Blisters, more than being painful, are annoying and bothersome. A blister is a bubble of fluid that forms under the skin as a protective barrier against some kind of irritation. While most blisters are commonly caused by irritation from rubbing, especially on the feet, there are many ways you can get a blister from allergies, diseases, and even medication. The clear liquid bubble that forms, while painful, is your body’s way of protecting your injured skin. If a blister remains intact and unopened, it will provide a protective barrier to the injured skin, but when a blister is popped or opens naturally, you run the risk of infection. Here’s how to protect and heal blisters that have opened.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Antibiotic ointment
- Antibacterial cream
- Mole skin
- Antibacterial soap
- Clean towel or washcloth
Disinfect an opened blister. If a blister breaks, carefully and gently wash the area with soap and water, before patting the area dry. Apply an antibiotic cream.
Let it breathe without a bandage. Allowing your open blister to breathe, uncovered, is the best way to speed recovery. While you'll need to cover it for some parts of the day, leave it uncovered as often as possible.
Do not remove dead skin. When a blister bursts, the opened flap of skin will eventually dry out and die, creating a hard flap at the blister site. The dead skin is still attached to living skin, and removing it may allow an infection to enter the area that is still alive and healing. If the dead skin flap is irritating or causing discomfort, bandage it down flat against your skin.
Protect your broken blister. If you need to do something that will involve the use of your blistered area, like wear shoes with a blistered heel, you’ll need to bandage it. Cover the area with a thin layer of antibacterial cream. Apply a bandage that is large enough for the wound, and pad the top of the bandage with mole skin. Opened blisters are the equivalent of an open wound, and even with bandages they will be painful.
Wear casual and comfortable materials while a blister is heeling. For blisters on the foot, avoid wearing heels or synthetic fibres that make your feet sweat. For blisters on the hand, try creating a barrier with gloves. For other blisters, wear light cotton and other breathable fibres.
Watch for signs of infection. If your open blister becomes more painful, forms a white layer of puss, oozes blood, or becomes inflamed, contact your doctor immediately. Other signs of infection may be fever and nauseousness. In addition to the obvious signs of infection, you may also watch for signs of staff infection. A staff infection can be determined by a small red line forming from the site of the wound.
Tips and warnings
- Take blisters, especially opened blisters, seriously. Infections caused by blisters can lead to serious problems including death of vital tissue, amputation and even death.
- Treating blisters caused by eczema, diabetes, herpes, shingles and other infections or diseases may vary, so you should contact your doctor before starting any kind of treatment regimen.
- If you think you have a staff infection, contact your doctor immediately.