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Blisters

Fluid-filled bumps that look like bubbles, blisters usually develop because of friction, irritants, infections or certain medications. Sometimes, blisters will feel painful or itch. Although they are uncomfortable, blisters act as protective coverings for damaged skin. You should never poke or break a blister. In fact, blisters actually help prevent infection of that damaged skin.

Common Causes of Blisters
You may develop a blister because of:

  • Bacterial Infections like impetigo
  • Burns
  • Contact with poison oak, poison ivy or poison sumac
  • Frostbite
  • Viral infections like shingles
  • Rubbing or pinching the skin
  • Severe trauma

Treatment
In general, blisters will heal by themselves. Keep the area dry and covered with a bandage until the blister heals. Try not to put pressure on or break open the blister. If the blister does open up, wash the area, apply antibacterial ointment and cover it with a bandage to promote healing. Usually, people do not need to seek medical care for a blister.

If blisters occur because of infection or illness, you may need to see a doctor who can treat the root problem.

Prevention
You can avoid creating blisters if you:

  • Be careful around heat
  • Do not wear tight clothes
  • Make sure shoes fit properly
  • Wear gloves when working with your hands
  • Use sunscreen

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