How To Treat Sunburn Blisters

Going on vacation often means spending a lot of time outdoors in the sun. Most of the time, we forget about the seriousness of spending all those hours under the hot UV rays and forget to top up on the sunblock.

If this sounds like you, whether it is yourself or your kids, you will want to know how to treat sunburn blisters. While having fun in the sunshine is something we all deserve to enjoy every so often, you will want to ensure that you stay safe. 

In this article, we are going to take a look at how to protect yourself from the sun, but also how to treat sunburn blisters.

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How to treat sunburn blisters

Why Do Sunburn Blisters Happen?

Sunburn blisters happen when the skin is exposed to the sun’s UV rays for too long. However, some people are just more susceptible than others due to having a particular type of skin. Or, the person might be young, and their skin is much more sensitive. 

While sunburn blisters will improve on their own, you will want to avoid this happening regularly.

This is because every time your skin is damaged by the sun, it also damages the cells, increasing your risk of skin cancer in the future. In fact, suffering from sunburn from an early age increases that chance even more. 

For this reason, make it a habit to wear sunscreen and reapply it throughout the day. This is especially important for your children. If you make it a habit, they will follow through with it for life. Check out this Sunscreen Hack For Kids – Using A Brush Applicator.

How Do You Treat Sunburn Blisters?

While sunburn blisters can be painful and annoying, especially if you are still on vacation, you can do a few things to help treat them. Some suggestions are:

Cold Compression

One good idea is to apply a cold compress. You can do this by placing a small towel under a cold tap and squeezing out the excess water or even having a cool shower.

This can help the healing process, as well as take away some of the pain – even if only temporarily. Using a cold compress is also a great idea if it is a child who is suffering. They may not enjoy a cold bath!


It is not unusual to feel pain in the area of the sunburn blisters. Taking ibuprofen can take away the pain temporarily and some inflammation. However, this is not suitable for a young child.

Protect The Area

When you are outdoors, you will feel the sunburn blisters pressing against your clothing, as well as from the heat of the sun.

You will need to ensure that the blisters are not exposed to more sunlight, which will cause the healing process to be slower. There may also be further damage done.

How To Treat Sunburn Blisters

You will also want to wear loose clothing around the area the blisters are. If it is on the leg area, opt for a long skirt or pants instead. 

Avoid SPF

Now, we are not talking about avoiding SPF entirely, just on the area of the blisters. This is another reason why you will want to make sure the blisters are covered and out of the sun’s rays.

Adding a layer of something thick can prohibit the blisters from breathing and being able to heal. 


Always keep hydrated. You will want to stay hydrated when it is warm anyway, but being hydrated also helps your body to work properly. This will ensure that the skin heals sufficiently and effectively with minimal damage.

What Should You Not Do To Sunburn Blisters?

If you or your child develops sunburn blisters, the best thing you can do is not to pick at them or pop them. This is because when they are agitated by the popping or picking, it slows down their healing time and may even cause the area to scar.

You are also opening a wound. This can cause the area to become infected and need further treatment by a professional. 

So the best thing you can do is to take care of the surface and the pain but not to let the blister pop. 

How Can You Protect Your Skin While On Vacation?

The best way to protect your skin while on vacation is by using sunscreen. You will need to stay on top of applying it, too, as it never lasts for more than a couple of hours at most.

This means you will want to get into the habit of reapplying sunscreen at least every two to three hours. This is especially important when it comes to children. If your child is still in a stroller, avoid being in the direct sun as much as possible. 

Even so, all your kids, no matter their age, should be in factor 50 or more sunblock. If the sunblock says, it is once a day, still reapply it often.

If the sunblock says it is waterproof, always reapply it after being in the water. Sunscreen always comes off, whether that is to do with clothes or towels rubbing on the skin or even sweat.

Avoid being in the direct sun during the hottest part of the day, between 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM. During this time, stay in the shade as much as possible to avoid sunburn.

Final Thoughts

Sunburn blisters can happen whether you are on vacation or spending it at home. While the sun exists, we are all at risk of suffering from some form of sunburn.

If you find that you are on vacation and suffer from sunburn blisters, there are things you can do. From applying a cold compress to keeping it covered, you will want to ensure that it heals properly.

However, if you do find that the sunburn blisters are particularly bad, then you may need to see a Doctor. You will also want to avoid picking or popping the blisters, which may cause an infection.

The best way to avoid sunburn blisters in the first place is to apply sunscreen and to keep applying it throughout the day. 

For more about family travel, check out these posts:
Simple Family Beach Hacks
Sunscreen Hack For Kids – Using A Brush Applicator
When Can You Take a Baby to the Beach?
Beach Essentials for Kids
Baby Beach Accessories: The Must-Have Beach Gear
Family Beach Vacation – Ultimate Guide & Packing Lists

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The BE Family Travel Team writes articles to help parents travel with children.