How to drain a blister?

Although blisters most commonly form on feet, they can occur anywhere on the body. An excellent way to prevent blisters is to minimize chaffing, but if blisters have formed on your hands, there are some ways to get rid of them and prevent them in the future.

If a blister is not painful, you should let it stay intact. The unbroken skin over it could provide protection against bacteria and reduce the risk of infection. You can cover the blister with an adhesive bandage. Use moleskin if you don't have a bandage.

Cut moleskin into the shape of a doughnut and put it on the blister in a way that encircles the whole area. Then, use gauze to cover the moleskin and the blister.

If the blister is painful, though, you should drain it. There's a way to drain the blister without breaking the skin on the top.

  • Wash your hands with warm water and soap. Wash the blister too.
  • Use iodine to swab the blister.
  • Take a sharp needle and sterilize it with rubbing alcohol.
  • Puncture the blister with the needle. Try to poke near the edge of the blister.
  • The fluid will begin to drain. Let it drain without removing the overlying skin.
  • Put petroleum jelly or any ointment on the blister. Cover it up with a gauze bandage that does not stick to the blister.
  • If you notice a rash, don't use the ointment anymore and simply cover the area.
  • Remove the gauze bandage every day to check if the area is infected. After a few days, cut away the dead skin with a pair of scissors and tweezers. Make sure you sterilize both of them.
  • Put more ointment on the area and cover it with a bandage.

How to care for a blister

Wherever the blister may be, there are a few ways to care for it.

Don't pop it

If the blister doesn't hurt, you should not pop it. Most blisters occur due to minor burns or friction. New skin forms under the damaged skin, and the fluid you see in the blister absorbs back into the skin.

Although there are different types of blisters, the ones that contain serum or plasma are most common. You shouldn't pop these if they're not painful. The most you should do is open the blister's edge while leaving the skin layer intact.

Keep it clean

Keeping the blisters clean is important to prevent friction. If you have drained it, make sure you keep it covered with a bandage at all times. Change the bandage daily to keep the area protected and clean.

Care for people with diabetes

If you have diabetes, a blister could lead to more serious problems. Some risk factors in this regard are uncontrolled blood glucose levels and poor circulation. If you are noticing these symptoms and have a blister, you should consult a healthcare professional right away.

How to prevent blisters on fingers?

The best way to prevent a blister is to be cautious. The prevention method depends on the type of blister you have.

Friction blisters

These blisters are caused due to repeated rubbing. If you want to prevent them:

  • Make sure you wear gloves on your hands if you're doing a lot of labor.
  • Wear clothes that fit properly so that chaffing does not cause blisters anywhere.

Blood blisters

A blood blister is formed when something pinches your skin. These blisters are common on hands. Although it's not easy to prevent them, you can take some measures.

  • When you're using any tools or equipment that could pinch you, be careful.
  • Wear gloves when you're using strong pliers or pruners.

Heat blisters

Head blisters are caused due to burns. You can prevent them by taking various precautions.

  • If you plan to be out in the sun for a long time, make sure to wear sunscreen on all areas exposed to the sun.
  • Be careful when holding hot pots and pans or working near a fire.
  • Avoid frostbite by wearing weather-appropriate clothing. If you get frostbite, put your hand under lukewarm water to raise the temperature of your body.

How long do blisters take to heal?

Most blisters heal on their own in just a few days. You should cover the blister with a bandage while it's healing. If you think the blister may be infected, speak to your doctor right away.

Some other signs that require immediate medical attention are redness or pus around the blister. If the blister is too painful or has swollen, you should make an appointment to see a dermatologist.

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Medically Reviewed on 1/3/2022
References
SOURCES:

American Academy of Dermatology Association: "HOW TO PREVENT AND TREAT BLISTERS."

Cleveland Clinic: "Blisters", "Blisters: 5 Ways to Avoid Blisters and the Best Way to Treat Them."

Mayo Clinic: "Blisters: First aid."