A blister is formed when a fluid called serum starts collecting between the outermost layer of the skin called epidermis, and the layer underneath called dermis. This fluid is usually clear, but may also be yellowish-green in color when infected. Blood blisters may also form if the skin is severely pinched or squeezed. They are not indicative of anything serious and may heal on its own.
- Continuous intense contact with any object, or acute rubbing for long or short period of time may result in blisters on the hand. For instance, while working continuously with water, or lifting weights in the gym, over a period of time, you may notice the formation of small blisters on your fingers and hands.
- Blisters may also be caused due to first and second degree burns. When developed from burns, they may be slightly painful, and a part of the dermis along with the epidermis may also be destroyed. Exposure to intense heat may also cause blisters, which are known as heat blisters.
- Insect bites, or reaction to products that one may be allergic to, can also cause them to develop. Contact with chemicals such as detergents, may also cause these blisters on the hands.
- They may also be an after-effect of diseases, such as chickenpox, herpes, and a form of eczema. Sometimes, they may be a symptom of an oncoming disease such as pemphigus, where a blister may form, when excessive pressure is applied on any particular area. Such blisters should be treated only after consultation with a dermatologist.
- A simple thing such as leaving hands wet, or not wiping them dry thoroughly may also cause blisters. These may not be painful and may dissolve on their own.
In certain cases, their development can be prevented by reducing the amount of pressure or contact with other objects. Another way is to apply some kind of protective coat on the hand such as talcum powder or petroleum jelly before beginning any kind of work that involves excessive use of your hands. Wearing gloves is also useful in preventing blisters. However, in cases where they may be a symptom of a disease, not much can be done to avoid them. In any case, if a blister develops, treating it in the right manner is important, before it develops into a full blown case of severe infection.
As aforementioned, small blisters on the hands can be left to heal on their own. The skin on the blister is the best protection for the treatment. A blood blister, wherein the blister is filled with blood, also tends to heal on its own. However, sometimes, they may be infectious. For instance, one would know that it is infectious when the liquid is not clear but yellowish-green in color. Also, the skin on the blister will be warm, and the surrounding areas will be slightly red. In certain cases, due to various demands in our daily schedule, it is important to drain the blisters or find some methods of self-treatment.
Some of the treatment methods are:
- Cover it with a bandage while working. In order to ensure that the blister does not break and become infected, apply the bandage loosely around it.
- Blisters are easily infected, so before treating them ensure that your hands are clean. In certain cases, large blisters may have formed, which you may want to drain. Using a needle that has been cleaned with soap and water, and sterilized by running it through a flame, puncture the blister at the edge. Slowly drain out the fluid under the blister, and wash your hand and dry it thoroughly.
- If the skin on the blister tears on its own, do not attempt to remove the skin that covers the blister. Leave it on, as it will provide protection to the skin underneath. In case of an infected blister, do not attempt to drain it.
- Using an antibiotic ointment will help it heal faster. It also reduces the chances of an infection, and prevents direct contact if you want to apply a bandage on it. Remember to check whether you are allergic to any particular ointment by doing a skin patch test.
- If you have blisters which are formed due to burns, it is advisable to soak it in cool and not cold water. It can be further treated by applying a cooling gel such as aloe vera or by an antibiotic cream. If it has developed due to a severe burn, soak the affected area in cool water for 15 minutes daily until it heals. In order to protect it, loosely cover it with a gauze. Watch out for any signs of infection such as swelling or pus. Redness and pain can be considered as symptom of an oncoming infection. In such cases, consult your doctor immediately.
- Seriously infected blisters, or those caused by the onset of any particular disease should be treated with the help of a dermatologist. Do not try to treat them on your own as they may worsen further. The medication provided by the doctor will help the blisters to heal in the right and effective manner.
- Finally, if you affected by diabetes, do not attempt any of the aforementioned treatment methods on your own. Have the blisters treated professionally, as the risk of infection in a diabetic person is higher.
Many people have faced this problem at some point in their life. However, if prevented and treated effectively, the problems associated with blisters can be eliminated from the core.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.