Popping blisters: is it so bad?

OK so I burnt the heel of my left hand taking something out of the oven. I immediately ran cold water over the affected area (which is, I believe, what you’re supposed to do) until it felt Novocaine’d. So I develop a blister. This was three days ago. I just kind of picked at it and the liquid came out.

Some nurse or something told me blisters are “nature’s Band-Aid®.” So if you interfere with them, do you risk nasty consequences? So far I feel fine… :wink:

  • s.e.

This is just anecdotal, but I’d have to agree with the nurse. I always used to pop them, unless they’d popped themselves. The last time I got one (on my heel, from a worn sock) I covered it with a loose bandaid and left it alone. It was healed within a day or two.

I deep fried my hand once (long story). Many blisters formed and the Dr. said to leave them, to remove them would increase risk of infection.

Later, when I revisited, they cut them off by following the outline of the blister border. I was told to keep them as clean and sterile as possible.

I think you’ll be OK, especially if you’re treating the area with some sort of antibiotic regulary.

BTW: I fix computers - I’m not a medico.


IANAD either, but I believe the biggest problem with popped blishers is infection. Keep the area clean and covered with a sterile bandage.

Incidentally, I do a lot of hiking, and the current wisdom in that community is if you get a blister in an inconvenient spot - say on your heel during a long trek - it’s better to lance (using a sterile pin prick at the edge of the blister), clean and cover it. That way, the blister won’t be aggravated as you walk on it and burst, allowing dirt and junk to get in.

Yeah, this is exactly what I do. IANAPodiatrist, but I play one on my trips. For some reason, I really enjoy working on feet. ( :eek: ) Anyway, I usually lance and cover. But I never remove the dead skin that covers the bubble part of the blister. I just make a teeny hole, squeeze the juice out, put on some triple antibiotic ointment and a band-aid (and maybe some moleskin), and leave it alone. I haven’t lost a patient yet.

But I don’t usually pop burn blisters. They’re a different animal. Spenco 2nd Skin ROCKS!

I’ve never taken any special care to avoid popping small, isolated blisters, and I’ve never gotten an infection from any of them. If necessary I use a bandaid. I’m a little more cautious for larger blisters. They do seem to heal a bit faster if they’re unpopped, though.

I wonder if blood blisters are the same?

There’s two reasons to not pop a blister: First, doing so creates an open wound which can (potentially, at least) become infected. The risk of this depends on the size of the wound, where it is, what you’re doing with that part of the body, your general state of health, and probably a bunch of other factors.

The other reason to leave it be is that the fluid is itself acting to cushion and protect the site, so it’ll heal quicker with it there (I think that this is actually the reason the fluid accumulates there in the first place).

For foot blisters and the like, produced by wear and tear, the Boy Scout Handbook advises that you not drain them unless you don’t think you can keep them from popping on their own. Usually, a “donut bandage” of a few layers of moleskin around the blister will protect it and prevent it from popping or getting worse.