What Are the Treatments for Blisters?
Most blisters caused by friction or minor burns do not require a doctor's care. New skin will form underneath the affected area and the fluid is simply absorbed. Do not puncture a blister unless it is large, painful, or likely to be further irritated. The fluid-filled blister keeps the underlying skin clean, which prevents infection and promotes healing.
But if you need to pop a blister or it pops by itself:
- Use a sterilized needle (to sterilize it, put the point or edge in a flame until it is red hot, or rinse it in alcohol).
- Wash your hands and the area thoroughly, then make a small hole; the fluid will drain on its own.
- If the fluid is white or yellow, thick or smelly, the blister may be infected and needs medical attention.
- Do not remove the skin over a broken blister. The new skin underneath needs this protective cover.
- Apply an antibiotic ointment or cream.
- Look for signs of infection to develop, including pus drainage, red or warm skin surrounding the blister, or red streaks leading away from the blister.
How Can I Prevent Blisters?
- Wear work gloves. Jobs you do only occasionally, such as shoveling snow or raking leaves, are great for raising a blister or two.
- Wear shoes that fit and are comfortable. New shoes should be broken in gradually. Wear padded socks or put some adhesive padding where your foot is rubbing.