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A blister

is a fluid-filled pocket on the surface of your skin. A blister forms when hot or moist skin rubs or pushes against an object repeatedly. Blisters mostly occur on body parts that are used often, or move freely, such as your hands or feet. Pain can be mild or severe, depending on the size of your blister.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • Increased pain, redness, and swelling
  • A bad-smelling fluid coming from your blister
  • The blister is not healing within the amount of time your healthcare provider says it should
  • Fever, chills, or body aches

Care for your blister:

  • Do not pop your blister or tear the skin on it. This could cause infection and slow the healing process.
  • Wash your hands before you care for your blister to help prevent infection. Use soap and water. Wash your hands often, and after you use the bathroom, change a child's diapers, or sneeze.
  • Clean your blister as directed. Carefully remove your bandage. If the bandage sticks to your blister, pour saline on it. This will help the bandage come off more easily and prevent further skin damage. Wash the blister area with soap or saline and water. Gently pat the area dry.
  • Look for signs of infection. Check the area around your blister for swelling, redness, or pain.
  • Apply clean bandages as directed. Change your bandages when they get wet, dirty, or soaked with fluid. Your healthcare provider may tell you to use certain moist bandages or hydrogels to prevent them from sticking to your wound. You may need a bandage that absorbs well if your blister has excess fluid. You may be told to wear a second bandage for extra protection.
  • Take medicine for pain as directed.

Prevent another blister:

  • Wear synthetic clothing. Acrylic-blend, and moisture-wicking fabrics will help prevent moisture buildup and friction on your skin. These fabrics will also prevent your blister from sticking to them.
  • Use lubricating ointment. Emollient or silicone ointments may prevent blisters during activities that last 1 hour or less. Do not use them for activities that will last longer than 1 hour.
  • Wear antiperspirant on your feet as directed. Reduced moisture on your feet will help prevent blisters.
  • Wear shoes that fit well. Shoes that rub your feet may cause or worsen blisters. Wear cushioned insoles as directed.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

You may need to return to have your blister drained if it is large. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.