A TEENAGER is warning others of sunbathing mistakes, after she wasn’t able to leave her home without a face mask.
Ellie Jean, 19, was on holiday in Portugal for a festival this July and spent a week sunbathing.
She used suncream on her body but didn’t think to do the same for her lips.
Instead, the nursing student, from Wigan, Greater Manchester, applied Vaseline as she does every day.
Soon, a painful burn appeared on her bottom lip that she mistook for a cold sore.
Ellie said: "I use Vaseline instead of lip gloss, I always have it on.
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"I'd been sunbathing all the day before and then I woke up and I thought it was a cold sore at first because there was a lump.
"I put [a skin care] cream on it and then I wiped it off and went and sunbathed again. It was already blistered at that point but then it just got a lot worse.
"The next morning it was more prominent and it started drying and cracking. I just kept putting cream on it but it didn't really do anything.
"It felt like burning on my lip and whenever I tried to eat or move my mouth like to smile, all of it would crack and bleed and it was so painful.
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"They were all bleeding and cracking and I literally wouldn't leave the house without a mask, it was horrible."
Horrifying photos show almost the entirety of Ellie’s bottom lip covered in painful blisters and a large black scab.
Ellie got home from holiday and, after almost a week of using different creams, she was forced to go to her doctor.
She claims the doctor said serious burns on lips are more common in people who have lip filler – which Ellie last had in November 2021.
Lips with filler may be more prone to burning because the skin is stretched out and more delicate.
However, everyone should wear SPF on their lips.
Ellie was prescribed a week-long course of antibiotics which she is still taking.
Ellie said: “I sent pictures to my GP and she replied and said 'that looks really painful, come in today'.
"She asked me if I have lip fillers and I do but I haven't had my lips done in a long time, since last November.
"She said it's definitely more common to get it with lip fillers.
"I'm still taking the antibiotics but the scab has come off now. When I stretch my lip I can see a bit of white still so I'm taking them until that clears."
Ellie, who still has a mark on her lip as it heals, hopes that the large scab hasn’t left a scar.
And she vowed to never forget to use SPF lip balm again while warning others not to forget to do the same.
Ellie said: "I know there's lip balms with SPF but I've never gone out of my way to buy one. I just thought it would be fine [using Vaseline only].
"I've been telling everyone to put suncream on your lips. I definitely will be from now on."
Vaseline owner Unilever confirmed their Lip Tins do not contain SPF and encouraged anyone in the sun to ensure they have adequate protection.
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A spokesperson for Unilever, who own Vaseline, said: "Our Vaseline Lip Tins do not contain an SPF and we would advise anyone sunbathing to ensure they've got adequate protection.
"We hope Ellie recovers soon."
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