A blister is a small amount of bodily fluid within the upper layers of the skin:
They are typically caused by:
Generally blisters are filled with a clear fluid, either serum or plasma. Sometimes, they can be filled with blood (known as "blood blisters") or with pus if infected, as seen with the picture below:
To heal properly, a blister should not be popped unless it is deemed medically necessary. Once popped, the excess skin should not be removed because the skin underneath needs that top layer to heal properly. This can be seen in the below picture. Apply a clean sterile dressing that can cover the affected area adequately.
A blister could form when the skin has been damaged by rubbing, heat, cold or chemical exposure. Fluid collects between the upper layer of the skin and the layers below. This fluid cushions the tissue underneath, protecting it from further damage and allowing it to heal.
Friction or rubbing
Intense rubbing can cause a blister and friction blisters are by far the most common. A blister may develop after walking long distances or from wearing ill- fitting shoes. Blisters typically develop on the hands and feet and more easily on moist skin than on dry. Calluses (thick skin) tend to develop when there is rubbing over long periods of time and generally over bony areas. In certain people who have reduced nerve sensations or blood flow to an area, blisters and calluses can cause ulcerations and infection if they are not monitored closely.
A blister caused by burning.
First and second degree burns may result in blistered skin; however, it is characteristic of second degree burns to blister immediately, whereas first degree burns can have blisters after a couple of days.Severe sunburn can also cause similar effects.
Blisters can also form on the hands and feet as a result of tissue damage incurred by frostbite.
Sometimes, the skin will blister when it comes into contact with a certain chemical or certain plant species (poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac) and the term for this is contact dermatitis. An allergic reaction to an insect bite or sting could also result in the formation of a blister.
A blood blister usually forms when a minute blood vessel close to the surface of the skin ruptures (breaks), and blood leaks into a tear between the layers of skin. This can happen if the skin is crushed, pinched or aggressively squeezed.
Sometimes the tips of toes can form pinch blisters which eventually harden and form hard skin.
There are also a variety of medical conditions that cause blisters such as:
• form of eczema called dyshidrosis.
Some anti-cancer medication can have the side effect of causing painful blistering.
Treatment is supposed to prevent issues from forming. If you keep on having to apply pads/ Bandaids to your feet then there is an issue present that needs to be addressed, not covered up.
The main treatment of any blister is to figure out the underlying cause. The problem with blisters is that they are sore and get get worse quickly, especially if you have conditions where you can't feel or heal right.
You need to monitor blisters to make sure that they do not get worse. Most Doctors will check out any blister to make sure that it is OK and point you in the right direction to prevent them from coming back. Below are a good overview of prevention techniques.
We know that the vast majority of foot blister come from rubbing of footwear.