Fret not if you develop a blood blister, as they are fairly harmless and go away after a while. You can easily identify them by the raised skin that has blood inside. They commonly occur on the feet and hands, or other areas of the body if you pinch the skin. After you develop one, however, proper care is necessary if you want to avoid problems during the healing process. The dos and don’ts in this article should help if you have a blood blister.
What Is A Blood Blister?
A blood blister is not too different from an ordinary blister or friction blister, which has clear fluid inside. Blood blisters contain blood mixed with clear fluid because pressure breaks blood vessels. They tend to appear purple, reddish, or black in color, with newer blood blisters appearing more red. Blood blisters can occur on any area of the body that is under pressure, for example, the feet, hands, joints, mouth, heels, toes, or balls of the feet. If you pinch your skin and it doesn’t break open, it’s common to develop a blood blister.
Most blood blisters tend to heal on their own, with a healing period of about one to two weeks, depending on the severity. There is really no need to seek medical attention or take special action for treatment. The main objective is to keep the area clean and avoid causing further harm. Below, you’ll find some tips on what to do and what not to do if you get one. If you find that any of these tips assist your healing process, let us know in the comments below.
Don’t Cut Or Pop The Blister
This is a rule that applies both to blood blisters and common blisters. Even though you may experience some pressure or irritation, the blister protects vulnerable skin underneath. When you break the skin you increase the risk of infection or scarring. Experts say that you should allow the blood blister time to dry and flatten on its own. If you develop a large blood blister that causes you significant pain, you may want to drain the fluid. If you go down that road, you have to be sure to use the right tools and procedures to keep the open wound clean.
Do Bandage The Blister
If you think that the blood blister will pop on its own, you should take action to protect it with a bandage. Bandage a larger, protruding blood blister that’s on the heel, arch of the foot, or another area that rubs against things. An adhesive bandage is acceptable for smaller blisters, but larger ones may require moleskin bandages. If the moleskin isn’t pre-cut for blisters, cut a hole and last that part right over the blister. That increases the padding around the blister to prevent more damage.
Don’t Wear Shoes That Worsen The Blister
Don’t let your shoes win if you have a blood blister. They may be your favorite shoes ever, but if they rub the blood blister then your healing time will increase. Often times, footwear causes blood blisters, which is why podiatrists recommend wearing loose, breathable shoes to benefit your feet. Don’t crowd them; rather, allow enough room to wiggle the toes and move the foot around.
Do Elevate And Ice Your Foot
Elevating a blood blister helps reduce swelling and minimize the size. This is especially important when you first develop or notice the blister. If the blood blister is the result of pinching the skin, or it simply causes you pain, apply an ice pack or other cold compress to the area. Make sure you wrap the cold pack in a towel or something to create a barrier between the skin and the cold. It’s not wise to apply a cold source directly on the skin.
Don’t Peel Away Skin From The Blister
The urge to lance, pick, or peel the blood blister can be strong, but it’s important not to rupture it. Don’t remove any of the skin, even if the blister is already broken. The protective layer still keeps the skin below healthy and clean. Peeling layers away can expose the fresh new skin to infection. Keep the skin in place until it naturally peels away.
Do Clean A Broken Blister
If a blister bursts or you cut it, it’s your job to keep it as clean as possible. Make sure to drain the blister and then clean it with antiseptics. After washing and drying the blood blister, apply an antibacterial cream or ointment and then adhere a bandage. It is important to allow the wound to air out so that it can heal, but protect it when necessary so you can avoid complications.