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Sunburned Lips

Last reviewed by Dr. Raj MD on January 12th, 2022.

Everyone knows that staying out in the sun for a long period of time can cause you to have a sunburn but it sounds a little strange to say that you have sunburned lips but it does happen. Your lips are part of your face so it is only natural when you get a sunburn on your face your lips are also going to be affected. You can put sunscreen on your face to help protect it from being sunburned and cover your body but you cannot cover them up like you do your body. Because a child’s lips are more sensitive due to not being fully developed they are more prone to having sunburned lips.

Symptoms of Sunburned Lips

When you have sunburned lips they tend to dry up and split open or crack if you apply no type of treatment. You may also notice that they bleed because of no moisture. Your lips may also become sore and cause them to feel irritated and itchy.

Some of the other symptoms you might experience with sunburned lips can include:

  • Feeling a burning sensation on your lips
  • Your lips may dry up and later peel leaving your lips feeling rough to the touch
  • Becoming dehydrated because your lips are extremely dry because of too much heat
  • Your lips may feel hot
  • The skin on your lips may be extremely sensitive and when touched will feel signed
  • Your lips may be extremely tender
  • Your lips may turn a shade of pink or red
  • The pain that you feel on your sunburned lips is the worse than any other sunburn you have experienced
  • Scabbing if your lips bleed

What are the causes of Sunburned Lips?

The cause of having sunburned lips is being exposed to the harsh UV rays without wearing lip balm at all or with the wrong SPF. Most cases of sunburned lips occur when you are constantly being exposed to the harmful UV rays of the sun for prolonged periods of time.

Sunburned Lips Treatment

The best treatment for sunburned lips is to make sure that they are protected before going out into the sun by using a lip balm with a SPF of fifteen or higher. If you forget and develop sunburned lips there are many different home remedies that you can use.

  • Apply potato juice to your sunburned lips because the starch that is found in the potatoes feels cool to your lips and will help to soothe the burn. To get potato juice you should grate a potato and leave the shreds in a colander or strainer over a bowl to catch the juice that comes from the shreds of potatoes. You can also puree in a blender a raw potato. After applying the potato juice to your lips leave it dry and stay on your lips as long as you possibly can.
  • Vitamin E – you can spread a few drops of vitamin E oil on your lips particularly before you go to sleep or after eating. You should do this at either or both times so the oil will stay on your lips as long as it can. Using pure vitamin E oil can help to promote the formation of new skin on your lips and can also prevent scarring. Vitamin E oil is also safe to use on children.
  • Aloe Vera gel – you should make sure that you are using unscented pure aloe Vera gel on your lips. Using this gel can reduce both sunburn inflammation and pain. The only drawback is that if you have a tendency to lick your lips ingesting the aloe Vera gel could have a laxative effect on you. If you are using an aloe Vera plant to get the gel just peel the thick top layer off a leaf and then rub the fleshy inner part of the plant on your sunburned lips. It is advisable that you use extreme caution when using aloe Vera gel on children and women who are pregnant.

The best treatment for sunburned lips is to make sure that you are keeping your lips moisturized to prevent any other complications with your sunburned lips. You can also apply very gently petroleum jelly to your lips and re-applying it when you feel like your lips are drying out. You need to make sure that you are drinking an adequate amount of water each day so you do not become dehydrated and try not to lick your lips as this can help to dry them out and remove any sunscreen lip balm or home remedies that you are trying to use to help with your sunburned lips. You can also apply cold compresses to your lips to give you instant relief from the pain.

Sunburned Lips Pictures

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