A blood blister is a type of blister that forms when subdermal tissues and blood vessels are damaged without piercing the skin. It consists of a pool of lymph, blood and other body fluids trapped beneath the skin. If punctured, it suppurates a dark fluid.
It can occur when the skin is rubbed, bruised or pinched. The unbroken skin that covers the blister may provide a natural barrier to bacteria and decrease the risk of infection.
If you notice a raised piece of skin that has blood inside, it’s a blood blister.
In this article, I am going to tell you the effective ways to get rid of blood blisters on your mouth, feet, hands, near joints, heels, toes, etc. But before that, let’s check its symptoms and causes.
Symptoms Of Blood Blister
A blood blister looks like a friction blister. These blisters can range in size and appear as a pocket of raised skin. Friction blisters are generally filled with clear fluid. In the case of blood blisters, pressure broke blood vessels and mixed blood with the clear fluid. This combination fills the pocket.
The blood in the blister may be red or even purplish or black in colour. Generally, new blood blisters appear red and over time turn a deeper shade.
It is likely that a blood blister will form on an area of your body that is under pressure. You may get blood blisters on:
- your mouth
- your feet
- your hands
- near your joints
- bony areas of your body like your heels, toes, or the balls of the feet 1
Causes Of Blood Blister
You may get a blood blister after something pinches your skin, but does not break the surface. Getting your hand caught in a door jamb might cause the blood blister, for example. Other reasons you may have a blood blister include:
- participating in a sport that has you on your feet for long periods of time, such as running or dancing
- having ill-fitting shoes that rub your skin
- having sweaty feet that cause additional friction against your foot and your shoe
- using a tool that rubs against your skin repeatedly, such as a hammer 1
How To Get Rid Of Blood Blister
You can try some of these:
i. For a Blister That Hasn’t BreakOpen
- Try not to pop or drain it.
- Leave it uncovered or cover loosely with a bandage.
- Try not to put pressure on the area. If the blister is in a pressure area such as the bottom of the foot, put doughnut-shaped moleskin on it.
ii. For a Blister That Has BreakOpen
- Wash the area with warm water and gentle soap. Do not use alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or iodine.
- Smooth down the skin flap that remains.
- Apply antibiotic ointment to the area.
- Cover the area loosely with a sterile bandage or gauze.
iii. If You Want to Pop or BreakOpen a Blister
To pop a blister that is large, painful, or in an awkward spot:
- Wash the area.
- Sterilize a needle with rubbing alcohol and water.
- Make a small hole at the edge of the blister. Gently squeeze out the fluid.
- Wash the blister again and pat dry. Don’t remove the skin over the blister.
- Smooth down the skin flap.
- Apply antibiotic ointment.
- Cover the area loosely with a sterile bandage or gauze. 2
Doctors often recommend leaving the blister alone to let it heal on its own to avoid secondary infection of the blister.
Blood blisters that form on feet and toes may require additional steps to ensure they heal properly. A burst blister will be prone to infection.
Some general steps to take include:
- elevating and applying ice to the blister
- wrapping the blister loosely to help avoid additional friction
- avoiding putting pressure on the blister by removing shoes or wearing open-toe footwear.
- gently cleaning and protecting a blister that has burst open
- seeking medical attention when needed
There are also some things that are not recommended for blood blisters. People should avoid doing the following:
- wearing shoes that do not fit
- peeling away the skin as it heals, as this could open up the wound to infection
- popping the blister
Some people recommend various natural cures, such as skin creams and natural herbs, to treat blood blisters. How well these home remedies work is not well researched or documented, however.
In general, it is recommended that people avoid popping a blood blister. Allowing it to heal on its own is the safest way to avoid complications, such as delayed healing and infection. 3
When To See A Doctor
In most cases, a single blood blister is nothing to worry about. Your skin rubbing something repeatedly (like a shoe) or being pinched (like in a door) is likely the cause. A blister usually heals on its own. One that doesn’t heal or becomes infected needs medical attention.
There are cases, however, when you should see your doctor:
- You notice symptoms of infection such as warmth, or red lines leading away from the blister.
- The blister is making it difficult for you to walk or use your hands.
- The blister seemed to appear for no reason.
- There are multiple blisters on your skin and you don’t know why.
- The blister keeps coming back.
- The blister is in your mouth or on your eyelid.
- The blister is the result of a burn (even a sunburn) or an allergic reaction. 1
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