The sports category has moved to a new website.

Blisters: How they form & why you shouldn’t pop them, according to AI

Explore the intriguing world of blisters: discover their formation mechanisms and learn AI-backed tips for effective management.

A palm with blisters

Blisters, those small yet often bothersome fluid-filled sacs that appear on our skin, have fascinated and vexed us for centuries.

While they may seem like simple skin irritations, the formation of blisters is a complex physiological response involving the intricate interplay of skin layers, friction, and protective mechanisms.

In this article, we dive deep into the science behind how blisters are formed, shedding light on the biological processes that underlie their emergence.

ADVERTISEMENT

Blisters form in response to external stimuli, primarily friction, but also heat irritation, and other forces. Here's a breakdown of how this process unfolds:

  • When two surfaces rub against each other, such as shoes against the skin, the friction generates shear forces that separate the layers of the skin.
  • The separation occurs between the epidermis and the underlying dermis, creating a gap where fluid accumulates.
  • The body's natural response is to protect the vulnerable area by filling the gap with a clear fluid called serum or plasma. This fluid cushions the layers and prevents further damage.
  • The accumulation of fluid creates a visible blister on the skin's surface.
  • Burns caused by excessive heat, whether from scalding liquids or sunburn, damage the skin cells.
  • The body's response is to release inflammatory mediators and increase blood flow to the area to promote healing.
  • As part of this response, serum and immune cells gather around the damaged area, resulting in blister formation.
ADVERTISEMENT
  • Certain chemicals or allergens can irritate the skin, prompting an inflammatory response.
  • The body may generate blisters as a defense mechanism to isolate the irritants and prevent further harm.
ADVERTISEMENT

Before attempting any treatment, ensure that the affected area is clean and free from dirt and bacteria.

Gently wash the blister and surrounding skin with mild soap and water, then pat it dry with a clean, soft towel.

Covering the blister with a clean, sterile bandage helps prevent infection and reduces friction.

Opt for adhesive bandages or non-stick sterile gauze pads that won't further irritate the blister.

ADVERTISEMENT

Resist the urge to pop the blister, as this can increase the risk of infection and delay healing.

If the blister is large, painful, or likely to rupture, it's best to consult a healthcare professional for safe drainage.

ADVERTISEMENT

For blisters caused by friction (e.g., from ill-fitting shoes), moleskin or gel pads can provide cushioning and alleviate pressure on the affected area. These protective products are available at most drugstores.

After cleaning the blister, applying a thin layer of over-the-counter antibiotic ointment can help prevent infection. Be sure to follow the product's instructions.

Whenever possible, let the blister breathe by leaving it uncovered. Avoid activities that cause friction or pressure on the blistered area, as this can worsen the condition.

ADVERTISEMENT

If the blister is in an area prone to swelling, such as the foot or ankle, elevating the affected limb can help reduce swelling and relieve discomfort.

Keep a close eye on the blister for signs of infection, such as increased redness, warmth, pus, or worsening pain. If any of these symptoms occur, seek medical attention promptly.

ADVERTISEMENT

Drinking plenty of water and consuming a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals can aid the body's natural healing process.

JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!

Unblock notifications in browser settings.
ADVERTISEMENT

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: news@pulselive.co.ke

Recommended articles

Daily or weekly? Does frequency of a woman's sexual activity impact her ability to reach orgasm?

Daily or weekly? Does frequency of a woman's sexual activity impact her ability to reach orgasm?

5 important reasons you should stop inviting pets into your bedroom

5 important reasons you should stop inviting pets into your bedroom

Toxoplasma gondii in pork: What Nairobi residents need to know

Toxoplasma gondii in pork: What Nairobi residents need to know

Little-known women's condition  that forced Ciiku wa Soxxy to undergo hair transplant

Little-known women's condition that forced Ciiku wa Soxxy to undergo hair transplant

How to handle your girlfriend's mood swings in 6 steps

How to handle your girlfriend's mood swings in 6 steps

Nyawira Gachugi's top 3 takeaways from her marriage to Moji Short Baba

Nyawira Gachugi's top 3 takeaways from her marriage to Moji Short Baba

Early warning signs of dementia you shouldn't ignore

Early warning signs of dementia you shouldn't ignore

Diamond's sister Esma Platnumz ties the knot in exquisite Islamic wedding [Photos]

Diamond's sister Esma Platnumz ties the knot in exquisite Islamic wedding [Photos]

Never go on a date under these 3 conditions

Never go on a date under these 3 conditions

ADVERTISEMENT