Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Scalp Blisters - Why do blisters sometimes form on the scalp after prolonged exposure to sunlight?"

ZocdocAnswersScalp Blisters - Why do blisters sometimes form on the scalp after prolonged exposure to sunlight?


Is it possible that the blisters that sometimes form on my scalp are the result of sun exposure? I'm a 28 year old woman and I'm into recreational sailing, so I spend a lot of time in the sun, and the blisters always seem to coincide with a big regata.


Skin blisters and the like are a common problem with sun exposure. Basically, what is most likely happening to you is that you are burning the skin under your hair on your scalp. Although people sometimes do not think about sunburn as potentially occurring under the hair, this can in fact happen, especially for people who are exposed for long periods of time to strong sun and who have fair skin and hair. In short, the blisters you are getting are probably bad sun burn! The solution to this is of course to wear a hat at all times while you are out in the sun. Applying sun screen to the scalp is less practical for most people because the hair gets in the way. It is important to protect all of your skin, including the skin of your head, because frequent sunburns can lead to premature aging of the skin and, most importantly, also increase your risk of skin cancer later in life. As always, if this does not answer your question or you still have concerns, please talk with your doctor. The doctors who will be helpful to you include your primary care doctor or your dermatologist.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.