Name = Blister

Caption = A blister caused by 2nd degree burns
DiseasesDB = 1777
ICD10 = ICD10|T|14|0|t|08
ICD9 = ICD9|910-ICD9|914, ICD9|940.0-ICD9|949.5
ICDO = blister on my balls
MedlinePlus = 003239
eMedicineSubj =
eMedicineTopic =
MeshID = D001768

A blister is a small pocket of fluid within the upper layers of the skin. Blisters can be filled with blood (known as blood blisters) or with pus (if they become infected). However, most blisters are filled with a clear fluid called serum. Serum is the part of the blood that remains after red blood cells and clotting agents have been removed.

A blister usually forms because the outer layer of the skin has become damaged. Fluid collects under the damaged layer of skin, cushioning the tissue underneath, protecting it from further damage and allowing it to heal.

A blood-blister usually forms when a small blood vessel close to the surface of the skin ruptures (breaks) and blood leaks into a tear between the layers of skin. This can happen if the skin is crushed, pinched or squeezed very tightly.

Blisters can also form as the result of certain medical conditions.


Blisters are usually caused by injury to the skin from heat or from friction, which creates a tear between the epidermis—the upper layer of the skin—and the layers beneath. When this happens, the surface of the skin remains intact, but is pushed outwards as serum seeps into the newly created space between the layers.

Short periods of intense rubbing can cause a blister, as can any rubbing of the skin continued long enough. Blisters are most common on the hands and feet, as these extremities are susceptible while walking, running, or performing repetitive motions. Blisters form more easily on moist skin than on dry or soaked skin, and are more common in warm conditions.

Sometimes, the skin can blister when it comes into contact with a cosmetic, detergent, solvent or other chemical; this is known as contact dermatitis. Blisters can also develop as a result of an allergic reaction to an insect bite or sting.

There are also a number of medical conditions that cause blisters. The most common are chickenpox, herpes, impetigo, and a form of eczema called dyshidrosis. Other, much rarer conditions that cause blisters include:
*Bullous pemphigoid – a skin disease that causes large, tightly-filled blisters to develop, usually affecting people over the age of 60.
*Pemphigus – a serious skin disease in which blisters develop if pressure is applied to the skin; the blisters burst easily, leaving raw areas that can become infected.
*Dermatitis herpetiformis – a skin disease that causes intensely itchy blisters, usually on the elbows, knees, back and buttocks. The blisters usually develop in patches of the same shape and size on both sides of the body.
*Chronic bullous dermatosis – a disease that causes clusters of blisters on the face, mouth or genitals.


Blisters on the feet can be prevented by wearing comfortable, well-fitting shoes and clean socks. Blisters are more likely to develop on skin that is moist, so moisture-absorbing socks or frequent sock changes will aid those with particularly sweaty feet. While exercising or playing sports, special sports socks can help keep feet drier and reduce the chance of blisters.

Before going for a long walk, it is important to ensure that shoes have been broken in. If a hot area on the foot is felt, taping padding over the affected area can prevent the formation of a blister.

To avoid blisters on the hands, gloves should be worn when using tools such as a shovel or pickaxe, doing manual work such as gardening, and handling detergents, cleaning products, solvents and other chemicals.

A lubricant, typically talcum powder, can be used to reduce friction between skin and apparel. People put talcum powder inside gloves or shoes for this purpose.

Sunscreen and sun protection should also be used during the hottest part of the day to avoid blisters from sunburn, and moisturizing, after-sun or calamine lotions can help to ease discomfort in the case of burns.


Most blisters heal naturally and do not require medical attention. As new skin grows beneath the blister, the fluid contained within it will be slowly reabsorbed by the body and the skin on top will dry and peel off.

The unbroken skin over a blister provides a natural barrier to infection, and patients should try to keep blisters intact and unbroken in order to avoid infection, ideally only allowing it to break on its own once the skin underneath has healed.Fact|date=August 2008

Blisters can sometimes become infected, typically with Staphylococcus aureus. This may be treated with antibiotics.

A common treatment used by medics in the U.S. Army is to drain the fluid from a blister and to inject the same amount of compound tincture of benzoin, to help seal the space created by the blister, to serve as a local antiseptic, and to prevent further abrasion or loss of skin. [ Department of the Army TRADOC Pam 600-4, INITIAL ENTRY TRAINING SOLDIER’S HANDBOOK]

ee also


External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • blister — [ blistɛr ] n. m. • 1967; mot angl. « bulle, soufflure » ♦ Emballage de plastique transparent sous lequel sont vendues certaines marchandises. Piles, saumon sous blister. Des blisters. Mettre sous blister (blistériser v. tr. <conjug. : 1> ) …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Blister — Blis ter, n. [OE.; akin to OD. bluyster, fr. the same root as blast, bladder, blow. See {Blow} to eject wind.] 1. A vesicle of the skin, containing watery matter or serum, whether occasioned by a burn or other injury, or by a vesicatory; a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Blister EP — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda «Blister» Sencillo de Jimmy Eat World del álbum Clarity Publicación 1999 Formato CD …   Wikipedia Español

  • Blíster — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Blíster Blíster es un envase de plástico transparente y con una cavidad en forma de ampolla donde se aloja el producto, permitiendo al mismo tiempo presentarlo y protegerlo de golpes durante las operaciones de… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Blister — Blis ter, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Blistered}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Blistering}.] To be affected with a blister or blisters; to have a blister form on. [1913 Webster] Let my tongue blister. Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Blister — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Blister puede referirse a: Medicina: Un tipo de embalaje para medicamentos encapsulados, Blíster Automóvil: Problema técnico en neumáticos sometidos a condiciones extremas, como la F1, Blistering Obtenido de Blister… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Blister — «Blister» Сингл Jimmy Eat World из альбома Clarity Выпущен 1999 Формат CD Записан 1997 Жанры Альтернативный ро …   Википедия

  • blister — [blis′tər] n. [ME < Du bluister or OFr blestre < ?] 1. a raised patch of skin, specif. of epidermis, filled with watery matter and caused by a burn, frostbite, rubbing, etc. 2. something used or applied to cause a blister 3. anything… …   English World dictionary

  • Blister — Blis ter, v. t. 1. To raise a blister or blisters upon. [1913 Webster] My hands were blistered. Franklin. [1913 Webster] 2. To give pain to, or to injure, as if by a blister. [1913 Webster] This tyrant, whose sole name blisters our tongue. Shak.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • blister — *blíster s. n., pl. blístere Trimis de Laura ana, 20.07.2007. Sursa: DOOM 2  BLÍSTER s. n. carcasă de plastic transparent, lipsită de carton, în care se ambalează unele mărfuri. (< fr., engl. blister) Trimis de raduborza, 20.03.2009. Sursa:… …   Dicționar Român

  • blíster — Voz tomada del inglés blister (pack), ‘envase consistente en una lámina sobre la que va pegada una cubierta de plástico transparente con cavidades en las que se alojan los distintos artículos’: «Unidad fotovoltaica Kontact, preparada para su… …   Diccionario panhispánico de dudas

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