Sunburn Blisters

Sunburn Blisters: Causes, Picture, Symptoms and Treatment

Do you love outdoors? Then, the main risk you encounter is sunburn blisters. It can appear on your skin due to the overexposure of the sun. It occurs after sunburns and causes you extreme pain as well as agony. The blisters that occur on your skin several hours after the initial sun exposure. You can experience the pain due to the issue for more than two. But, the blister takes a longer time to heal. The sunburn and blisters take more than a week to heal completely. Even after the healing, you can see your skin having a distinctive color tone. The skin turns lighter or darker and it can last for six months or even a year. Therefore, you need to maintain caution while going out. The sunburn blisters may not cause fatal complication but can trigger pain and discomfort. So, you can avoid the adverse reaction by taking some preventive steps. Read ahead to know more about the problem and the methods to tackle it effectively.

What Are Sunburn Blisters?

Sunburn Blisters Sunburn is the injury caused on your skin by the excess heat and radiation from the sunlight. When you receive a first-degree burn, it affects only the top layer of your skin. The sunburn can result in slight tenderness in the affected area, redness, and peeling of the skin. You can experience the adverse effects on your skin within twenty-four to forty-eight hours after the exposure. But, some people can experience more serious sunburn. The second-degree burn can cause deeper damage to your skin compared to the first degree burns. The second-degree burns result in the development of blister, which takes longer time to heal. In most cases, the blisters may appear a few hours after you receive the sunburn. But, some people may see the blisters on the skin 24 hours after the initial exposure.

Sunburn Blisters

Sunburn blisters can induce pain and agony. It can affect your skin adversely and takes longer time to heal. People experiencing the problem are more at risk of developing other serious skin problems. So, the chances of developing cancer and melanoma are high in people affected by the blisters due to sunburn. The affected skin takes at least seven days to heal. But, even after the healing, the blisters leave scars on the skin. So, you can observe dark or light spots on the surface of the skin. It remains visible for six to twelve months. Remember sunburn and sunburn rash differs due to its severity as the latter resembles sun poisoning. It is more severe to sunburn and requires good care as well as management to relieve the adverse effects on the skin.

Symptoms Of Sunburn Blisters

So, how can you identify the problem? When you stay outside for long hours, you increase the risk of getting burned by the harmful UV radiation. But, if you note the following symptoms, it means you have sunburn blisters. It requires immediate attention as the condition can trigger several issues. Therefore, look for the following signs:


Sunburn Blisters

It is the main sign that indicates that you have received second-degree burns on your skin. You can see the formation of blisters of small size. The blisters contain white or colorless fluid inside it. It appears on the severed sunburned skin. So, you see swelling around the area of the blisters. The affected skin appears red in color. The blisters can cause agony to you due to the pain. Therefore, the area remains sensitive to touch. You also have an increased urge to touch or scratch the blisters due to itching sensation. The blisters mostly occur on the severely sunburned skin within 24 hours. Therefore, if you suspect the problem, then monitor your skin closely.

Other Signs Associated With Sunburn Blisters

Other complications can also arise due to the severe exposure to harmful sun rays. You can experience the following signs with the problem:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Fevers and chills
  • Dizziness
  • Severe sunburn on exposed areas of the skin

People who have spent a lot of time outdoors may not pay attention to their skin. If you observe any lumps after staying too long in the sun, then you need to see a dermatologist. If you become uncertain of the lumps, professionals can help you determine if it is blisters or not. The medical professional can make the diagnosis based on the appearance of the lumps. So, you can come to a conclusive diagnosis and get a treatment plan to alleviate the problem.

Signs That Needs Immediate Medical Attention

Some signs you observe can indicate a severe problem. Therefore, you need to get medical assistance immediately to avoid further complication. The following signs indicate the need for professional medical assistance:

  • Swelling on the skin
  • Having a high temperature (Fever that is 100 F or higher)
  • Chills
  • Severe headache
  • Nausea, dizziness or vomiting

Getting medical help at the right time can avoid any complications associated with the sunburn blisters. So, you can prevent permanent damage to your skin and protect it from further health problems.

Complications Due To Sunburn Blisters

People who suffer from the extreme effects of sunburn blisters must seek medical help. Irrespective of the appearance of the blisters, getting advice from a medical professional can put your mind at ease. It helps to overcome the adverse effects on the skin and overall health. Therefore, if you fear about the effects on your skin due to skin exposure, then see a dermatologist. Avoiding treatment can result in some unwanted complications. So, make sure to get help and avoid the following scenarios:


Sunburn blisters need proper care and management. The risk of the blisters popping is high when you fail to care for it. You must never intentionally pick the blisters. The popping or picking (intentionally or unintentionally) can result in infection. The infection can lead to permanent scarring of the skin. You need treatment to treat the infection that occurs due to the problem. Therefore, it is better to manage the problem before it can end in severe complications.

Risk Of Skin Cancer

Risk Of Skin Cancer

The sunburn blisters develop in people who have suffered bad sunburn. It increases the risk of cancer in such individuals. It is due to the fact that the skin absorbs the harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun. So, it affects the genetic material in your skin cells adversely. The damage can put you at risk of developing skin cancer in the future.

It is better to take steps to manage the problem as soon as possible. With early intervention, you minimize the damage to the skin.

Diagnosis Of Sunburn Blisters

In most cases, the sunburn blisters can go away without any medical treatment. But, if you have suffered severe burns or feel embarrassed about the skin, then seek medical help. You can consult a dermatologist to diagnose the severity of the sunburn and offer proper treatment. In most cases, the doctor suggests the treatment plan with just physically reviewing the symptoms.

Physical Assessment

Your dermatologist or physician can determine the extent of the skin problem by physical assessment. If you see abnormal swelling in your skin after going out, then inform your doctor about it. The appearance of the blisters can help your doctor detect the problem conclusively. You must also inform about the time you have spent outdoors in the sun. The doctor can ask the following question to detect the issue:

  • The time duration you spent outside
  • If you have used any protection like sunscreen or clothes to cover your skin
  • The other signs you experience

Unless you suffer from fever or nausea, the sunburn may not cause severe issues. Therefore, the doctor can prescribe the ideal remedy to heal the skin swiftly. You need to follow the doctor’s orders religiously to avoid worsening of the problem and prevent further complications.

Treatment Options For Sunburn Blisters

When you experience the sunburn blisters, you can use some home remedies to get relief. In most cases, home treatment can prevent any complications. So, you can adopt the following steps at home:

Get Good Hydration

You need to drink plenty of water to rehydrate your body. The sunburns can cause dehydration in your body. The dehydration can prevent the proper healing of the blisters. Therefore, drink at least six to eight cups of water to ensure proper healing of the blisters caused by the sunburns.

Cool Compress

Placing a cold and damp compress on the blisters can offer relief. The cool compress can take the heat out of the skin. It also alleviates the pain caused due to the blisters

Moisturize The Affected Area

You need to moisturize the skin affected by the blisters. You can use the natural remedy like Aloe Vera gel. The moisture will help the blisters to heal faster.

Prevent Infection

To prevent infection, you must never pop or pick the blisters. It can increase your risk of infection. The infection can cause long-lasting damage to your skin like scarring. Therefore, try not to pick the blisters as much as possible. In some cases, the friction from your clothes can cause the blisters to pop, if you encounter such a problem, then try to avoid infection by keeping the area clean. You need to use a bandage on the affected area with loose gauze. Before applying the gauze, apply antibiotic ointment. Keep the area covered by the bandage. It will speed up the healing process.

Alleviate Pain

The swelling due to the sunburn blisters can cause distress and discomfort. Therefore, you can take the over-the-counter pain relief medication like ibuprofen to reduce swelling as well as agony.

Prevent Worsening Of Blisters

You need to avoid going out in the sun until the blisters heal. The sun exposure can worsen the sunburn blisters. Therefore, limit going out to avoid further complications.

Consult A Doctor

If your blisters are severe, then you need to consult the doctor immediately. Your doctor can prescribe medications to alleviate the symptoms associated with it. In most cases, you need to use a corticosteroid to get relief from itching and swelling. The doctor can also prescribe topical burn cream. It helps to heal the skin quickly.

Clean Affected Area With Care

When you suffer from a severe burn, it has more chances to pop. So, you need to clean the area with cool water. Never scrub the affected area as it can scar the skin. Always use a mild antibacterial cleanser to remove the dirt and excess drainage. Never scrub the skin too hard. To prevent the chance of infection, you must never use the cotton ball on the picked or popped blister. The small fibers from the cotton ball can elevate your chances of infection.

Preventing Sunburn Blisters

Protect your skin from the wrath of the sun can become a tedious task. Staying out of the sun is an easy method to avoid such incidents. But, it is not possible to perform your duties by just staying inside the house. So, you can take some preventive steps to avoid getting sunburns or rashes. It will help you prevent from getting sunburn blisters.

Avoid Going Out At Peak Times

The sun is at its peak between 11 o’clock in the morning to 3 o’clock in the afternoon. So, you need to minimize venturing outside at the specified time. The sun is at its strongest during the time period. So, it increases your risk of rashes or sun poisoning. The rashes can eventually form blisters. Therefore, stay at home during the period.

Wear Sunscreen

When you have to go out during the daytime, you need to use sunscreen. It is the ideal method to prevent blisters and burns from affecting your skin. Always choose a sunscreen that has SPF 30 or above. It keeps your skin protected from the harmful UV rays.

Opt For Best Sunscreen

While choosing the sunscreen, you need to make sure it blocks both Ultraviolet rays A (UVA) and Ultraviolet B rays (UVB). Therefore, opt for a brand that offers you a minimum of four-star rating for offering UVA protection. Another important factor is the reapplication. The sunscreen brand may say the product is water-resistant and can withstand sweat. But, you must never take a chance with the safety of your skin. Therefore, re-apply the sunscreen every two hours while you stay outside. You also need to apply it after excessive sweating or staying in the water.

Maintain Caution Even On Cloudy Days

Most people may think that cloudy days are safe to venture outside. But, sunburn can occur even on cloudy days or in snowy weather. The light can reflect off the snow or from the clouds. It increases your risk of sun rashes or sunburns. Therefore, wear protective clothing and sunscreen while going out in cooler or cloudier conditions.

Wear Protective Clothing And Accessories

Wear Protective Clothing And Accessories

It is important to keep your skin shielded from the UV rays of the sun. Therefore, you need to opt for protective clothing that will keep you safe from the harmful rays of the sun. Choose long-sleeved dresses, shirts or T-shirts to keep your hands safe. While opting for hats (wide brim), sunglasses, etc. can offer added protection.

Check The Medication You Take

If you take any medication for health problems, check its label before going outside. Some drugs can increase your chances of getting sunburns. For example, certain antibiotics used to treat infections and medications (oral as well as topical) to treat acne increase your sensitivity to the sun. Therefore, talk to your doctor about the risk associated with taking the medication. Try to avoid going out when you take medications that increase your sun sensitivity.

Understand Your Skin Sensitivity

You need to know how your skin responds to the sun clearly. Knowing the skin sensitivity levels can prevent any problem associated with it. Skin sensitivity differs from one person to another. It is observed that people with fair skin can burn quickly compared to individuals with darker skin tones. Therefore, take necessary precautions based on skin sensitivity to avoid adverse effects.

Take Immediate Action

If you suspect sunburn, then to prevent the blisters, take immediate action. You need to cool your skin as soon as possible to limit the extent of the burn. Therefore, drink plenty of water to hydrate your skin. Clean and rinse the affected skin with cool water. Apply soothing lotions to prevent further issues with the skin. It is advised to stay indoors or in the shade to reduce the effects of the sunburn.


In the majority of the cases, the sunburn blisters do not cause any lasting damage. You can manage it well with enough home care treatment. With good care, you can ensure recovery swiftly. The blisters caused due to sunburn must heal properly else it may cause complications. By picking or popping the blisters, you become prone to infection. So, avoid it and take good care to ensure a speedy recovery. Get medical help if the blisters do not fade away with home treatments. Timely medical intervention can avoid health problems. Sunburn is a common problem that affects 50% of the population around the world at any point in time. Therefore, take adequate preventive steps to avoid the problem from affecting you.

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