If you have blisters then one of the most prominent question that must be lingering in your mind would be “Should I drain this off? or just let it be?” As long as the blisters are small and don’t look like it will break free by itself then you should not probably disturb it. Because most blisters will heal by itself better when you leave it untouched. However, some blisters may need to be drained especially if it really big and painful. You can do the draining process yourself following the steps the mentioned in the article or you can seek the help of a Doctor. We will see some simple ways through which you can deal with blisters and how to ease the pain and irritation it might have on you. And last but not least, we will also see how you can effectively prevent the occurrence of a blister?
What causes it?
Blisters are usually the result of friction and heat generated due to the friction on your skin layer. It mostly occurs when you have a moist skin and your skin’s defense mechanism forms tiny pockets of fluids protected by a thin layer of skin. Sometime blister formation is accompanied by damage to the tiny blood vessels in the affected area. This can lead to the formation of blisters that are dark red in color. The commonplaces of blisters are hands and feet. But it can happen in other regions as well.
Some other potential reasons for blisters include eczema, poison ivy, sunburn, other burns, and certain skin conditions.
How to Ease blisters and reduce the pain
- Ensure the affected region is properly cleaned, make use of soap and water. In order to reduce further friction in the affected area, you can apply petroleum jelly or coconut oil.
- Use a clean bandage to cover the blisters and make sure you are changing it once a day.
- You can make use of a moleskin that is easily available at most drugstores. Just cover the affected area with it and leave it for two to three days till the affected region feels better. Be extra careful while removing it, you do not want to peel away the outer skin layer in the process.
- Apply some calendula ointment over the blisters and keep it open to air. If it is not possible then you can cover it with an adhesive bandage during the daytime and at nights you can remove it and let the affected region breath in some air.
- Calendula ointment is made from marigold extracts which are known to have strong wound healing properties.
- Aloe vera gel is also known well known for its wound healing properties. Slather some pure aloe vera gel over the blisters and cover it with a bandage till it heals. If you are using store-bought aloe vera gel, ensure it is pure, organic, and alcohol-free. Alcohol adds drying effect to the gel which is not good for blisters.
- Blisters can be itchy and can induce burning sensation. To reduce these symptoms, you can make use of Preparation H cream. Slather some of the cream over the affected area before going to sleep. Additionally, this cream provides a slim coating over the skin, protecting it.
- Take a clean cotton cloth, soak it in cold water, wring it, and lay it over the blisters. This will reduce the pain and burning sensations.
What to do if blisters pop?
Sometimes blisters can pop by itself or by accident. In those situations immediately wash the affected area with a soap and some antiseptic liquid if possible, dry it out thoroughly and apply a cream or gel such as Neosporin or Betadine. After the application cover it with a bandage as an emergency measure.
Make an anti-septic oil mixture with two parts of tea-tree oil to three parts of vegetable oil. Remove the applied bandage every five hours and apply this oil to the affected region and cover it back again. Tea-tree oil is known for its antiseptic and anti-bacterial properties so it fights any infection causing bacterias and helps the blisters to heal faster.
How to drain a troublesome blister?
Sometimes a blister may be really large and quite disturbing, and it can occur in a place where it is quite hard to protect from blowing up. In these situations, you can drain the blister by yourself using the steps below.
Step 1: Clean up the blisters with some rubbing alcohol or make use of an antiseptic solution like betadine.
Step 2: Sterilise a needle tip by holding it over a flame for few seconds till you notice the needle tip becoming red hot. Now let the needle cool down completely. Do not use the needle while it is still hot.
Step 3: Take some sterile gauze pads and gently place it on top of the blister and hold it in place. Now gently pierce the topmost layer of the skin sideways in the affected area which holds the liquid. Apply some pressure on the gauze pad to push the liquid out. Do not be harsh on the outer skin.
Step 4: Once the liquid inside the blister is drained, apply an antibiotic cream or ointment like Neosporin in the place and use a bandage to cover it up. You can also use an extra layer of protection by covering the bandage with skin moist burn pad which is available in drugstores. Change the bandage twice a day, once in the morning and once in the late evening or night.
Step 5: Sometimes blisters can start to accumulate the liquid again, you can make use of the same procedure to drain it down again.
How to Prevent it?
- Don’t be under an impression that your feet size is constant after a certain age, measure your feet every time you buy a pair of shoes or slippers. Unfit shoes and slippers that are not comfortable can lead to blisters in no time.
- Do you know that your feet size shrinks a bit in the morning? So always shop for shoes in the afternoon or evening while your feet are at its normal size. Else, you might end up buying a shoe that might be hard a size less.
- Do not buy pointed shoes for regular use. If you do make sure you have enough room in the toe area. If your thumb and other toe fingers keep hitting or tightly pressed against the shoe edges, you will develop blisters.
- You can use two pairs of socks for walking, jogging, and hiking exercises instead of a single pair. This reduces the intensity of the friction. The inner socks should be thin made out of a sweat absorbing material such as acrylic and the outer the socks could be cotton one.
- Remember that blisters develop when you have excessive sweat and while your feet are moist. To prevent this you can make use of antiperspirant sprays before wearing your shoes. This will keep your feet dry and comfortable.
- If you have a history of blisters, then make use of a lubricant like Lube-stick for Runners over the sensitive areas before you head out for a walking, running or jogging.
- Tennis, Badminton, shuttle, and hockey players often fall victims for blisters on their hands. This results from poor grip used in their rackets and bats. Make sure you are using better quality grips, or you can seek the help of a professional or coach of the sport.
When should you seek a Doctor’s Help?
Small blisters should not be a source of worry. Usually, blisters heal by itself when you leave it undisturbed. But sometimes it can be a source of serious pain, itching, and burning sensation, some blisters can be unusually large over two inches across and don’t heal sooner. There can be pus formation, redness, and yellow crusting. If you have any of these then you must get it to the attention of a Doctor. Blisters can also be a sign of chicken pox, eczema, and impetigo. If you have blisters accompanied with fever, immediately take the advice of a Doctor.