What are blisters?
A blister is a raised bump, which is filled with fluid. They are usually small, and resemble bubbles in the skin. Depending on the cause, blisters may be painful, itch intensely, or feel no different from healthy skin. Although they are a symptom of a skin problem, blisters themselves are not harmful. To the contrary, this is your body’s way of protecting damaged skin or preventing infection. The most common mistake people make is popping or draining a blister.
Causes of blisters
There are a great many potential causes of blisters. Among the most common are:
- Impetigo or other infection.
- Burns from heat, chemicals, or sun exposure.
- Contacting an irritant, such as poison ivy, oak, or sumac.
- Pinching or rubbing skin.
Tips to prevent blister
Prevention involves avoiding substances or conditions that are harmful to the skin. Steps you can take include:
- Use caution around hot surfaces, open flames, and anything else generating enough heat to burn you.
- Wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing.
- Do not wear ill-fitting shoes.
- Wear appropriate protective apparel, such as using gloves when working with your hands.
- Be sun-safe by taking precautions such as wearing sun screen and staying indoors during peak hours.
Treatment for blisters at Dr. W Dermatology
Most blisters will heal naturally, without problems. It is important to be very careful not to puncture or tear the blister, and to protect that area from further damage or irritation. We usually recommend covering the afflicted area with a dry bandage, which provides protection. If a blister breaks, it should be cleaned gently, treated with antibacterial salve, and then covered with a bandage. In either case, be sure to keep the area clean.
Medical care is rarely needed for a blister. However, treatment may be needed for the underlying cause. If you have chronic or frequent blisters of unknown origin, it is advisable to see a dermatologist and find out if this is a symptom of a skin condition or allergy. When blisters are associated with other medical problems, we may refer you to another doctor who is qualified to treat the root cause.
If you have any concerns, call us at (281) 771-0494 and schedule an appointment at our Houston location.