Sun blisters—a real concern

‘Fun-in-the-Sun’ season is here and a good time to talk about the most serious kind of sun damage, sun blisters. Sun blisters are a sign of a serious sunburn and are linked to melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.  MedStar Health dermatologists offer the following facts and recommendations about sun blisters.

Sun Blister Facts:

  • Blisters contain a liquid called serum that comes from surrounding tissues 
  • Sun blisters can happen on any exposed area of skin 
  • Often blisters on the lips after sun exposure are a reactivation of the herpes simplex virus, which is very common. 
  • The deeper the blister, the more serious the damage and can last days or even weeks, depending on the severity.  
  • Discoloration from a sun blister can last for weeks or even months. 

Sun Blister First Aid Tips:

  • Don’t pop or open a blister.  The top skin is a good natural bandage and can prevent infection 
  • Apply cool compresses or cool water/bath
  • Do not apply ice directly which can irritate the skin
  • Topical anesthetic medications can be more irritating than helpful
  • Apply fragrance-free cream to blisters for relief
  • Topical steroids do NOT help sun blisters
  • Oral anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen can be helpful if determined to be safe by your doctor

When to call the doctor for sun blisters:

  • If infection is a concern. Pus or expanding redness can indicate a serious infection.
  • If blisters are widespread 
  • Fevers
  • Chills
  • Passing out or feeling lightheaded

Source: https://www.medstarhealth.org/

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