HOW TO DRAIN AND PREVENT A BLISTER

BLISTER

A blister is a small pocket of fluid in the upper skin layers and is one of the body’s responses to injury or pressure. The feet are particularly prone to blisters. Ill-fitting shoes or friction can damage the skin, and a blister forms to cushion the area from further damage as it heals. Un-popped, the body gradually absorbs the fluid as the underlying skin recovers. This can take around one week or so.

Causes of blisters


Some common causes of blisters include:
~» ill-fitting shoes
~» friction (for example, using a shovel all day without gloves can cause blisters on the palms of the hands)
~» scalds or burns
~» severe sunburn
~» allergic reaction to irritants
~» viral skin infection (such as herpes/warts)
~» fungal skin infection (such as tinea on the soles of the feet or between the toes).

Symptoms of a blister


The symptoms include:
«» a reddened and tender skin patch
«» a raised lump filled with clear fluid that sometimes, the lump is filled with blood.

If a blister isn't too painful, try to keep it intact. The unbroken skin over a blister may provide a natural barrier to bacteria and decreases the risk of infection. Cover it with an adhesive bandage. If you're allergic to the adhesive used in some tape, use paper tape. Seek medical care if the blister is painful or prevents you from walking or using one of your hands. Consider taking the following self-care measures if medical help is not available.

HOW TO DRAIN A BLISTER


To relieve blister-related pain, drain the fluid while leaving the overlying skin intact. Here's how:
• Wash your hands and the blister with soap and warm water.
• Swab the blister with iodine.
• Sterilize a clean, sharp needle by wiping it with rubbing alcohol.
• Use the needle to puncture the blister. Aim for several spots near the blister's edge. Let the fluid drain, but leave the overlying skin in place.
• Apply an ointment (Preferably Vaseline) to the blister and cover it with a non-stick gauze bandage. If a rash appears, stop using the ointment.
• Change the dressing every day. Apply more ointment and a bandage.

BLISTER PREVENTION


To prevent friction blisters on your feet, wear shoes that fit well. It also helps to use moisture-wicking socks. Try the various socks, shoes, and insoles that are designed specifically to help reduce blistering. You might also try attaching moleskin to the inside of your shoe where it might rub or dusting the inside of your socks with talcum powder. Gloves help prevent blisters on your hands.

Treating Blisters


Most blisters heal naturally after three to seven days and don't require medical attention.
It's important to avoid bursting the blister because this could lead to an infection or slow down the healing process.

If the blister does burst, don't peel off the dead skin. Instead, allow the fluid inside the blister to drain and cover the area with a dry, sterile dressing to protect it from infection until it heals.
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