Your lips have a delicate thin mucous membrane which can easily be damaged by sunlight, leading to sunburned lips. Direct exposure of your lip to sunlight can result in the development of dark spots, fluid-filled blisters and swollen lips. Explore pictures, causes, signs and symptoms of sunburned lips. Also, learn how to get rid of them with treatment and home remedies.
Summary of Page Contents
- Signs and Symptoms of Sunburned Lips
- Sunburnt Lips Pictures
- Causes of Sunburned Lips
- Sunburnt Lips Blister
- Treatment for Sunburned Lips
- Home Remedies for Sunburned Lips
- When to See a Doctor
- Sources and References
Signs and Symptoms of Sunburned Lips
Have you ever walked outside on the sun and you realized that your lips are becoming dry and chapped? This could probably be an effect of direct exposure to sunlight. Sun damage on the skin can lead to burn, black spots, age spots, white spots, freckles, and wrinkles on the skin.
The sun has harmful UV-rays that can lead to either acute or chronic damage to your skin. The acute effect of UV-light from the sun to your skin can lead to mild burns, black spots, white marks, dry or scaly skin on the affected area. The acute effect of UV rays is always temporal skin problem that can be restored easily.
The chronic damage of UV light from the sun can lead to serious skin conditions that can show up in symptoms like blistering, severe burns on the skin, permanent premature age spots (black spot), permanent eye damage and wrinkles on the skin.
Your lip is a vulnerable part of your body that has thin skin layer that can be affected by UV rays from the sun. It is possible to develop burn, spots, cracks and sores on your lip as a consequence of direct exposure to sunlight.
You might even develop health complicated problem on your lips if you stay long hours exposed to harmful sunlight. For instance, the cancer of the lip, actinic keratosis, solar lentigines, Melasma, and freckles are some of the serious skin conditions that are caused by sun damage.
The common signs and symptoms of sunburnt on the lips include:
- Redness, inflammation and swollen lips
- Itchiness or burning sensation on lip
- Dry, scaly, flaky or chapped lips
- Cracking and spitting skin on the lips
- Bleeding cuts, grooves or fissures on the lip
- Red burns on the skin of the lips that develop into fluid-filled blisters
- Black, dark or brown spots, marks and patches on lips
- White or yellow patches on the lips like bumps
- Skin peeling on the affected area of the lips
- Open sores on vermilion zone of the lips
- Raised hard black bumps on the surface of the lip
- Severe wriggling of the lips after exposure to sun
- Difficulties in speaking, eating and drinking
A severe sunburnt on the lip can lead to serious skin damage that can hurt you more. This might even cause difficulties in speaking, smiling, eating and drinking.
Sunburnt Lips Pictures
How do the lips with sunspots look like? To see how it might appear, we have inserted descriptive pictures of sunburnt lips in relevant parts of this post to show you how it can look like. These pictures or photos show various parts of the lip that can be affected by sunspots.
These pictures are a good reference you may use to evaluate your lip and get a hint if it has a sunspot or not. However, you do not use it for the self-diagnosis and treatment without the help of the doctor or dermatologist.
Causes of Sunburned Lips
The sun is the major cause that can lead to lip damage with burns, spots, and patches. However, it can also trigger other skin condition to form sunburnt on your lips. There several factors that might cause sunburnt on your lips that are liked to sunlight.
1. Direct Exposure to Sunlight
Your skin can develop sunspots due to direct exposure of yourself to sunlight. Sun damage can occur in areas of your body that might be exposed to sunlight. The face, shoulders, neck, scalp, arms, legs or any other parts of your body can be affected by sunlight.
Your lip is another sensitive area of your body that can easily be damaged by sunlight. Naturally, the normal healthy lips have a thin or light layer of skin that has less melanin or skin pigment. This makes the lips to be more vulnerable to sun damage.
In addition, the mucous membrane of the lips is always exposed to sunlight when you are outdoors. The delicate skin on your lips can develop burns, black spots, blisters, cracks, and sores when you are exposed to direct light from the sun.
The sun has the powerful UV-rays that can lead to either acute or chronic damage on your lips. The acute damage of UV-rays is mild temporal skin conditions that can restore itself without treatment. Examples of acute effects of UV-ray on the skin include mild burns, dry scales, black spots and white marks on the skin.
The chronic effect of sunlight on your lips can lead to a serious skin condition that is more permanent and difficult to control or treat. These effects include severe skin burns, skin cancer, actinic keratosis, Melasma and premature age spots.
Focusing on sunburst lips after exposure to harmful UV-rays, they might range from mild burns to severe burns. You can develop mild skin burns on your lips if you are exposed to sunlight for short period of time. Mild burns can show up as tiny dark spots on lips, cracks, scales and dry chapped lips.
Long exposure to strong intensity of sunlight can result in a serious burn on your lips that need medical concern. Severe sunburnt can show up as large red spot or patches that become filled with fluids like a blister. Also, you might develop chronic and permanent dark sunspots on your lips.
It is not possible to completely avoid exposing your skin to sunlight. However, it is possible to prevent and escape problems of sunburnt lips. You can use suitable sunscreen creams or lip balm that can protect your skin against UVA/UVB rays from the sun.
2. Lighter Skin
Having a lighter skin is a risk factor that might encourage sunlight to damage your skin. Individuals with lighter skin have less amount of melanin or skin pigment. The main function of melanin pigment is to protect your skin against harmful rays from the sun.
The problem of sunburnt lips is common to people who have lighter skin tone compare to individuals with dark skin complexion. People with light skin usually have a delicate mucous membrane of the lips that has less amount of melanin hence they can easily be affected by sunburns.
Albinism is a genetic disorder that results to completely lack of skin pigment or melanin. The lack of melanin on the skin is a predisposing factor that can allow the harmful rays from the sun to damage the skin tissue.
The skin of albinos is photosensitive hence they can develop various skin problems such as sunburnt lips, blister, sores, freckles, wriggles and skin cancer. The albinos can help to protect the skin by using sunscreen and protective shades.
4. Allergic to Sunlight
You can develop skin problem as a consequence of an allergic reaction caused by sunlight. Sunspots or sunburnt can show up on your lips when the light from the sun stimulates the production of histamine on the skin that can lead to an allergic reaction to occur.
If you are sensitive to sunlight, the skin of your lips might develop black spots, burns, blisters, sores, wriggles, freckles and white spots when you are exposed to the sun. An allergic reaction can also lead to dry, flaky, scaly and cracked lips that has a spitting skin.
5. Mouth Sores and Burns Activated by Sunlight
Sunlight not only causes sunburns on your lips but it can also activate other types of skin problem to show up as sunburnt and lesions on the lip. The cold sores and canker sore are the known oral condition that can show up if they are activated by long exposure to direct sunlight.
Cold sore or oral herpes is a viral infection that can stay in your body for a long time without causing mouth sores. The herpes virus can be activated by sunburnt on the lip to cause an outbreak of cold sores on the lip.
Similar to cold sores infection, canker sores can also show up on your lips after you are exposed to sunlight. The light energy from the sun has the ability to trigger or activate the dormant oral sores to show up.
Sunburnt Lips Blister
The sunburnt blister is a fluid-filled irregular bump that can develop on your lip as an effect of sun damage. The sunspot blister on the lip can appear as red, pink or brown in color depending on your skin tone.
Usually, the sunburnt blister on the lip can look similar to skin blister that develops after thermal or chemical burns. They can cause pain or irritation on the lips that can make you feel a discomfort. Large sunburnt blister on the lip can even cause difficulties in speaking, eating and drinking.
The sunburnt blister can appear anywhere on your lip. It can show up on lower or upper lip. Occasionally, it can affect both of your lips. The vermilion zone of the lip is the potential area that can develop sunburnt.
The fluid-filled blister on the lip caused by sunburn can burst, ooze out and form a dark scarring. The dark scarring might be a temporal or permanent mark on the lip depending on the effect of UV-rays as acute or chronic respectively.
Treatment for Sunburned Lips
You can treat sunburnt on your lips using various methods depending on the nature of the burns. Medical treatment if one of the methods you can go for by visiting your health provider. This method is effective for more serious sunburnt that are likely to advance into health complications.
After visiting your doctor, he/ she can decide the appropriate treatment method to use that can help to relieve the sunburnt. The common treatment methods that your doctor might use to fix your problem include the following:
- Prescription of cooling ointments that can help in the healing of the sunburn on the skin.
- Prescription Oral drugs that include anti-inflammatory drugs which can help to relieve swollen lips to facilitated the healing
- Surgical incision that can help to remove and drain out fluid-filled sunburn blister on the lip
Home Remedies for Sunburned Lips
If your lip has mild sunburn, no need to go for medical treatment. You can alternatively use home remedies to get rid of minor burns on your lips. Try the following natural treatment methods that are outlined below:
1. Cold Compress
A cold compress is an effective home remedy that can help to soothe itchy burns on the lips and prevent the swelling. This remedy can help to cool minor burns on the skin of the lip to facilitate the process of healing.
How to uses:
- Get ice-cold water in a basin
- Soak the washcloth into the ice-cold water
- Used the soaked washcloth to cold compress the affected area of the lips with burns
- You can alternatively use ice cubes to cool your lips
- Cold compress it several times until the pain is relieved
2. Raw Honey
Raw honey has medicinal properties that that can help to heal sunburnt lips faster. Honey has natural anti-inflammatory and soothing abilities that can help to calm itchy burns on your lips. It also has the antiseptic properties that can help to prevent the blister on your lip from becoming infected.
How to use:
- Get one teaspoon of raw honey
- Dap the raw honey to the affected area of the lip with burns
- Allow it to stay on your skin for 10 minutes before rinsing it off with water
- Continue applying it three times in a day for few weeks until your lips heal completely
3. Aloe Vera
You can use Aloe Vera cream or gel as a natural home remedy that can help to cure sunburn on your skin. The herb has the anti-inflammatory properties that can help to relieve swollen blister on the lip. It also contains antibacterial and antifungal abilities that can help to prevent the blister on your skin from getting an infection.
Aloe Vera has a cooling effect on the burns and can help to soothe itchy blister on the skin. The natural enzymes and vitamins in the Aloe Vera can help to nourish the skin in the affected area hence help to initiate the healing process.
How to use:
- Use cold water to rinse your lips carefully
- Apply the Aloe Vera cream or gel directly to sunburned lips
- Allow it to stay on your skin for about 30 minutes before rinsing it off
- Repeat to apply it three times in a day until the burns on your lip heals completely
4. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is an effective home remedy that you can use to get rid of sunburnt lips. Coconut oil is an excellent moisturizer that can help to heal dry, scaly and chapped lips with burns. It also has the ability to soothe and cool itchy burns on the lips.
The oil has natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that can help to heal the sunburn blister on the lip and prevent it from becoming infected.
How to use:
- Careful rinsing the affected area of your lip with water and pat dry it with a washcloth
- Apply the coconut oil to the affected area of the lips with sunburns
- Leave the oil to stay on your skin for the whole day
- Repeat the same procedure three times in a day until the burns on your lip go away
- Instead oil coconut oil, you can alternatively use another type of essential oil such as castor oil, Neem tree oil, olive oil and lavender oil
You can use potato juice as a remedy that can help to heal sunburns and sunspots on the lips. Raw potatoes contain a lot of enzymes and vitamin that can help to relieve skin inflammation. It can also help to soothe and relieve pain in the affected area of the skin.
How to use:
- Get one full tuber of potato, wash it and slice it into thin pieces
- Place the sliced piece of potato to the area affected by sunburns
- Allow it to stay on your skin for about 15 minutes before replacing it with afresh slices for another 15 minutes
- Repeat this steps three times in a day until you notice an improvement on your lips
You can try turmeric as a natural home remedy that can help to heal sunburnt lips. The plant has natural medicinal properties that can help to reduced skin inflammation in the affected area of the lips. The turmeric paste can also help to ease sunburn pain and facilitate the healing process.
- Mix one teaspoon of turmeric powder with one teaspoon of coconut oil
- Apply the mixture to the affected area of the lips with burns
- After 15 minutes rinse it with water
- Repeat this process three times in a day until the sunburn on your lip heal completely
7. Tomato juice
Tomato juice is an effective home remedy that can help to heal sunburnt lips faster. Tomatoes have vitamins that can help to facilitate the healing of sunburnt blister.
How to use:
- Mix ¼ cup of tomato juice with equal amount of buttermilk
- Apply the mixture to your lips
- Leave it to stay on your skin for about 30 minutes before rinsing it off
- Repeat this steps two times in a day
Chamomile has the ability to soothe and relieve inflamed sunburns blister on the lips.
How to use:
- Soak a tea bag of chamomile into warm water
- Place if in freezer for few minutes
- Apply it directly to the affected area of the lips with burns
- Repeat this procedure three times in a day
When to See a Doctor
You can seek medical attention over sunburnt lips if you notice the following conditions that include:
- If the sunburn blister has persisted on your lip for more than three weeks without any reasonable improvement
- If the sunburns on your lips develop into chronic black spots that refuse to go away
- When the blister on your lips is causing difficulties in speaking, eating and drinking
- When the sunburn blister is accompanied by other strange symptoms such as swollen tongue
- If you are allergic to sunlight and you develop strange rash on your skin
- When the sunburn blister start producing pus, this means that it is infected by bacteria or fungi
- If your baby, toddler or child has develops sunburns on the lip that looks worrisome