SEP 24, 2016 7:14 AM PDT

When to Pop a Blister and When to Leave it Alone

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

If you've ever walked a distance in uncomfortable, too-tight shoes that pinched your feet, you've likely come away with some painful souvenirs in the form of blisters. But as tempting as it is to pop these fluid-filled bubbles, scientists say this may cause more harm than good.

Blisters form when skin surfaces have been rubbed repeatedly. The friction irritates the epidermis and causes the skin layers to separate. This split allows fluid to fill the cavity, leaving the telltale squishy and painful bump.

Most of the time, stopping the friction and leaving the blister well alone is the best remedy. Popping the blister could provide an open access to germs and other microbes into the body, which could easily lead to infection. Only in cases when the friction can't be paused do experts say to pop the blister. But while you can do this at home, the key to minimize infection is to keep the site sterile and the opening as small as possible. Watch the video to learn more!
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
JUN 26, 2020
Neuroscience
Artificial and Natural Neurons Communicate Using Dopamine
JUN 26, 2020
Artificial and Natural Neurons Communicate Using Dopamine
Researchers from Stanford University have shown that artificial neurons can communicate with biological neurons with dop ...
AUG 18, 2020
Space & Astronomy
First Visitor from Another Solar System Remains Unknown
AUG 18, 2020
First Visitor from Another Solar System Remains Unknown
An object hurtling through our solar system known as 'Oumuamua' is our first visitor from another solar sys ...
SEP 24, 2020
Health & Medicine
Extreme Isolation can Cause Physical Brain Changes
SEP 24, 2020
Extreme Isolation can Cause Physical Brain Changes
By this point in the year, you’ve either heard or uttered the phrase “quarantine brain.” While the act ...
OCT 03, 2020
Space & Astronomy
NASA Launches $23m Toilet to Space Station
OCT 03, 2020
NASA Launches $23m Toilet to Space Station
On late October 2nd, NASA launched a spacecraft carrying 4 tonnes of cargo, including scientific equipment, food hardwar ...
OCT 07, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Earth-Sized Rogue Planet Found Drifting Through Our Galaxy
OCT 07, 2020
Earth-Sized Rogue Planet Found Drifting Through Our Galaxy
A team of astronomers has found a lone planet the size of Earth drifting through the Milky Way. Known as a ‘rogue ...
OCT 29, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Water Found on Moon Enough to Sustain a Lunar Base
OCT 29, 2020
Water Found on Moon Enough to Sustain a Lunar Base
For the first time, scientists have found water on the moon's sunlit surface. Coupled with other evidence of water i ...
Loading Comments...