Blisters: Causes, Treatment, and Prevention

Blisters, those small fluid-filled pockets that often appear on the hands and feet, can be quite bothersome. Here’s what you need to know about them.

What Are Blisters?

Blisters usually form in the upper layers of the skin when it’s been injured. While they can appear anywhere on the body, they are most common on the hands and feet. The fluid inside blisters, often clear (serum), can also be bloody (blood blisters) or contain pus if they become inflamed or infected. This fluid acts as a cushion, protecting the damaged tissue underneath and aiding the healing process.

Treating Blisters

In most cases, blisters heal naturally within three to seven days and don’t require medical attention. It’s essential not to burst a blister, as this can lead to infection or slow down healing. If a blister does burst, avoid peeling off the dead skin. Instead, allow the fluid to drain, and cover the area with a dry, sterile dressing to prevent infection.

When to Seek Medical Attention

You should see your GP if you have blisters that you suspect are infected, are exceptionally painful, keep recurring, or appear in unusual places, like your eyelids or inside your mouth. Blisters following severe sunburn, burns, scalds, allergic reactions, or contact with chemicals should also be discussed with your GP.

Causes of Blisters

Blisters can be triggered by various factors, including:

  1. Friction to the Skin: Commonly occurs from ill-fitting shoes or repetitive rubbing.
  2. Heat: Sunburn or scalds can lead to blister formation.
  3. Chemical Contact: Exposure to chemicals, like detergents, may cause blisters.
  4. Medical Conditions: Conditions like chickenpox and impetigo can result in blisters.

Preventing Blisters

To prevent blisters caused by friction, sunburn, or chemicals, consider these steps:


  • Opt for comfortable, well-fitting shoes.
  • Keep your feet dry with moisture-absorbing socks or talcum powder.
  • Wear sports or wool socks for exercise or physical activities.
  • Dust the inside of your socks with talcum powder for added protection.
  • Choose comfortable, properly fitted shoes for extended walks or activities.
  • Use padding if you feel a hot spot on your foot while walking or playing sports.
  • Wear protective gloves for tasks involving tools or manual work.

Heat and Sunburn:

  • Employ appropriate safety measures when dealing with heat or chemicals.
  • Protect your skin from the sun with clothing and sunscreen.
  • Wear a sun hat.
  • Use moisturizer, aftersun, or calamine lotion for relief from sunburn.


  • Always wear protective gloves when handling chemicals.

Remember, taking precautions can go a long way in preventing these pesky blisters from bothering you. Stay informed and stay blister-free!

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