Blisters : to pop or not pop?
By Dr Erum ILYAS
To pop or not pop a blister- we get this question all the time!
The answer overall is yes- it is reasonable to pop a blister for one big reason: the soreness or tenderness that comes from blisters is from the pressure of the fluid in the blister. Until this pressure is released, it will not have a chance to heal. It’s also important to understand that if you don’t pop it, then it might get sheared on its own from day to day activities. If this happens in an uncontrolled setting it may put you at a higher risk for infection.
The safest way to pop a blister is to take a sterile needle and gently poke the side along one of the edges. Place gentle pressure on the surface of the blister to drain out the fluid. It should feel like you are deflating a balloon. Leave the roof of the blister intact to serve as its own bandaid at first. Care for the area by gentle cleansing, antibiotic ointment and a nonstick dressing. Once the wound base has started the heal, the left over roof of the blister will naturally slough once it’s no longer needed.
Of course this advice applies to blisters that are the result of something- bad shoes, burns, etc. If you are developing blisters and you do not know why, it’s important to see a dermatologist as there are a number of blistering skin diseases that are autoimmune in origin that may need to be managed with other medications to treat and prevent.