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Blisters: A painful inconvenience

Treatment Guide

Blisters
Blisters are described as small pockets of fluid that usually form in the upper layers of the skin. Fluid in a blister is not always a bad thing; it can actually serve as a cushion to protect tissues from further damage and so allow the wound to heal. Blisters can be filled with the following fluid:

  • Clear fluid known as serous (yellow straw like appearance)
  • Blood (blood blisters)
  • Pus, which can form in the blister if infection has developed

Most blisters will heal without medical attention within three to seven days.

Treatment of an intact blister

  1. Blisters should always be left intact, where possible, to allow healing to progress. If a blister is restricting movement of a joint or limb, seek medical advice from a health care professional
  2. To protect a blister, a strong adhesive dressing should be applied to protect the skin against further friction and / or damage; this should be left in place until the dressing falls off

Treatment of a burst blister

  • Occasionally a blister will burst and then a wound is exposed
  • Treatment of these types of blisters should be to prevent the area from getting infected whilst it heals

The following steps should be taken:

  1. Wash and dry your hands prior to commencing any treatment
  2. Clean the area with tap / drinking water
  3. Pat the area dry with a clean towel
  4. Do not cut or remove any of the excess skin
  5. Allow all the fluid from the blister to drain freely
  6. Apply a sterile absorbent dressing to protect it from infection or contamination

Caution: If you consider the blister to be infected, seek advice from a healthcare professional.


Seek advice from a medical professional

A case for a medical professional: puncture wounds – especially involving foreign objects, animal scratches and bites, large burns and heavily bleeding wounds.