How To Treat Blisters

Everyday Illnesses Common Remedies
To Pop Or Not To Pop?

A blister is where fluid collects under the skin to form a raised area. The fluid is serum which has leaked from blood vessels under the skin after minor damage. The purpose of a blister is to provide protection to the damage area of skin. Common causes of damage include friction and burns. Generally it is best to leave blisters intact to heal naturally (in other words, not to pop them). However, this is not always possible (for example if you have a blister on the heel of your foot that makes walking difficult). If you need to pop a blister, follow these steps:

1. Soak the blister and surrounding area in warm soapy water. Ideally add a few drops of antiseptic tea-tree oil to the water.
2. Sterilize a sewing needle by pouring some boiling water over it.
3. Carefully insert the needle into the side of the blister and allow the fluid to drain.
4. Don't remove any of the loose skin because this opens the skin below to infection.
5. Disinfect the area with antiseptic cream or lotion. It may sting slightly initially.
6. Cover the affected area with gauze or a plaster.
7. When possible, remove the protective cover and expose the skin to open air to speed up healing.
8. Keep the skin clean and apply antiseptic lotion if needed.

Additional Advice

1. If the blister is sore after treating, elevate it. This offers instant relief from pain.
2. NEVER pop a blister caused by a burn.
3. If you notice pus or red streaks oozing from a popped blister, talk to your doctor about treatment. You may have an infection.

Preventing Blisters

1. If you plan on a long walk, put plasters at the back of your heels, or on the area most prone to blisters. This will provide padding and reduce the amount of friction and risk of blisters.
2. If the back of your foot becomes hot, this is the first sign a blister may form. Take your shoe and sock off and allow the area to cool down.

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• Other health issues? See: How to treat common illnesses.

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