Disgusting moment clear gel bursts from 'blister' on man's lip

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Most people will have experienced a blister on the back of their heels when getting used to a new pair of shoes. Blisters are clear, fluid-filled sacs that form on the skin as the result of friction. When a blister becomes filled with blood and turns black, purple or dark red, this is known as a blood blister. Express.co.uk chatted to Dr Deborah Lee from Dr Fox Online Pharmacy to find out how to get rid of a blood blister.

Blood blisters, medically known as bullae, are just like normal blisters but filled with blood.

Dr Lee explained: “Blisters and blood blisters are most often caused by pressure or friction to the area.

“They often appear quite suddenly, for example, you may get them on your hands after using DIY tools, or gardening.

“They often occur in hot, sweaty places, or overlying a joint. They may also occur if the skin is pinched.”

Blood blisters are most commonly found on the hands, feet, over the joints, or sometimes, in the mouth.

Blood blisters are never usually something to worry about, but they can occur very rarely as part of a medical condition.

Dr Lee said: “ If you notice blood blisters in your mouth for no apparent reason, that are persistent or keep coming back, you should see your GP.

“This also applies if the blood blisters are near your eyes or eyelids, or in places where there has been no apparent friction.

“If you get blisters or ulcers on your genitalia, you should see urgent help at the Sexual Health Clinic.”

Some conditions that can cause blood blisters include:

  • Allergies – contact dermatitis, such as allergy to latex, or skin products
  • Viral infections – such as herpes, chickenpox, shingles, or ’ hand, foot and mouth disease’
  • Bacterial skin infections – such as impetigo
  • Infestations – such as scabies
  • Burns – sunburn, chemical burns, or thermal burns
  • Medication – as a side effect of various drugs, such as antibiotics, or diuretics
  • Skin disorders – such as bullous pemphigoid, or epidermolysis bullosa acquisita
  • Autoimmune conditions – such as dermatitis herpetiformis
  • Mouth cancers – such as a mouth ulcer that fails to heal
  • Vitamin deficiencies – such as B12 deficiency
  • Excess alcohol intake – alcohol can cause folic acid deficiency and result in mouth sores
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Frostbite

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How to get rid of a blood blister

Just like clear blisters, the vast majority of blood blisters will heal and disappear within a week or so.

However, Dr Lee noted: “Blood blisters can also get secondarily infected. If a blood blister seems to be enlarging, has pus inside it, has a red ring around it, you develop a red streak up your arm (lymphangitis), or you develop a temperature and feel generally unwell, always seek medical help without delay.”

People with underlying health conditions such as diabetes, HIV, heart failure or venous leg ulcers are more at risk from infection of a blood blister.

There are some things you can do to speed up the healing of a blood blister and prevent infection.

Dr Lee said: “Always wash your hands before touching your blister and cover it with a padded dressing – your pharmacist can advise which one but usually a hydrocolloid dressing is recommended.

“These provide a clean, absorbent environment for wound healing to take place.

“You may also want to elevate the affected area. Wrap it in a towel, and apply ice to the area, if it is swollen.”

The four things to avoid

You might be tempted to pick at the blister to get rid of it, but Dr Lee advises against doing anything of the sort!

She said: “Do not try to prick the blister or drain it. Do not pick at the skin or pull the roof off the blister.

The best blister plaster is the roof of the blister itself.

Dr Lee said: “Do not re-use or wear whatever item caused the blister in the first place until it has healed. Make sure you do not put any further pressure on the area.”

While the blister is healing, you’ll want to try to avoid getting any further blisters by protecting the area.

Dr Lee added: “Wear properly fitted shoes or workman’s gloves. Keep the skin clean and dry.

“Applying a little talcum powder to areas under friction, in advance, can help.

“Keep out of direct sunlight, always apply plenty of SPF 30 sunscreen, and avoid the midday sun.”

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