Sunburn blisters might form on the skin after sustaining a severe sunburn and can be quite painful. The blisters generally manifest several hours or a day after exposure to the sun.
The pain typically settles after 48 hours but it can take up to a week for the blisters and the sun damage to subside. Once it heals, it leaves behind darker or lighter spots on the skin that can last for 6-12 months.
Sunburn blisters are miniature, white bumps that are filled with fluid that form on significantly sunburned skin. The bordering area might be reddened and slightly swollen.
The site is painful to the touch and can be excessively itchy.
Management of sunburn blisters
Sunburn blisters can be cared for at home with the following measures to bear in mind:
- Increase the intake of water – sunburn can deplete the body of fluids which prevents the proper healing of the blisters
- Apply a moist, cold compress on the blisters to relieve some of the warmth from the skin
- Apply a moisturizer that contains aloe on the burn site since added moisture promotes faster healing of the blister
- Avoid picking or popping open the blisters since this increases the risk for infection and can even damage the skin that results to scarring
- Pain medications can be taken to lessen the swelling and discomfort
- Avoid exposure to the sun until the blisters fully heal
In case one of the sunburn blisters accidentally pop, make sure that the site is kept clean and place a bandage after dabbing on an antibiotic ointment. Make sure that the site is covered with bandage to promote faster healing.
The ideal way to prevent sunburn blisters is proper protection of the skin. When spending time outdoors, apply sunscreen with SPF of at least 30. It must be reapplied every 2 hours if actively outdoors. In addition, use protective clothes and wide-brimmed hats that shield the face.