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    Blister Care - Topic Overview

    Try home treatment for blisters:

    • A small, unbroken blister about the size of a pea, even a blood blister, will usually heal on its own. Use a loose bandage to protect it. Avoid the activity that caused the blister.
    • If a small blister is on a weight-bearing area like the bottom of the foot, protect it with a doughnut-shaped moleskin padcamera.gif. Leave the area over the blister open.
    • If a blister is large and painful, it may be best to drain it. Here is a safe method:
      • Wipe a needle or straight pin with rubbing alcohol.
      • Gently puncture the edge of the blister.
      • Press the fluid in the blister toward the hole so it can drain out.
      • If you have a condition such as diabetes, HIV, cancer, or heart disease, you do not want to drain a blister because of the risk for infection.
    • After you have opened a blister, or if it has torn open:
      • Wash the area with soap and water. Do not use alcohol, iodine, or any other cleanser.
      • Don't remove the flap of skin over a blister unless it's very dirty or torn or there is pus under it. Gently smooth the flap over the tender skin.
      • Apply an antibiotic ointment and a clean bandage. If the skin under the bandage begins to itch or a rash develops, stop using the ointment. The ointment may be causing a skin reaction.
      • Change the bandage once a day or anytime it gets wet or dirty. Remove it at night to let the area dry.

    Watch for a skin infection while your blister is healing. Signs of infection include:

    • Increased pain, swelling, redness, or warmth around the blister.
    • Red streaks extending away from the blister.
    • Pus draining from the blister.
    • Fever.
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    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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