blisters (also known as vesicles) are liquid bubbles that form between the skin layers. They can be painful, especially if they’re on an area of your body that is repeatedly rubbed, such as your feet and hands.
This article explains the types, causes, symptoms, and treatment of skin blisters.
type of blisters
There are several types of blisters, each caused in a different way.
As the name suggests, blood vesicles are blood-filled blisters inside the sac. These may initially appear as red raised bumps. Over time, the color will darken to a deep purple. These types of blisters can be painful and itchy.
Blood blisters are the result of something pinching your skin.
Therefore, they usually occur in the areas of your body that are most likely to be squeezed or rubbed, including:
Athletes, dancers, and people who perform manual labor are most prone to blood blisters.
What causes unexplained blisters on feet?
Friction blisters are caused by repeated rubbing of the skin. These blisters are filled with clear fluid instead of blood.
Bad shoes or friction blisters on your hands after raking leaves or gardening.
These types of blisters can appear anywhere on the body that is rubbed repeatedly. However, they most often occur on the hands and feet.
blisters on feet
Friction caused by ill-fitting shoes is one of the common causes of blisters on your feet. They can also occur from burns and other skin injuries.
Burns and sunburns can cause hot blisters. They can also occur when your skin becomes hot after frostbite (the skin and subcutaneous tissue freezes).
Blisters are the result of second-degree burns. These burns affect the epidermis (the outer layer of the skin) and the dermis (the middle layer of the skin). Like friction blisters, they are filled with clear liquid.
Since these blisters are associated with severe burns, they can be painful. Blisters from burns can appear anywhere on the body.
Blistering: Do’s and Don’ts
State of health
In addition to injuries, blisters can accompany certain diseases, infections, and rashes. Viruses, bacteria, allergies, and irritants can cause these types of blisters. E.g:
- Viruses such as chickenpox, shingles, and herpes
- bacterial infections such as impetigo
- fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot, ringworm, or jock itch
- parasites that cause scabies
- allergic reactions, such as reactions to poison ivy
- Eczema (atopic dermatitis)
- Insufficiency and swelling of the veins in the legs (when the valves in the veins are not functioning properly)
Types of blisters include blood blisters, friction blisters, thermal blisters, and blisters caused by medical conditions.
Itchy bumps filled with clear fluid: what causes it?
Blisters may appear after skin injuries, such as squeezing, rubbing, or burning. They can also pop up due to infection.
Regardless, the symptoms are usually the same: a raised bump filled with fluid. Depending on the type of blisters, the liquid may be:
- Green, yellow, or cloudy like dirty dishwater
A green or yellow blister indicates that it is infected and filled with pus. You should contact your healthcare provider to evaluate for infected blisters.
When friction or injury occurs, your skin may develop blisters. Blisters are a protective response that cushions the deeper layers of the skin, protecting it from damage and giving it time to heal.
In the case of an infection, your immune system can cause blisters. When your body detects bacteria, your skin may flare up by fighting those bacteria.
Blisters are common and usually heal on their own. However, if you notice signs of infection, you should contact your healthcare provider. Signs you should check for blisters include:
- is pus.
- It is red or inflamed.
- Painful and hot.
- You have a fever.
- You have multiple blisters and don’t know why.
- You have an underlying health problem, such as diabetes or blood circulation problems.
- It has an unpleasant smell.
A healthcare provider can diagnose blisters by doing a physical exam and taking your medical history. If the cause isn’t obvious (such as an injury or friction), they’ll want to determine if a disease is causing the blisters. Your provider may also order blood tests and skin cultures (a method used to find infection-causing microorganisms).
The organism suspected of causing the infection from the culture may then be tested against different antibiotic drugs to see which one is most effective.
Itchy bumps filled with clear fluid: what causes it?
Usually, blisters do not require special treatment. However, there are some things you can do at home to make yourself more comfortable, reduce your risk of infection, and speed up the healing process, including:
- Wash the blisters with soap and water.
- Apply antibacterial ointment.
- Cover the blisters with a bandage.
Change the bandage daily and moisturise the area until the blisters fall off naturally.
Your healthcare provider may help you manage blisters in some cases, including:
- Infection: If your blisters become infected, your provider may prescribe antibiotics.
- If drainage is required: If your blister is large and painful, your provider may drain it with sterile instruments.
- During an illness: If an illness is causing your blisters, your provider will recommend treatment for the underlying condition.
Can I pop a blister?
Never try to pop or pick up blisters. This can introduce bacteria and cause an infection.
When should I pop a blister?
While you can’t always predict injuries, there are things you can do to limit your chances of developing blisters. These include:
- Wear suitable shoes.
- Always wear socks and shoes.
- Wear protective gloves when working.
- Apply sunscreen.
- Wear weather-appropriate clothing.
- If you have frostbite, slowly raise your body temperature with warm water.
Also, take steps to protect yourself from blisters-causing diseases by practicing good hygiene, including:
- Do not share food or drink with others.
- Keep your hands away from your face.
- Eat nutritious food.
- Get vaccinated against infectious diseases, such as shingles and chickenpox (chickenpox).
Blisters are fluid-filled air bubbles between skin layers. They happen as a result of injury, friction or disease. Blisters usually heal on their own within a week. However, if your blisters show signs of infection, are large and painful, or you have an underlying medical condition, you should seek medical advice. To reduce the chance of blisters, wear well-fitting shoes and gloves while working, and practice good hygiene to prevent illness.
Check out these pictures of skin infections
Blisters are usually a minor annoyance. If you have a blister, it’s tempting to pop it, but don’t. Popping blisters can increase the likelihood that your sore will become infected. Instead, the best thing to do is to keep the blister clean and bandage it until it heals.