Blisters are bubble-like formations on the epidermis that contains fluid. Blisters are common symptoms of numerous diseases and conditions. Blisters are commonly caused by burns, infections, freezing, and friction on the skin.
The purpose of blisters is to protect and cushion the skin layers below. Serum, plasma, blood or pus can be found inside but this depends on where the blisters are formed. Blisters also help prevent further damage done to the deeper tissues.
It is best to leave one alone to keep the lower layers of the skin protected from infection.
What are the causes?
- Friction can cause blisters to form on the skin, they usually appear on the hands or feet as these are the areas where repetitive friction mostly occurs due to walking, running or working.
- Extreme temperatures can also cause blisters to form. Examples are second-degree burns as it can form blisters immediately while first-degree burns will form blisters after a few hours the burn occurs.
- Exposure to chemicals can also cause blisters to form.
- A ruptured blood vessel can also cause a blister to form. The blood will leak out into the gap between the layers of the skin and cause a blister filled with blood to form.
Certain medical conditions can also lead to blisters as a symptom such as:
Treatment for blisters
Most blisters will heal and disappear without the need for medical treatment. As the fresh skin underneath the blister grows, the fluid inside the blister will steadily vanish and the skin naturally dries and peels off.
It is not recommended to pop the blister as it is a protective layer that helps fend off any infection. If the blister is popped, the wound is open, and bacteria can enter the body through the wound. If a blister bursts, avoid peeling any dead skin on top but instead allow the fluids to drain out naturally and then carefully wash it with a mild soap then wrap the blister and the surrounding area with a clean and sterile dry bandage or dressing.
You can wrap a blister with gauze to protect it from further trauma as it recuperates.
To avoid blisters from occurring at your feet due to friction, wear footwear that is well-fitted and comfortable with clean socks.
To avoid blisters on your hands, wear protective clothing such as gloves to reduce the friction on the skin when doing manual work or handling tools.