How Do I Treat a Blood Blister?

Medically Reviewed on 1/6/2022
How Do I Treat a Blood Blister
Blood blisters are typically harmless and heal on their own over time. Learn different methods of treating a blood blister and how to prevent infection

Blood blisters are typically harmless and heal on their own over time. 

Blisters that have not popped or torn should be loosely covered with a bandage. If the blisters are located on a weight-bearing area, such as at the bottom of your foot, you can protect it with a moleskin pad.

If the blister has been popped or torn, wash the area immediately with clean water. Avoid using alcohol, iodine, or any other chemicals. Never remove the skin that is left over the lesion. Apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly and cover it with a nonstick bandage. Change the bandage once a day or whenever it gets wet or dirty, and remove at night to let the area dry.

If the blisters are large and painful, you can try draining them by gently puncturing with a needle or pin rubbed with alcohol and pressing until the fluid drains out. Avoid doing this, however, if you have pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes, HIV, cancer, or heart disease.

Until the blister heals, avoid shoes or activities that rub against the skin.

What causes blood blisters?

Blood blisters occur when something pinches the skin and damages the blood vessels near the skin surface. While the skin does not break, blood pools beneath and makes the blister appear darker than other types of blisters. 

Examples of how you might develop a blood blister include the following:

  • Banging your toe
  • Kicking an object too hard
  • Getting your toe caught in a door
  • Wearing ill-fitting footwear
  • Severe frostbite
  • Sweaty feet, which can cause extra friction

How long does it take a blood blister to heal?

Most blisters heal on their own within a week or two. 

Try to keep the blister bandaged and wear a different shoe until it heals. If you have blisters from burn or frostbite or notice signs of infection, you should consult a doctor immediately.

What are signs of infection?

Seek medical help if you notice signs of infection:

  • Fever
  • Leaking pus
  • Intense pain
  • Swelling
  • Redness or warmth around the blister
  • Red streaks around the blister

How to prevent blood blisters

Blood blisters usually develop on the hands and toes. While they can’t always be prevented, you can take the following precautions:

  • Wear properly fitting shoes
  • Keep your feet dry
  • Be careful and wear gloves when working with sharp tools, such as pruners, pliers, etc.


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Medically Reviewed on 1/6/2022
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