Skip to content

First Aid & Emergencies

Blisters Treatment

Font Size
A
A
A

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.
  • Leave uncovered or cover loosely with a bandage.
  • Try not to put pressure on area. If blister is in a pressure area such as the bottom of the foot, put 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 skin flap that remains.
  • Apply antibiotic ointment.
  • Cover 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 or soap 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 loosely with a sterile bandage or gauze.

4. Follow Up

  • Change 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 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 Varnada Karriem-Norwood, MD on December 05, 2013

First Aid A-Z

  • There are no topics that begin with 'O'
  • There are no topics that begin with 'Q'
  • There are no topics that begin with 'U'
  • There are no topics that begin with 'X'
  • There are no topics that begin with 'Y'
  • There are no topics that begin with 'Z'

Today on WebMD

Antibiotic on hand
Slideshow
3d scan of fractured skull
Slideshow
 
Father putting ointment on boy's face
Slideshow
Person taking food from oven
Q&A
 
sniffling child
Slideshow
wound care true or false
Slideshow
 
caring for wounds
Slideshow
Harvest mite
Slideshow
 

Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

It's nothing to sneeze at.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

WebMD the app

Get first aid information. Whenever. Wherever... with your iPhone, iPad or Android.

Find Out More