Blisters Treatment

Blisters from spider bites, chicken pox, shingles, cold sores, and chronic health conditions need special treatment.

1. For a Blister That Has Not Popped

  • Try not to pop or drain it.
  • Leave it uncovered or cover loosely with a bandage.
  • Try not to put pressure on the area. If the blister is in a pressure area such as the bottom of the foot, put a donut-shaped moleskin on it.

2. For a Blister That Has Popped

  • Wash the area with warm water and gentle soap. Do not use alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or iodine.
  • Smooth down the the skin flap that remains.
  • Apply antibiotic ointment to the area.
  • Cover the area loosely with a sterile bandage or gauze.

3. When to Drain a Blister

To drain a blister that is large, painful, or in an awkward spot:

  • Wash the area.
  • Sterilize a needle with rubbing alcohol and water.
  • Make a small hole at the edge of the blister. Gently squeeze out the fluid.
  • Wash the blister again and pat dry. Don’t remove the skin over the blister.
  • Smooth down the skin flap.
  • Apply antibiotic ointment.
  • Cover the area loosely with a sterile bandage or gauze.

4. Follow Up

  • Change the bandage daily and whenever it gets dirty or wet.
  • Avoid wearing shoes or doing the activity that caused the blister until it heals.
  • Wear thick socks or work gloves for blisters on the feet or hands.
  • See a doctor for signs of infection, including pus, fever, red or warm skin around the blister, red streaks leading away from blister, swollen lymph glands, or increased pain or swelling, or if your last tetanus shot was more than 10 years ago.
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on January 23, 2017

Sources

SOURCES:

NorthShore University Health System: “Blisters: Home Treatment.”

Kaiser Permanente: “Blisters -- Home Treatment.”

American Podiatric Medical Association: “General Foot Health.”

Skinsight: "Blisters, First Aid."

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