What is blister?

A blister, which is also called a vesicle by medical professionals, is a small pocket of fluid that usually forms in the upper layers of skin after it’s been damaged. Blisters can develop anywhere on the body but are most common on the hands and feet.

How common is blister?

Blister is extremely common. It can affect patients at any age. It can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.


What are the symptoms of blister?

The common symptom of blister is a raised portion of skin that is filled with fluid.

There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

You should see your doctor if you have blisters that:

  • Are infected – an infected blister will be filled with yellow or green pus and may be painful, red and hot
  • Are very painful
  • Keep coming back
  • Are in unusual places, such as on your eyelids or inside your mouth
  • Are caused by severe sunburn, burns or scalds or an allergic reaction


What causes blister?

There are many causes of blisters. They can form from friction, such as when you rub against your skin for a prolonged period of time. This happens most commonly on hands and feet.

Blisters can be the result of a skin condition. For many of these rare conditions, the cause is unknown. A few skin conditions that cause blisters include:

  • Porphyrias
  • Pemphigus
  • Dermatitis herpetiformis
  • Epidermolysis bullosa
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Allergic eczema

Many conditions can cause blisters, such as:

Risk factors

What increases my risk for blister?

There are many risk factors for blister, such as:

  • Wearing cotton socks
  • Having moist sweaty skin
  • Having no foot arch or flat feet
  • Being of an ethnicity other than African American/Black
  • Tobacco use (includes smokeless)

Diagnosis & Treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.


How is blister diagnosed?

Your doctor will perform a physical examination and ask you some questions related to your lifestyles to rule out the underlying reasons for your blisters.

How is blister treated?

Most blisters require no treatment. If you leave them alone, they will go away, and the top skin layers prevent infection.

The blisters caused by infections are also temporary, but they may require treatment. If you suspect you may have some type of infection, you should see your doctor. Antibiotics may be prescribed to treat an infected blister.

Some conditions that can cause blisters, such as pemphigus, do not have a cure. Your doctor can prescribe treatments that will help you manage symptoms. This may include steroid creams to relieve skin rashes or antibiotics to cure skin infections.

If you have a large or painful blister, your doctor may decide to decompress the blister under sterile conditions.

Lifestyle changes & Home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage blister?

The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with 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 (Vaseline, Plastibase, other) to the blister and cover it with a nonstick gauze bandage. If a rash appears, stop using the ointment.
  • Change the dressing every day. Apply more ointment and a bandage.

To prevent friction blisters on your feet, wear shoes that fit well. It also helps to use moisture-wicking socks. Gloves help prevent blisters on your hands.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: April 22, 2017 | Last Modified: April 22, 2017

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