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
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.
Copyright © EBSCO Information Services
All rights reserved.
American Academy of Dermatology https://www.aad.org
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases https://www.niams.nih.gov
Canadian Dermatology Association https://dermatology.ca
Health Canada http://www.canada.ca
Abiad M, Kurban M, Abbas O. Recurrent blisters with pain following thermal burn injury to left leg and foot. Int J Dermatol. 2019;58(12):1377-1378.
Blistering skin conditions. DermNet New Zealand website. Available at: https://www.dermnetnz.org/topics/blistering-skin-conditions. Accessed January 29, 2021.
Blisters. Better Health Channel website. Available at: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/blisters. Accessed January 29, 2021.
Blisters—causes. NHS Choices website. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Blisters/Pages/Causes.aspx. Accessed January 29, 2021.
Blisters, calluses, and corns. Kids Health—Nemours Foundation website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/en/kids/blisters.html. Accessed January 29, 2021.
Major burns. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/major-burns. Accessed on February 18, 2021.