I got a pretty bad sunburn on my shins about a week ago. It seemed like it
was healing just fine, but today I noticed blisters on my legs. They're clearish white
on the top, and the fluid inside is clear (like water). Basically, my whole shins
are giant clear blisters (or hundreds of tiny blisters). I tried putting aloe gel
on it. It's really freaking me out. What should I do? – Fiona*
Blisters like the ones you have are a sign that a sunburn is serious. The blisters
don't always show up right away. They may take a few days or longer to develop.
If you have a fever, chills, nausea, or vomiting, severe blistering or pain,
call your doctor's office or a health clinic. If you have blisters with no other problems,
take these steps to care for them:
Don't pop or pick them. Blisters protect the skin underneath
as it heals. If they get peeled off, the skin can get infected.
It's OK to use a moisturizer or aloe gel on the blisters. Avoid
petroleum jelly or other heavy products, though, because they prevent heat or sweat
from escaping. If you want, you can put a gauze bandage over blisters until they heal.
Protect your skin from sun while it's healing from the burn.
Your skin will be tender, and more sun will just make things worse. If you need to
go out in the sun, wear long, loose skirts or pants to cover the blisters until they're gone.
Wear sunscreen after the blisters have healed.
If the burn is painful, take over-the-counter ibuprofen and use cool compresses
Sunburns get better on their own, but they still affect your health. Each
time you get a blistering sunburn, it damages skin cells and increases your chance
of developing skin cancer.
That's especially true if you get sunburns as a kid or teen. So promise yourself you'll
be sun smart from now on. (And, if your sunburn is serious, see a doctor or nurse.)
Whenever you're outdoors, wear a "broad-spectrum" sunscreen (meaning
it protects you from both UVA and UVB rays) with an SPF of 15 or higher.
Reapply it often if you're on the beach, at the pool, or anywhere you might swim or
sweat it off.
Want a tan? You can fake it with a sunless self-tanner, but self-tanners on their
own don't protect you from UVA rays. So wear sunscreen as well.