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What is a blister ?
It is a small pocket of fluid on the upper layers of the skin generally filled with plasma or serum and sometimes blood or pus .
What are the possible causes ?
a) Friction or rubbing
b) Extreme temprature
c) Chemical exposure
General recommendations for blisters
- Applying tincture of benzoin and covering the area with topical patches, such as Compeed patches, helps to protect active feet that have blisters. This combination is also used by athletes who are trying to prevent blisters from forming. Tincture of benzoin helps to tighten and toughen the skin.
- Second Skin is a moist bandage that can be used to protect a blister. Johnson & Johnson's Elastikon tape is also very popular among athletes. If you are covering a blister that has burst, be careful to cover the edges so that dirt cannot enter the area.
Preventive measures for blisters
Many marathon runners use a layering technique to prevent blisters on their feet. Begin with a pair of shoes that are slightly big for your feet. Apply petroleum jelly to your feet, then put on a pair of thin socks. Then put on a pair of thicker athletic socks before putting on your shoes. Many runners and hikers apply New Skin spray before activity they might lead to blisters.
Treatment for blisters
- Apply a loose bandage. Secure the bandage so the tape does not touch the blister. Do not wrap tape completely around a hand, arm, foot, or leg because it could cut off the blood supply if the limb swells. If the tape is too tight, you may develop symptoms below the level of the tape, such as numbness, tingling, pain, or cool and pale or swollen skin.
- Bursting a blister to get the fluid out is not recommended as long as the fluid within remains clear, possibly with a slight yellowish tint. Instead, protect the area for as long as possible using "doughnut" -type pads that surround the blister but are open in the center so the blister itself remains uncovered. Eventually, the fluid will be reabsorbed by the body and the blister will be healed.
- If a blister bursts, your doctor may recommended that you apply silver sulfadiazine and keep the injury covered with a bandage. Silver sulfadiazine is effective against Pseudomonas bacteria, the most common type of bacteria found in weeping-type wounds. It is also painless to sensitive raw skin. Other anti-infective agents, such as povidone-iodine and mafenide, are generally reserved for more serious and deeply infected wounds, as they can both be painful and tend to slow the growth of new skin.
- If a burst blister gets badly infected, systemic oral antibiotics may be in order.
- If the blister is in an area where pressure is applied, such as on the bottom of your foot, protect it with a doughnut-shaped moleskin pad. Leave the area over the blister open.
- Do not wear the shoes or do the activity that caused a friction blister until the blister heals.