How Do You Get Rid of Painful Blisters After Sunburn?

how to get rid of sunburn blisters

How Do You Get Rid of Painful Blisters After Sunburn?

Blisters indicate a second-degree burn from overexposure to UV rays. They need some time to heal and fade away. Just remember to not pop them, even if you feel the need to.

Spending a lot of time in the sun lately? 

While you may have rejoiced in the experience, if you’re here, I assume your skin didn’t really react well to the soaring heat. 

As if sunburn was not enough, now you also have small blistering bumps staring you in the face.

The only good news here is knowing that it’s just your body’s mechanism to protect the skin underneath.

Though, that doesn’t compensate for the fact that blisters are painful and make you feel miserable.

Who wouldn’t like to get rid of them? 

Well, hate to break it to you, but this may take some time depending on how severe the burn is. 

What we can actually do is try and speed up the process of healing.

So, how to get rid of sunburn blisters? 

Below, I’ve broken down some tips that will help you free yourself from the torture and ease the discomfort.

 

How to Get Rid of Sunburn Blisters?

aloe vera gel for sunburn blisters

You need to give some extra TLC time to the skin to support the healing process.

  • Cool it off. Apply ice or damp compress onto the blisters and the surrounding area.
  • Cover up the sunburn bumps with comfortable and loose-fitting clothing, preferably cotton.
  • Drink up H2O as much as you can to prevent dehydration.
  • Apply aloe vera gel on the blisters.
  • Avoid applying heavy moisturizers with oil-based compounds or petroleum jelly.
  • Avoid touching the sunburn blisters or scratching them to help them heal faster.
  • Try cool baths with gentle cleansers.
  • Opt for over-the-counter medications (ibuprofen) to reduce swelling and pain.

Now that you know the basics, here’s a complete breakdown on how to get rid of sunburn blisters fast with some easy home remedies.

#1. Keep It Cool

Aim to keep your insides and outside cool to let the sunburned blisters heal faster. Let me tell you one thing, sunburned skin equals dehydration. 

You’ll likely be more thirsty and feel the need to chug down multiple glasses of water a day. So, don’t suppress the urge. Drink as much H2O as you want to move along the healing process. 

Moreover, avoid hot showers and instead take cool baths whenever you feel the heat. If you can, stay away from direct sunlight and hang around in a shaded place.

Applying cold ice and damp compresses is another way to cool off and find relief. This will also help reduce inflammation, redness, and pain in those sunburn bubbles.

#2. Cover Up

If you notice your Sunburn Blisters Leaking Yellow Fluid, it most likely means it got rubbed off. To avoid these unfortunate incidents, aim to cover up the area with loose-fitting clothing. 

Whatever you do, keep those tight-fitting black tees for some other day. Rather, choose to wear something light-weighted, light-colored, and comfortable. Loose cotton shirts will be the best fit for this occasion.

Something else you can try is covering the blisters with a loose bandage to let the air pass. This will keep them from sticking to clothing material and will save you a lot of pain and discomfort. Though, it’s only practical when the blisters are few in number and are present in only some areas.

Cover the area at all times whenever you step outside. You don’t want the sunburned area exposed while it’s healing.

#3. Keep Your Hands Off

It can be quite tempting to scratch the itchy blisters, but it’s really not constructive.

Touching your blisters to check on them is not going to heal them any faster, either. In fact, it may impede the recovery process. 

When you touch or put external pressure on the blisters, it just opens the door to infections and more pain. However, the need to pop the bubbles to get rid of them is real and understandable.

But Should You Pop a Sun Blister?

Never!! 

Popping the fluid-filled sunburn bumps increases the chances of infection and may also leave behind scarring. Definitely not something you want!

So, let these blisters heal and drain on their own. They are there for a reason and that is to protect the skin underneath. You’re not supposed to pop them before their time comes.

#4. You Can Still Moisturize

While applying chemically-laden moisturizers is the worst thing you can do at this stage, light moisturization can help. 

Moreover, you cannot forget the area surrounding those blisters, they still need care. 

The skin is burned and in need of intensive hydration. I would suggest using a water-based light moisturizer with aloe. Or if you’ve aloe vera gel, apply it straight away.

Pro Tip
To cool off the area and really take some of the heat off, keep the aloe vera gel in the refrigerator. Take out after some time and apply gently onto the skin with clean hands. This will help soothe the inflamed blisters while also easing up some of the pain. 

Whatever you do, avoid those perfumed oil-based moisturizers at all costs, and don’t use petroleum jelly. These can cause heat to get trapped in your skin and suffocate the blisters. 

#5. Take Over-the-Counter Medications 

Let’s accept it, Second-Degree Sunburn Blisters is no joke and is a huge inconvenience for most of the sufferers. Plus, some of us have quite sensitive skin.

You may continue to feel discomfort and pain even after taking the above steps. In that case, go for prescription burn creams to help with itching and inflammation. 

Furthermore, there are medications like ibuprofen or aspirin to help with swelling and pain. 

Besides taking these steps, you must monitor the blisters regularly to see if they pop. 

In any case, if your Sunburn Blisters Popped and are now oozing pus, clean them with water and antibacterial cleanser. Afterward, apply an antibiotic ointment and cover with a loose bandage. Again, DO NOT POP them intentionally.

Now that you know how to get rid of sunburn blisters, you may have to sit tight and wait.

 

How Long Do Blisters Take to Heal?

Blisters heal on their own within one to two weeks. 

Don’t worry! The pain will likely lessen within the first 48 hours after the appearance of the blisters. 

It’s best to consult a healthcare professional in case you experience additional symptoms of sun poisoning like vomiting, nausea, dizziness, fever, or severe blistering.

Otherwise, putting the above guidelines into practice will help make this process easier, faster, and a lot less painful. 

However, the spots from the blisters may be there for up to 6-12 months. You’ll need to take extra measures to help your skin rejuvenate.

 

How to Speed Up Skin Healing After You Get Rid of Sunburn Blisters?

A sunburn already means damage to the skin and a sunburn bad enough to cause blisters is worse. 

Your skin has literally undergone some trauma. Even after the blisters heal and the pain is gone, the skin continues to get better.

A sunburn with blisters that’s severe enough can increase the chances of skin cancer later on in life. Not only that, it damages the skin on a fundamental level. These changes may not be visible right now, but they will be once you cross a certain age.

How to Prevent Skin Damage After Sunburn and Blisters?

How to Prevent Skin Damage After Sunburn blisters

The only option you have now is to take very good care of your skin to help it heal and protect it from further damage.

#1. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that’s at least SPF 30 with UVA and UVB protection. Apply it daily irrespective of the weather outside. Yes, even on cloudy days. Plus, reapply sunscreen every two hours or as mentioned on the bottle whenever you’re outside.

#2. Wear protective clothing and cover your skin on sunny days. Use wide-brimmed hats, full-sleeved shirts, and cover your chest. These measures protect your skin from additional UV exposure.

#3. Try a collagen supplement to expedite the skin repair process. Your skin continues to get better even after recovering from a blistering sunburn. 

#4. Drink plenty of water and apply moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated inside out. You may continue to apply aloe vera gel as a part of your nighttime skincare routine.

#5. Get lots of sleep to help your body manage inflammation and accommodate a fast skin repair process. 

#6. Try an oatmeal bath or apply colloidal oatmeal to help with inflammation and soothe the skin. Oatmeal has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to ease itching and irritation. Try it, you’ll love the feel it gives to the skin.

Apart from these tips, use techniques to manage chronic stress as it really takes a toll on your skin.

There are many more tips out there on the internet about applying a whole bunch of different things. However, most of them are not scientifically proven. 

Thus, I’ll suggest you stick with basic tips. Only follow what’s proven to get rid of and treat sunburn blisters and heal your skin properly after that.

 

Final Thoughts

Getting rid of sunburn blisters is not really hard once you know how to. While it’s not a pleasant experience, blisters heal on their own. 

Do not get impatient and avoid putting random things on your skin. You already have sunburned skin with blisters, believe me, this is not the time to experiment. Only use what’s backed by facts or advised by your dermatologist. 

Moreover, continue to take good care of your skin even after it heals from blisters and itchy bumps. Taking a collagen supplement can also help support the repair of your skin over time.

Moreover, if you take certain medications or use any essential oils enriched products, check if they increase the likelihood of sunburn.

Never forget to apply your sunscreen and stay out of the sun to avoid getting sunburn or blisters again. If you do get burnt, rinse with cold water and apply aloe vera if available. 

Let me know if the above suggestions help you or if there are any other tips that can be added to the above list. Leave your comments right below!

 

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Regina Stemers
regina@horizonclinics.org

Dr. Regina Stemers spent many years as a general physician before developing an interest in the management of skin conditions. This has led her to take an active part in multiple research studies centered around skincare, aging, and other areas of female medical concerns. Read More... About Me

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