March 01, 2019

Blister care

When a water blister develops, the first step is to avoid what caused it. Then, it's a matter of protecting the blister until your skin heals. However, if you have a condition that makes wound healing difficult, see your doctor.

If the blister isn't too painful, leave the fluid-filled bubble intact. Unbroken skin over a blister is a natural barrier to infection. Protect an intact blister by covering it with a bandage. If more protection is needed, cut a piece of thicker, cushioned padding — such as moleskin — into a doughnut shape and place the pad so it encircles the blister. The pad can then be covered by a breathable bandage.

For a painful blister, you can drain the blister with these steps:

  • Clean — Wash your hands and the blister site with soap and warm water. Swab the blister area with rubbing alcohol or iodine, and sterilize a clean needle the same way.
  • Puncture the blister — Using the sterilized needle, poke a few holes near the blister edge. Let the fluid drain, but keep the skin covering otherwise intact as a protective barrier.
  • Protect the blister — Apply an ointment such as petroleum jelly or zinc oxide and cover the blister with a bandage.
  • Keep an eye on things — Check the blister each day for signs of infection and seek medical care if an infection appears to be developing. You can usually cut...