A blister occurs when the top layer of skin separates from inner layers of skin, often because of burns or irritation from friction. The result is a painful, fluid-filled lesion. Blisters can be treated to promote faster healing. If a blister occurs on or near the feet, avoid wearing the shoes that caused the blister. Wear padded socks or other thick clothing that can prevent friction near the blister to avoid further aggravation. If a blister becomes infected and pain increases, contact a doctor immediately.
Clean blisters using soap and water. Pat the area gently as you clean; avoid vigorously rubbing the wound to prevent additional irritation. Pat the wound dry. Apply an antiseptic and allow it to dry.
Put a bandage or blister plaster on a small blister. The skin surrounding the blister should be completely dry before you apply the bandage or plaster. Tape to keep the dressing in place. Larger blisters may need to be punctured in order to bring relief and faster healing.
Sterilize a needle with iodine or rubbing alcohol, or boil the needle in water for a few minutes. Insert the sharp end of the needle slowly into the blister. Aim for the center of the blister. Press your fingertips gently against the blister to encourage draining. Apply antibiotic ointment to the drained blister. Cover with a bandage.
Remove bandages after a few days. Boil scissors and tweezers in water for a few minutes or sterilize with rubbing alcohol. Gently remove dead skin from the blister. Apply more antibiotic ointment and cover until healed.
Tips & Warnings
- You may need to apply several layers of bandages to create a barrier thick enough to prevent irritation to the blister.
- If you are uncertain about draining a blister, have a doctor do it.
- Prevent infection: Clean your hands before you touch your blister.
- Do not use equipment that has not been sterilized; it could cause infection. If the blister looks irritated and red, or if it exudes pus, contact a doctor.
- Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images
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