Blisters have many causes, such as:
- Friction or constant pressure
- Second-degree burns
- Skin irritation from:
- Contact dermatitis, such as poison ivy, oak, or sumac
- Insect bites
- Allergic reactions
- Reactions to certain medicines or chemicals
- Certain cancers
- Blistering diseases—such as epidermolysis bullosa, porphyria, or pemphigus
- Autoimmune disorders
Symptoms of a blister are:
- A fluid-filled bump on the skin, which is often round
- Fluid that is usually clear, but may be bloody, cloudy, or contain pus
A blister will often heal without treatment. Sometimes the underlying cause needs to be treated.
Treatment options are:
- Washing the area
- Applying over-the-counter medicine—to ease itching and discomfort
- Applying antibiotic ointment—to prevent or treat an infection
- Bandaging the area—to protect it
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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