Blisters are small pockets of fluid that are located on the surface of the skin between the epidermis and the dermis. Blisters are commonly filled with plasma or serum, which is clear and colorless. Some blisters may also contain pus or blood depending on the extent of tissue injury.
Blisters are also known to be fluid-filled nodules, but a nodule is an improper term for the blisters itself. Intact blisters may be asymptomatic aside from the presence of a small fluid-filled bump on the skin. However, when blisters break, the sensitive nerve endings on the dermis may be exposed causing significant burning sensation in the area.
The formation of blisters is usually a reaction of the skin to tissue damage due to various etiologies. Blister formation serves as a protective mechanism of the skin. When tissue injury is experienced, blisters form to serve as a cushion for the underlying skin layer until it heals.
Causes of Blisters
There are a lot of causes of blisters including:
Persistent friction in the surface of the skin may lead to blisters such as in the hands and feet. Friction may arise from wearing restrictive footwear or repetitive trauma to the soles of the feet due to running and walking with uncomfortable shoes.
Burns may also lead to blister formation. However, only first degree and second degree burns are the ones that can develop blisters because third degree burns already have damaged the deeper layers of the skin. Sunburns may also lead to blister formation when exposure to the sun is still continued.
Extreme Cold Temperatures
Frostbite usually leads to tissue damage because of poor circulation. Due to this, blisters may form on the hands and feet.
Direct Physical Trauma to the Skin
Pinching, squeezing and crushing the skin may cause small blood vessels to break and form a fluid and blood collection underneath the epidermis.
Exposure to Chemicals
Contact of the skin with chemicals, detergent, harsh cosmetics and any solvents may also cause blister formation because of a direct reaction on the skin.
Medical conditions may also cause blister formation because of primary affectation of the skin. These conditions include impetigo, herpes, eczema, or chicken pox.
Remedies for Blisters
There are a lot of managements for blisters, but you may also consider employing natural remedies in your home. Some blisters may not need medical managements to heal. Natural managements for blisters include:
Placing a clean bandage or dressing over the blister may help prevent infection and further trauma.
• Adequate Cleansing
Cleanse the blisters and your skin thoroughly with mild soap and water. If the blisters break, make sure to apply povidone iodine to prevent any infection.
Blisters from burns may be initially relieved using ice or cold packs. Cold temperature immediately stops the burning process and prevents further tissue damage.
• Application of herbs
• Aloe Vera- Aloe Vera has a natural soothing property to treat blisters. However, open blisters should be managed carefully because unsterile Aloe Vera may just promote entry of microorganisms.
• Barberry- Barberry has antibiotic properties to prevent and heal infections in the blisters.
• Chamomile- Just like Aloe Vera, chamomile also has soothing properties. Soak the blisters in a lukewarm chamomile tea.
• Application of vitamin E
Vitamin E can be directly applied on the blisters to reduce scarring and promote healing.
Blisters should be managed very well because unmanaged cases may lead to more serious conditions such as infection when open blisters are contaminated.