Even those who take blister prevention seriously cannot entirely eliminate blisters on feet, hands or other areas on the body. And if you can’t prevent blisters, the chances are that you will have to treat them. Read on for helpful blister treatment tips:
WATER BLISTER TREATMENT
Water blisters (common blisters on feet) are usually small and contain a clear liquid called serum. The clear fluid, or serum, in a water blister protects the skin underneath and helps it heal – naturally. The best blister treatment for a water blister is to leave it alone. However, sometimes blisters (especially foot blisters) can be painful, even more so if they are near a joint, and it might be beneficial to relieve some of the pressure caused by the built-up fluid inside the blister. This can be done by puncturing the blister with a sterilized needle, according to this “Blisters: First Aid,” article from the Mayo Clinic. Be sure to wash your hands first, then follow the steps below:
- Sterilize a needle with alcohol. Not sterilizing the needle could cause an infection.
- Use the sterilized needle to pierce the blister in a few places along one side of the water blister.
- Gently rub the non-pierced area of the blister to help release fluid.
- Wipe fluid away with a sterile pad, then cover the blister snugly with a bandage. Change the bandage daily to keep the area clean and avoid infection.
For more foot blister treatment tips, see the article, “Foot Blister Prevention,” on Podiatry Today’s website.
BLOOD BLISTER TREATMENT
If you get a blood blister, you probably do not need to seek medical attention, but there are things you can do to expedite the healing process. The first step in blood blister treatment is to elevate the part of your body with the blood blister above your heart. This will help stop the bleeding and reduce swelling or pressure. Next, apply a cold pack to the affected area to help alleviate pain.
A blood blister will usually heal on its own. Do not pop or puncture a blood blister. This can lead to infection. If the area around your blood blister is swollen and red, try soaking it in Epsom salts. If the redness spreads or if the swelling does not go away, you may want to call a doctor.
If your blood blister gets punctured, do not remove the flap of skin above the wound and, as soon as you can, put antibiotic on it then cover it with a sterile bandage. Keep the bandage and the wounded area clean and dry, and change the bandage every day or earlier if it gets dirty.
It takes about one to two weeks for new skin to grow in the damaged area. This is an important and natural part of your blister treatment. Once the wound feels like — and looks like — normal skin, you can remove the bandage and snip away the dead skin with sterilized scissors or nail clippers.
Be sure to watch for signs of infection during blister treatment, warns the article “Blisters-Home Treatment” on WebMD. Watch for redness, red streaks, draining or swelling around the injured area, and/or fever and tender bumps in your groin or armpits upstream from the blood blister. If you have signs of infection, your blood blister is causing severe pain, you can’t use the injured part of your body, or there is numbness or weakness in the area, see a doctor.
BURN BLISTER TREATMENT
Blisters caused by a burn should never be drained or popped. Like a water blister, these blisters are filled with a protective fluid called serum, which actually helps the blister heal. Piercing a burn blister could cause an infection. If you get a burn blister, immerse the area in cool – but not cold and not with ice – running water. The Mayo Clinic article, “Burns: First Aid,” recommends keeping the affected area in the cool water for 10-15 seconds or until the pain subsides. The next step in your burn blister treatment, is to cover it loosely with a sterile bandage. Keep the area dry and change the bandage daily or sooner if it becomes wet or dirty. You can take an over-the-counter pain reliever to help ease the pain.