A blister is a protective device of the human body. When the outer layer of the skin called the epidermis separates from the fiber layer called the dermis, a group of lymph and other bodily fluids collects between these layers while the skin will re-grow from underneath.
Causes of blisters
- Chemical injury
Common causes of blisters include friction and burns. Usually, blisters are caused by rubbing from shoes or clothing, which rubs repeatedly on the skin causing friction burns. If the blister is not too painful, do everything possible to keep it intact. The unbroken skin over a blister provides a natural barrier to bacteria and decreases the risk of infection. Cover a small blister with an adhesive bandage, and cover a large one with a porous, plastic-coated gauze pad that absorbs moisture and allows the wound to breathe. Unless infection occurs, blisters usually heal quickly.
Do not puncture a blister unless it is painful or prevents you from walking or using one of your hands. If you have diabetes or poor circulation, call your doctor for advice.
Home treatment: To relieve blister-related pain, drain the fluid while leaving the overlying skin intact. Here is how:
- Wash your hands and the blister with soap and warm water. This will help prevent any infection from occurring.
- Swab the blister with iodine or rubbing alcohol.
- Sterilize a clean, sharp needle by wiping it with rubbing alcohol.
- Use the needle to puncture the blister. Aim for several spots near the blister’s edge. Let the fluid drain, but leave the overlying skin in place.
- Afterward, apply an antibiotic ointment to the blister and cover with a bandage or gauze pad.
- After several days, use tweezers and scissors sterilized with rubbing alcohol to cut away all the dead skin. Apply more ointment and a bandage.
- Call your doctor if you see signs of infection around a blister
Symptoms of an infection
- Increasing pain
- Warm skin
Here are the top 6 home remedies for blisters.
Aloe vera is a natural healer and hence very effective in treating blisters. It has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce redness and swelling. It also keeps the skin hydrated so it heals faster. Plus, it reduces the risk of infection.
- Apply fresh aloe vera gel on the blister and allow it to dry on its own. Rinse it off with warm water.
- Another option is to prepare a mixture with equal amounts of aloe vera gel and vitamin E oil. Apply it on the blister and allow it to dry on its own. Rinse it off with warm water.
Follow either of these treatments 2 or 3 times a day for 3 or 4 days.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is also a very effective remedy for blisters due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It can help prevent infection and reduce pain and inflammation.
- Dip a cotton ball into apple cider vinegar. Gently swab it around the affected area and allow it to dry. If it stings, dilute the apple cider vinegar with water first.
- Alternatively, mix 1/2 teaspoon of onion paste with 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Apply the mixture on the blister, allow it to dry and then rinse it off with warm water.
Follow either of these remedies twice daily for a few days.
- Steep a green tea bag in 1 cup of hot water for about 5 minutes. Remove the tea bag and allow it to cool. Put the moist tea bag on the blister for a few minutes. Repeat 4 or 5 times daily for a few days.
- Also, drink green tea 2 or 3 times daily to speed up the healing process.
Epsom salt is an easy and safe way to treat blisters. It helps dry out an unpopped blister and encourage it to drain. Being high in magnesium, it also helps reduce inflammation, pain, and swelling. It also prevents infection.
- Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of Epson salt to a foot tub or regular tub filled with warm water and stir it in thoroughly.
- Soak your feet in this water for about 15 minutes or gently rub it on your mouth blister.
- Remove your feet or body from the tub, pat dry and then apply a coating of petroleum jelly or vitamin E oil.
- Follow this treatment once daily for a few days.
Note: Once the blister pops, the Epsom salt may sting, so discontinue use.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has antibacterial as well as astringent properties that help treat blisters. It can even reduce the risk of an infection.
- Dilute one part tea tree oil with three parts of any vegetable oil or plain water.
- Use a cotton ball to apply this solution on the affected area.
- Allow it to sit for about 10 minutes, then rinse it off with cold water.
- Follow this treatment a 2 or 3 times daily for a few days.
You can also use an ointment made with tea tree oil to treat a blister.
Another very effective as well as a simple remedy to treat foot blisters is castor oil. The thick oil keeps the affected area moisturized. This, in turn, reduces itchiness and helps the healing process.
- Simply smear some castor oil on the blister and leave it on overnight. Do this daily for 2 or 3 days and the blisters will soon dry out.
- Alternatively, mix ½ cup of white vinegar and 3 teaspoons of castor oil. Rub this solution gently on the blister several times a day for a few days.