When a blister starts to form, it fills with clear or bloody fluids. The question we all have in mind is: should I pop a blister to get rid of the fluid?
In most cases, a blister heals faster if you don’t pop it. But there are exceptions. If a blister needs to be popped, then the fluid should be drained using a sterilized needle. We’ll explain to you how to properly pop a blister.
Are blisters supposed to be popped?
According to dermatologist Lauren Ploch, “leaving a blister intact is always best.” Blisters are not supposed to be popped.
If a blister is not too painful, it’s best to keep it intact because unbroken skin over a blister provides a natural barrier to bacteria. Thus it decreases the risk of infection.
A blister usually heals faster if you don’t pop it. The fluid-filled blister keeps the underlying skin clean, which prevents infection and promotes healing.
Some people are more prone to infection than others. Thus it’s particularly important to try to keep the blister intact if any of the following applies to you: diabetes, heart failure, peripheral arterial disease, swollen legs with venous ulcers, conditions reducing your immunity, or if you are taking steroid tablets.
Does popping blisters help in some cases?
Draining the fluid is recommended in some cases. If a blister is very large, painful, likely to be further irritated, or prevents you from walking or using one of your hands, then the fluid should be drained.
However, make sure you know how to drain a blister. You’ll need a sterilized needle.
How to properly pop a blister?
Webmd and MayoClinic recommends that you follow these steps if you need to pop a blister:
- Use a sterilized needle or razor blade (to sterilize it, put the point or edge in a flame until it is red hot, or rinse it in alcohol).
- Wash your hands and the area thoroughly.
- Aim for several spots near the blister’s edge and make small holes with the needle.
- Gently squeeze out the clear fluid.
- Apply an antiseptic healing ointment or cream.
- Cover the blister with a bandage.
If the fluid is white or yellow, the blister may be infected and needs medical attention. Also, do not remove the skin over a broken blister. Peeling off this “dead” skin increases the risk of infections and delays the healing process. Look for signs of infection to develop, including pus drainage, red or warm skin surrounding the blister, or red streaks leading away from the blister.
Do blisters hurt when they pop?
Popped blisters are often more painful, as the nerves in the skin beneath are more exposed.
What to do if a blister pops on its own?
A blister may burst on its own. If this occurs, try to keep the top skin of the blister covering the exposed skin and cover it with a bandage to prevent infection.