How to Treat Blisters and Avoid Getting Them
Do not burst a blister deliberately unless the taut skin is causing acute discomfort. Opening the skin increases the risk of infection, and the blister will usually heal within a week, burst or not. If you decide to burst it, follow these steps:
1. Wash the blistered area thoroughly with soap and water, and also wash your hands so you don’t introduce germs into the wound when you pierce the blister.
2. Pass a fine needle through a flame and let it cool for a moment. Do not wipe off any soot and do not touch the point.
3. Hold the needle flat on the skin and press the point gently but firmly into the blister – just enough to burst it.
4. Remove the needle and make a second puncture on the opposite side of the blister.
5. Remove the needle and press gently on the blister with a clean piece of cotton wool.
6. Wipe away the moisture with the cotton wool, and cover the blister with a plaster (dressing).
A burst blister If a blister bursts by itself, expose it to the air as much as possible in hygienic conditions, but keep it covered with a bandage if there is a risk of dirt getting in.
See a doctor if a blister becomes infected, with a swollen, tender or inflamed area around it. Also see a doctor if blisters occur without any obvious cause. Multiple blisters are a symptom of several diseases, including shingles, chickenpox and impetigo.
HOW TO AVOID BLISTERS
• Take care when cooking or ironing. Cooks often receive burns on the arm when the oven door swings closed as they remove food.
• Wear protective gloves for any heavy manual work.
• Only buy shoes that fit well, and break them in with short periods of wear before wearing them all day.
• For country walks, wear comfortable boots or shoes, with two pairs of socks to reduce friction on the feet. They can be a thin cotton pair next to the skin, with a thicker pair of woollen over socks.