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What Are Sunburn Blisters?
Sunburn blisters refer to the blisters caused by severe sunburn called a second-degree sunburn that causes damage to the deeper layers of the skin. These blisters appear after 6 hours or can even take up to 24 hours after a sunburn. Sunburn blisters are very painful and can take around a week to heal, after which the skin continues to peel for a few days. Sunburn blisters are found to increase the chances of developing skin cancer.
[Also Read: Treatment for sunburn blisters on shoulders]
Sunburn can affect any exposed part of your body, such as the lips, especially your lower lip causing sunburn blisters on the lips. Lips are the most vulnerable because they are always exposed when outdoors and have a thin layer of skin with very little melanin, a pigment that helps protect the skin against the sun’s harmful rays.
Symptoms Of Sunburn Blisters On Lips
- Sunburn blisters on lips appear as small, white fluid-filled bumps on the skin
- The skin around the blister may appear red and slightly swollen
- Blisters are painful, tender, and itchy
Causes Of Sunburn Blisters
Sunburn is caused by prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun. Ultraviolet A (UVA) and UVB rays can penetrate the unprotected skin. While UVB penetrates the top layer of the skin, UVB penetrates the deeper layers causing sunburn blisters.
Sunburn blisters occur when the skin gets severely inflamed, disrupting the connections between skin cells leading to the splitting of the skin. This splitting results in pockets that get filled with serous fluid that appear as bumps on the skin.
Sunburn Blisters vs Cold Sores
|Sunburn Blisters||Cold Sores|
|Characteristics||Small and white blisters filled with fluid||Red blisters filled with fluid|
|Symptoms||Painful, tender, itch||Tingle, burn, or itch|
|Causes||Sun exposure||Sun exposure, stress, or a cold|
|Appearance as they heal||Scars that appear as dark or light spots||Small ulcer-like lesions|
How Long Sunburn Blisters On Lips Last?
Sunburn blisters on lips will last about 3 to 5 days. Sunburned lips healing time is about 1 week and as the blisters heal, they leave blister scars that appear as dark or light spots that can remain visible for 6 to 12 months.
How To Get Rid Of Sunburn Blisters On Lips?
The right treatment reduces pain and swelling. It also reduces the risk of infection and speeds up the healing process. Most cases of sunburn blisters on lips will break on their own without needing to be manually drained.
In case you develop a rash that indicates an allergic reaction to the sun or if you have your sunburned lips swollen, you may require medical treatment. Your doctor may prescribe healing and cooling ointments.
Home care options for sunburn lips include;
1. Cold Compress
Cold compress decreases swelling and pain. To use a cold compress, fill a plastic bag with ice cubes, wrap it with a damp cloth, and apply it to your lips. You can even rinse or dip a soft washcloth in cold water without icing your blister directly.
2. Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera is found to have anti-inflammatory properties that help alleviate the symptoms of sunburn blisters. Once the swelling on your lips subsides, take a small amount of aloe vera gel, and apply gently to the outside of your lips.
3. Lip Balm With SPF (Sun Protection Factor)
Apply the lip balm 30 minutes before going outdoors. Using lip balm with SPF protects the skin from UV damage and reduces the risk of developing skin cancer of the lips.
4. Antiseptic Cream To Punctured Blisters
Most of the sunburn blisters on lips will naturally drain on their own, after which you must apply an antiseptic cream to reduce the chances of developing an infection. Sunburn blisters play a vital role in the healing process by forming a barrier that protects the wound underneath it. Popping the blister results in scarring and if germs enter the wound, the blister becomes vulnerable to infection.
5. Anti-inflammatory Drugs
If your lips are painful, you can take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that reduces pain and swelling.
Sunburn blisters on lips can easily be treated with home remedies. But you may have to see your doctor immediately if your sunburn blisters are accompanied by fever, headache, nausea, dizziness, or confusion.