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Blisters are small pockets of fluid that occur on the top layers of the skin for a number of reasons. These include friction, burns, or even from diseases. Smaller blisters are known as vesicles while larger blisters are referred to as bulla. The fluid inside the bubble can be blood, pus, and serum, a clear liquid which protects the skin. In most cases, blisters are not a major health issue, but they can be an indicator of a more serious condition.

Causes of blisters vary. The most common way and place of getting them is on the feet from poorly fitted shoes that rub against the foot. However, there are many other causes besides from friction; these include burns, sunburn, insect bite, frostbite, poison ivy/oak, chemical exposure, impetigo, eczema, viral infections like shingles, chickenpox, and herpes, and others.

Most blisters heal by themselves and do not require immediate medical care. If you do have a blister, do not pop it since this can cause infection; it is advised to put a bandage over it to help protect it.If the blister is large, causes pain, and you have a fever, it is recommended to see a doctor who can provide proper care. Blisters are easy to diagnose, and if considered prudent by the doctor, can easily be drained of fluid with a sterile needle as well.

To prevent blisters on the feet, wear shoes that fit properly and that don’t cause rubbing. Socks can help prevent friction and are recommended if you are wearing shoes. Blisters on the hand can be avoided by wearing gloves during activities that cause friction against the hand.If you have a blister that does pop, do not remove the dead skin, wash the area, apply antibiotic ointment, and cover with a bandage. It is okay in most cases to not seek immediate medical care for a blister if it was just caused by friction. If however the blister causes pain or will not go away, it is suggested that you see a doctor for a diagnosis.

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