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Sun burn on ears,pus filled blisters,boil

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 2001
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I got a very bad sunburn on the tips of my ears two days ago, and now they are blistering badly. My left ear has a huge pus-filled blister/boil but it's hard to get to and treat under my hair. What should I do to take care of it?
Posted Fri, 4 May 2012 in Sun Burn
 
 
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 53 minutes later
Hi XXXXXXX

Thanks for the query

By going through your description it seems you are having infection over the sun burnt area. This has happened because of the higher levels of exposure to UV rays associated with an inflammatory reaction. Skin burns are usually superficial, but sometimes it can penetrate into the subdermal region causing blisters.

Histamine, a chemical involved in most allergic reactions, is released into the skin, along with other inflammatory substances during this exposure. The inflammation is sometimes supervened by the infection depending upon the depth of the skin burnt, but this does not happen immediately. Infection develops only after a couple of days following this inflammation.

Pus filled blisters are the signs of infection. You need to consult your doctor and start on oral antibiotics to clear off the infection and anti-inflammatory medicines (such as Diclofenac or Ibuprofen) to reduce the inflammation and pain. Along with that you may need to use Sulfadiazine cream locally, which forms a protective covering over the lesion. Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated.

Hope I have answered your query, if you have any more doubts you are welcome.

Regards
Dr. Naveen Kumar
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Sun burn on ears,pus filled blisters,boil 42 minutes later
Would it help or hurt to XXXXXXX the largest blisters? Also, do you have a suggestion as to a specific cream that I can use on them? If I stay hydrated and take anti-inflammatories, will that be enough to clear up the infection, or are antibiotics necessary?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 3 hours later
Hi,

Welcome back

1. Would it help or hurt to XXXXXXX the largest blisters?

Blisters are the natural protective mechanism against inflammation. The blisters usually contain serum (an extract of the blood). Breaking down can help to assess the depth of the burns. It is better to puncture it under aseptic precautions or else it might get infected. Once the blisters are opened, the loose skin itself will act as a protective dressing, but to prevent it from dirt and micro organisms it requires a light dressing over the burnt surface.



2. A specific cream that I can use on them?

Silver Sulfadiazine cream is the most commonly used antiseptic cream for burns; but still, there are lots of debates going on whether to use or not to use. There is no harm in using this cream.


3. If I stay hydrated and take anti-inflammatories, will that be enough to clear up the infection, or are antibiotics necessary?

Once the blisters are opened or if there are signs of infection, it is better to start on antibiotics as it helps in controlling the infection. Anti-inflammatory medicines will also help in recovering faster and reduce the pain. Hence, it is wise to start on antibiotics as you have mentioned that they are the pus filled blisters. And other measures such as hydration are also of prime importance.

Wishing you Good Health

Regards
Dr. Naveen Kumar
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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