the bathwater will also provide relief.

More references

  1. Sunburn:
  2. Getting rid of sunburn:
  3. Sunburn blisters:
  4. Lips sun blisters:
  5. Nose sun blisters:
  6. Face blisters:
  7. What o know blisters from the sun:
  8. Ways to treat sunburn: