If you find yourself with a blister, popping it can be an overwhelming urge for several reasons. It might be rubbing against your clothing and causing discomfort, or it might just be unsightly and in a conspicuous spot. Either way, should you pop a blister? And, when is it safe to pop a blister?
This article will talk about why blisters happen and how they heal over time. Next, we’ll talk about safe methods you can use to pop a blister at the right time.
How Blisters Happen
Anyone who regularly performs physical activities such as gardening, running, or hiking is familiar with blisters. This is because blisters result from an object rubbing against the outer layer of the skin and gradually splitting it away from the innermost layers. As the outer layer is drawn away, fluids from the inner layers fill the newly-created space, and a blister forms.
However, blisters also form from burns due to certain caustic chemicals, heat, or exposure to fire or electricity. These blisters are different from friction blisters in that the damage can extend to the deeper layers of the skin.
Blisters Have A Natural Function
It’s important to understand that while blisters may be annoying and even painful, they are the body’s natural way of cushioning the damaged skin and protecting it from foreign debris and bacteria. As a blister does its job, fresh layers of skin develop underneath. Finally, the blister will heal within a week or two.
Should You Pop A Blister? (Not Unless You Need To)
Generally, whether you should pop a blister depends on its severity, location, and cause. Some blisters can cause discomfort and interfere with daily tasks, such as putting on shoes or walking. A particularly large blister can even be painful, and dermatologists may recommend popping and draining it. However, there are certain precautions you must take beforehand.
Because the blister protects the layer of skin under it, popping it will increase your chances of developing an infection and delay the healing process. That’s why you should ensure you have a way of keeping the area clean and dry after you pop a blister.
Safe Ways To Pop A Blister
While it may sound a little involved, the goal of this method is to prevent infection. Here’s what you should do to pop a blister safely:
- Find a small, thin needle and sterilize it with isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) or boiling water.
- Gently pierce the blister at the edge and drain some of the fluids. Don’t remove the top of the blister, as this will serve as a protective layer for the healing skin underneath.
- Clean the area gently with warm water and mild soap.
- Cover the blister with a bandage, ensuring it isn’t too tight.
Optionally, you can use an over-the-counter topical antibiotic ointment, gel, or cream as an additional step to prevent infection. This is important if the area is difficult to keep clean and dry or experiences friction throughout the day. It’s also a good idea if you’re particularly susceptible to infection.
See A Dermatologist To Pop A Blister Safely
If you’re apprehensive about draining your blister, or suspect that your blister is getting infected, consult a dermatologist. They can help you treat and drain a blister and prevent infection in a sterile environment using the right medical equipment and expertise.
This post is brought to you by Care Dermatology. We’re proud to offer the best dermatology in Florida, and our experts are always here to help you with your skin concerns. If you have any questions, please call one of our offices, and we’ll be happy to help.
You can reach us at (352) 612-1722 for our Fruitland Park location or (352) 218-3211 for our location at The Villages. You can reach our Kissimmee location at (407) 553-3979.