A blister is a fluid-filled bump on the skin.
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Blisters have many different causes. These may include:
Factors that increase your chance of getting blisters include:
Blisters may cause:
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Blisters may be diagnosed on appearance. The cause can be determined by the activity you were doing when the blisters appeared.
A blister will often heal without treatment. You may need treatment for a condition that is causing the blisters.
Some general tips for treatment include:
If the blister is closed, gently wash the area with soap and water. Apply a bandage to protect it.
If the blister is open, gently wash the area, apply an antibiotic ointment, and then cover it with a sterile dressing or bandage.
A blister usually heals by itself. See your doctor if:
To help reduce your chance of getting blisters, take these steps:
American Academy of Dermatology
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Canadian Dermatology Association
Blistering skin diseases. DermNet NZ website. Available at: http://dermnetnz.org/doctors/emergencies/blisters.html. Updated November 10, 2014. Accessed August 5, 2015.
Blisters. Better Health Channel website. Available at: http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Blisters. Updated February 2015. Accessed August 5, 2015.
Blisters—causes. NHS Choices website. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Blisters/Pages/Causes.aspx. Updated March 23, 2015. Accessed August 5, 2015.
Blisters, calluses, and corns. Kids Health—Nemours Foundation website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/kid/ill_injure/aches/blisters.html. Updated February 2015. Accessed August 5, 2015.
Ramsey ML. Avoiding and treating blisters. Phys Sportsmed. 1997;25(12).
Last reviewed August 2015 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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