Q:

Should you pop a blister?

A:

Quick Answer

When blisters are small, the safest approach is to avoid popping them; however, if they are on a weight-bearing area of the foot that prevents walking, Mayo Clinic recommends draining the blister using a disinfected needle. Disinfecting a needle involves wiping it with rubbing alcohol.

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Full Answer

WebMD recommends the use of donut-shaped piece of moleskin to protect the blister instead of draining it whenever possible. If it requires draining, prick it through the cover near one edge while leaving the rest of the skin intact for a few days to reduce the risk of infection. After draining the blister, apply antibiotic ointment and cover the area with a bandage for a few days to protect the area and allow new skin to form under the damaged skin that forms the blister layer.

Because draining the blister opens the skin, bacteria can enter the body through the area. According to WebMD, it is important that the sufferer watch for signs of infection, including fever, red streaks or any drainage that is not clear coming from the affected area. If there is a question concerning infection, the individual should contact a doctor for follow-up care.

After the injury has had several days to heal, Mayo Clinic suggests cutting away any dead skin using scissors and tweezers sanitized with rubbing alcohol. After removing all the dead skin, apply more antibiotic ointment, and cover the injury with a fresh bandage.

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