Most blisters heal on their own. Home treatment may help decrease pain, prevent infection, and
help heal large or broken blisters.
- A small, unbroken blister about the size of a pea, even a blood blister, will usually heal on its own. Use a loose bandage to protect it. Avoid the activity that caused the blister.
- If a small blister is on a weight-bearing area like the bottom of the foot, protect it with a doughnut-shaped moleskin pad . Leave the area over the blister open.
- If a blister is large and painful, it may be best to drain it. Here is a safe method:
- Wipe a needle or straight pin with rubbing alcohol.
- Gently puncture the edge of the blister.
- Press the fluid in the blister toward the hole so it can drain out.
- Do not drain a blister of any size if:
- You have a condition such as diabetes, HIV, cancer, or heart disease, because of the risk of infection.
- You think your blister is from a contagious disease, such as chickenpox, because the virus can be spread to another person.
- If a blister has torn open, or after you have drained a blister:
- Wash the area with soap and water. Do not use alcohol, iodine, or any other cleanser.
- Don't remove the flap of skin over a blister unless it's very dirty or torn or there is pus under it. Gently smooth the flap over the tender skin.
- Apply an antibiotic ointment and a clean bandage. If the skin under the bandage begins to itch or a rash
develops, stop using the ointment. The ointment may be causing a skin
- Change the bandage once a day or anytime it gets wet or dirty. Remove it at night to let the area dry.
Watch for a skin infection while your blister is healing.
Signs of infection include:
- Increased pain, swelling, redness, or warmth
around the blister.
- Red streaks extending away from the
- Drainage of pus from the blister.
Home remedies may relieve
itching from blisters. One way to help decrease
itching is to keep the itchy area cool and wet. Apply a cloth that has been
soaked in ice water, or get in a cool tub or shower.
Medicine you can buy without a prescription
| Try a nonprescription
medicine to help treat your fever or pain:|
Talk to your child's doctor before switching back and
forth between doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen. When you switch between two
medicines, there is a chance your child will get too much medicine.
| Be sure to follow these
safety tips when you use a nonprescription medicine:|
- Carefully read and follow all directions
on the medicine bottle and box.
- Do not take more than the
- Do not take a medicine if you have had an
allergic reaction to it in the past.
you have been told to avoid a medicine, call your doctor before you take
- If you are or could be pregnant, do not take any medicine other
than acetaminophen unless your doctor has told you to.
- Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than age 20 unless your doctor tells you to.
Symptoms to watch for during home treatment
Call your doctor if any of the following occur during home
skin infection develops.
- A crusty blister
that drains honey-colored fluid develops.
- Signs of illness develop,
such as shaking chills, fever, belly pain, vomiting or diarrhea, muscle or
joint aches, headache, or a vague sense of illness.
- Symptoms do not
improve, or they become more severe or frequent.
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
December 10, 2012
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