Heal Blisters Faster at Home

Updated on December 12, 2017
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty uses her MS in Preventive Medicine/Health Psych. and TKM as a contractor in research/treatment for public & private health agencies.

Even beautiful or fun shoes can cause blisters on the heels and toes.
Even beautiful or fun shoes can cause blisters on the heels and toes. | Source

A blister is a raised area of skin that contains bodily fluids like lymph to shield an injury, which may have been caused by friction or burning. Blisters can be painful, even if they are small.

Any external friction blisters can be treated easily and safely at home, but blisters inside the mouth and blisters of second-degree burns require examination by a medical professional to prevent infection that may become severe.

Any kind of blister or cankers sore on the inside of your mouth should be brought to the attention of your dentist immediately. A serious condition may be occurring that could worsen quickly.

The following information is for small external skin blisters.

Healing Small External Blisters

Many people incur blisters from shoes that do not fit quite right and rub painfully on the toes and heels. In elementary school, all of my friends and I suffered from this "new shoe syndrome." We hated it! The blisters broke as we walked and we suffered extreme pain. Band-Aids would not stay on.

Other individuals develop blisters on the fingers from using scissors or hand tools like pliers and branch cutters.

In pop culture, we hear that the best drummers develop finger blisters that pop and bleed—see the doctor if you are one of those drummer heroes!

Avoid Breaking Blisters

The unbroken skin over the liquid of a blister maintains a buffer against infections. This means that you should try to keep blisters unbroken.

Most small blisters can heal naturally and do not require medical treatment. During healing time, keep the affected area washed and dry and the blister liquid can be reabsorbed into your body. Fight against the desire to pop the blister! Once popped, it can become infected. Staph infections can be deadly in these cases.

As the new skin grows quickly underneath the blister, the lymph and serum (a part of the blood) liquid in it will reabsorb, and the skin on top will dry and peel off on its own, leaving new skin in its place.In fact, a product called Nu Skin can be applied over a blister to keep it in tact while it is healing.

Again, do not "pop" the blister with a pin, a needle, a pencil point, or a kitchen knife. The unbroken skin over the liquid of a blister maintains a buffer against infections. This means that you should try to keep blisters unbroken.

How to Heal a Blister Easily

  1. Cover any small blisters with a dry adhesive dressing, like a large Band-Aid strip. Larger blisters should be covered with a gauze pad or dressing that you can then tape in place.
  2. If you have a blister in a position that is causing you pain or that makes it likely to burst (on the bottom of your foot or palm of your hand), its important to cover it with a soft dressing to pad and protect it. Then change the dressing daily.
  3. If a blister bursts open, take care to refrain from peeling off the burst skin from top of the blister. (This is very important in the case of very large blisters that occur on the legs in cases of diabetes and poor circulation. Peeling off this "dead" skin can allow infections to enter the open wound and can ultimately lead to necrosis [dead tissues] and even amputation of the leg. The most severe cases of cellulitis infections that occur in such blister infections can lead to death if untreated. Go to a doctor if you have a blister larger than a half dollar coin.)
  4. In the case of small blisters, simply press the area around the blister that has burst in order to rid the area of the fluid (lymph) inside of it.
  5. Next, cover the blister and the area around it with a dry, sterile (germ-free) dressing, such as gauze, and protect it from infection until it heals in a few days. You might use peroxide topically before applying the dressing.

First Aid for blisters can be easy.
First Aid for blisters can be easy. | Source

Blisters Needing Medical Care

Beware of blisters on the skin of the gums, especially near the root of a tooth. These may indicate tooth abscesses (infections). See a dentist as soon as you can. Large blisters, second degree burn blisters and diabetic leg blisters need a medical practitioner's care as well. Some large blisters may rarely occur around the site of a broken bone and these blisters require a physician's care.

Leg blisters such as this can be dangerous. See your doctor (public domain)
Leg blisters such as this can be dangerous. See your doctor (public domain)

Blood Blisters are Different

A small blood blister on the little finger. Notice how dark it is.
A small blood blister on the little finger. Notice how dark it is. | Source

Blood blisters should also be left alone to heal. They are caused when blood vessels and tissues under the skin (sub-dermal) are damaged. If a blood blister bursts, keep the area around it clean and dry, and protect it with a sterile dressing to prevent infections.

Blood blisters may be very painful and you can use an ice pack or a sack of frozen peas or corn on the area immediately after the injury that pinched a blood blister onto your skin.

Use the ice for 10 to 30 minutes at a time and rest the area 5 minutes between applications. The ice should not actually touch the skin, but should be wrapped in a towel. Direct ice can cause a type of burn to the already injured area..

Blisters that have become infected may be treated by a doctor with antibiotics. Blisters caused by a medical condition like diabetes - such as leg blisters - are treated by doctors in other ways. If in doubt, call your doctor.

Sources

  • American College of Emergency Physicians First Aid Manual. 2016.
  • Blisters: First Aid. Mayo Clinic. www.mayoclinic.org/first-aid/first-aid-blisters/basics/art-20056691 Retrieved May 4, 2016.
  • Fracture blisters - NCBI - NIH; CM Uebbing, 2011.
  • Friction blisters. Pathophysiology, prevention and treatment. - NCBI; JJ Knapik. 1995.
  • Blood blisters of the oral mucosa (angina bullosa haemorrhagica) - NIH; BM Deblauwe. 1994.

Questions & Answers

    © 2007 Patty Inglish

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      • profile image

        Corey randall 6 years ago

        Got blister on my foot whilst playing football, it burst in the same game and it is defiantly bigger than a half a dollar coin what should i do? answer asap!!

      • Patty Inglish, MS profile image
        Author

        Patty Inglish 6 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

        I hate when that happens. The day someone tried to teach me to golf, I developed blisters on every finger and the palms of my hand. It was horrendous. I used a soothing cream on my hands and a pair of loose-fitting white cotton gloves to protect them for a few hours at a time. On the third day, I felt much better.

      • profile image

        luke 6 years ago

        I've got blisters on my fingers!

      • profile image

        Sobiya 6 years ago

        I had a very painful burn blister today and It punctured and a liquid came out. My mum told my to keep it clean and now Im going to apply cold to eat and go to sleep, Hopefully it will be better by morning. Thank you so much!!

      • Patty Inglish, MS profile image
        Author

        Patty Inglish 6 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

        Two blisters for the price of one. I think you need to begin treatment all over again, as listed in the article above, or see a physician or nurse practitioner.

      • profile image

        Harry P 6 years ago

        While camping recently I burnt my thumb whilst cooking with a trangia. The pain was really intense, so I rinsed it under cold water for 2 minutes, but the pain kept returning so I decided to apply sting cream to numb the pain. After that I applied a bandage to it but I think I put too much pressure on the burn and now a week later I am left with a burn blister and a pressure blister, any advice on how to heal as quickly as possible?

      • profile image

        marie 6 years ago

        Wow! this article has been very helpful for me! following your advice made my blister heal in just 3 days!thanks a lot!

      • profile image

        Nicky 7 years ago

        I have 3 blisters on the same toe from wearing heels, 2 are ordinary blister and the 3rd a blood blister, how do I ensure that they heal in the fastest possible time?

      • Patty Inglish, MS profile image
        Author

        Patty Inglish 7 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

        I'm not a doctor, but you might use a little peroxide as a mouth rinse, or try a very small amount of tea tree oil on the blister - it tastes terrible, but I brush my teeth with it once a month. The best thing to do is to call your doctor or visit a mini-clinic in a local drug or grocery store if you have these. There, a Nurse Practioner can have a look.

      • profile image

        Tasia Maguire 7 years ago

        I have a really painful blister right inside my lip it is white with yellow-ish liquid inside and at the top it has a pointy part and idk what to do plz help

      • Patty Inglish, MS profile image
        Author

        Patty Inglish 8 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

        Ham and alma -- Let us know how the treatments worked and what else you might have found helpful!

        Recently for a blister on the bottom of one foot one morning, I put on a thick, snug cotton sock and by the next day, the blister had been re-absorbed.

      • profile image

        Ham 8 years ago

        I've got blisters on my feet, will follow what u suggested and will see what happens cheers

      • profile image

        alma mcgrail 9 years ago

        very useful information

      • Lgali profile image

        Lgali 9 years ago

        Very informative and helpful article

      • profile image

        Goodwisher 9 years ago

        Most Effective way to take care of Blisters is to put some Neosporin Antibiotic Cream and after half an hour on top of it rub some hydrocortisone cream with out cleaning Neosporin

      • profile image

        Lyn 10 years ago

        Very informative, clear and helpful. Thank you

      • Patty Inglish, MS profile image
        Author

        Patty Inglish 10 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

        That sounds like an excllent solution, ninaredza! Thanks for suggesting it.

      • ninaredza profile image

        ninaredza 10 years ago from Malaysia

        I find that the blister inside the lip is the most uncomfortable type there it. My mum uses a chinese powdered herb to numb it. Tastes bitter but a great remedy!

      • Patty Inglish, MS profile image
        Author

        Patty Inglish 10 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

        Sounds like a good natural cure to me, like aloe and some other plants. I'll try it and see what happens.

      • Mary Tinkler profile image

        Mary Tinkler 10 years ago from Gresham

        I use coconut oil on blisters, burns, scratches....after washing first. It has some sort of natural anti-microbial property. I have very fair and tender skin and coconut oil is a good fit for me....inside and out. Seems strange, but check it out on the internet, and your local library.

      • Patty Inglish, MS profile image
        Author

        Patty Inglish 10 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

        Thank you Eileen. I know two people that have gigantic blisters on their legs form time to time. They must see a professional to have their legs wrapped and bandaged. ONe friend suffers form diabetes and the other claims she does not have it but "cannot eat sugar." I pray that an actual cure - not just wrapping - for these blisters is forthcoming soon.

      • Eileen Hughes profile image

        Eileen Hughes 10 years ago from Northam Western Australia

        Very good information. Blisters can be painful especially in some places....Some more so than other. You seem to have covered all sorts. good hub

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