Blisters - Home Treatment

Most blisters heal on their own. Home treatment may help decrease pain, prevent infection, and help heal large or broken 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 pad . Leave the area over the blister open.
  • It's best not to drain a blister at home. But when blisters are painful, some people do drain them. If you do decide to drain your blister, be sure to follow these steps:
    1. Wipe a needle with rubbing alcohol.
    2. Gently puncture the edge of the blister.
    3. Press the fluid in the blister toward the hole so it can drain out.
  • Do not drain a blister of any size if:
  • If a blister has torn open, or after you have drained a blister:
    1. Gently wash the area with clean water. Don't use hydrogen peroxide or alcohol, which can slow healing.
    2. 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.
    3. You may cover the blister with a thin layer of petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline, and a nonstick bandage.
    4. Apply more petroleum jelly and replace the bandage as needed.

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.
  • Drainage of pus from the blister.
  • Fever.

Home remedies may relieve itching from blisters. One way to help decrease itching is to keep the itchy area cool and wet. Apply a cloth that has been soaked in ice water, or get in a cool tub or shower.

Medicine you can buy without a prescription
Try a nonprescription medicine to help treat your fever or pain:

Talk to your child's doctor before switching back and forth between doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen. When you switch between two medicines, there is a chance your child will get too much medicine.

Safety tips
Be sure to follow these safety tips when you use a nonprescription medicine:
  • Carefully read and follow all directions on the medicine bottle and box.
  • Do not take more than the recommended dose.
  • Do not take a medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to it in the past.
  • If you have been told to avoid a medicine, call your doctor before you take it.
  • If you are or could be pregnant, do not take any medicine other than acetaminophen unless your doctor has told you to.
  • Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than age 20 unless your doctor tells you to.

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Symptoms to watch for during home treatment

Call your doctor if any of the following occur during home treatment:

  • A skin infection develops.
  • A crusty blister that drains honey-colored fluid develops.
  • Signs of illness develop, such as shaking chills, fever, belly pain, vomiting or diarrhea, muscle or joint aches, headache, or a vague sense of illness.
  • Symptoms do not improve, or they become more severe or frequent.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
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.© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

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