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What to do if your blister bursts

As temperatures begin to rise, so does the emergence of painful blisters.

These fluid-filled sacs resemble fleshy bubbles on the surface of the skin and most commonly appear on the feet as the result of friction from shoes that don’t fit properly. If the fluid sack is ruptured, blisters can become infected and begin to form pus, thus making the already lingering issue even more difficult to deal with.

[Base image via]

[Base image via]

According to Dr. Ian S. Goldbaum of Delray Beach Podiatry, there are many causes of blisters, including:

Irritation: One of the most common causes of blisters is skin irritation caused by friction or exposure to extreme cold (frostbite) or heat (sunburn). In some other cases, blisters are caused by irritation from contract with certain chemical and could eventually lead to dermatitis.

Allergies: Allergic contact dermatitis, a form of dermatitis or eczema, may result in blisters. Allergic contact dermatitis is caused by an allergy to a chemical or poison. The majority of these poisons are found commonly in nature in plants like poison ivy and poison oak.

Infections: Infections that cause blisters include bullous impetigo, an infection of the skin caused by staphylococci bacteria; viral infections of the lips and genital area due to the herpes simplex virus chickenpox and shingles, which are caused by the varicella zoster virus.

Skin diseases: There are several skin diseases that can cause blisters, including herpetiformis, pemphigoid and pemphigus. There also are inherited forms of blistering skin conditions, such as epidermolysis bullosa.

If a blister isn’t too painful, Dr. Goldbaum says, it’s always a good decision to keep it intact rather than pop it as unbroken skin over a blister serves as a natural barrier to bacteria that decreases the risk of infection.

However, if you drain your blister or if it has torn open, be sure to follow these steps:

1) Make sure to not peel off the dead skin on top of the blister. Instead, allow the fluid inside to drain and wash it with mild soap and water.

2) Apply antibiotic ointment.

3) If the top layer of dead skin from a burst blister has already rubbed off, don’t pick at the edges of the remaining skin.

4) Cover the blister and the area around it with a dry, sterile dressing.

5) If the top layer of dead skin from a burst blister has already rubbed off, don’t pick at the edges of the remaining skin.

6) Always change the dressing once a day or whenever it gets wet or dirty. Remove it at night to let the area dry.

7) If the blister is on your foot, avoid wearing the shoes that caused it, at least until it heals.

Follow Delray Beach Podiatry on Twitter @Delray_Podiatry

The content on this website is for informational purposes only. Do not rely or act upon information from without seeking professional medical advice. If you live in South Florida and would like a consultation with Dr. Ian Goldbaum, a podiatric physician and surgeon with over 30 years of experience, please see our contact information below:


16244 S. Military Trail #290, Delray Beach, FL 33445



8198 Jog Road #100, Boynton Beach, FL 33472




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