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How to Safely Treat Sunburn Blisters

sunburn blisters

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Sunburn on its own feels dreadful enough, but if it gets worse, your skin can also develop painful blisters. Sunburn blisters are an indication of a second-degree burn, which is why special care is necessary.


What is Sunburn Blisters

Sunburn blisters typically appear after the skin suffers from severe sunburns. The skin will become inflamed, which disrupts the connections between skin cells. It splits the skin and will ultimately fill it with serum or the fluid inside a blister.

Blisters from the sun do not exactly look or feel great. Significant skin damage has been done, and you are most likely to deal with red, painful, swollen, and peeling skin. It usually appears a few hours after sunburn occurs but can take up to 12 to 24 hours to develop.

The worse thing about this blister is even one experience can double your chances of developing melanoma. Melanoma is the deadliest form of cancer. Although it mostly appears later in life, according to the Cancer Council Australia.


Signs And Symptoms of Sunburn Blisters

Blisters are much known as a mild, run-of-the-mill sunburn look and feel alike. In addition, there are other common signs of sunburn blisters.

  • small, precise, or white bump filled with fluid (serum)
  • redness of the skin
  • the swollen area surrounding the blisters
  • painful to the touch
  • extremely itchy

sunburn blisters


Know that blisters that are intentionally picked or popped can become infected. It may require first aid treatment and may lead to scarring.


First Aid Treatment for Sunburn Blisters

Here are the best ways to take care of blisters and the rest of the sunburned skin.


  • Do not pick or pop the blisters.

As painful and uncomfortable it might be, do not pick or try to peel the blisters. If you try to open one, there is a higher chance of it becoming infected. That is the last thing you want to happen in a sunburn blister.

If ever you have a big blister that is extremely painful or getting in the way, it is best to see a doctor for proper procedure. They will know how to safely pop these small, white bumps and remove the fluid inside.


  • Keep the blisters covered.

If a blister accidentally breaks, gently clean the surrounding skin area with mild soap and water. If you have access to a first aid kit, apply an antibiotic ointment and cover the wound with a non-stick bandage. If you develop a rash, apply cream and seek medical care.


  • Cool it off

Sunburned skin will feel better if you apply ways to cool off. You can take a cool shower or bath and apply a cold compress to the affected area. Use a washcloth soaked in cold water. But remember to do not put ice directly on the burned skin.


  • Take medications

Sunburns can be painful. Add blisters on top of it, and you are in second-degree pain. Take ibuprofen and other doctor-prescribed medication to help with the swelling and pain.


  • Avoid more sun exposure.

Stay out of the sun as your blistered skills have already received too much damage from harmful UV rays. Further sun exposure will only make it worse.

Avoid being outdoors and if you ever have to be in the sun, use a cover-up. Loose, comfortable clothing will not hurt your blisters and can protect you from the sun’s intense rays.



Seek medical care for large blisters or if you experience excruciating symptoms. Look out for symptoms of worsening pain, a terrible headache, fever, chills, or any signs of infection. It is best to remove large blisters as they rarely remain intact on their own.

Learn first aid to safely treat sunburn blisters, and other sun-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

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