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
MAR 24, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAR 24, 2020
How Much Do You Know About the Solar System?
Our solar system is only one out of hundreds of stellar systems residing in the Milky Way galaxy. It’s comprised o ...
MAR 30, 2020
Plants & Animals
MAR 30, 2020
Packs of Humboldt Squid Rise From the Deep to Feed
Deep-sea dwellers are among some of the most intriguing marine creatures in the world, partly because it isn’t ver ...
MAR 31, 2020
Plants & Animals
MAR 31, 2020
This Spider Goes Fishing for Food
Most spiders are land animals, but the fishing spider tends to spend most of its time dwelling on watery surfaces. Fishi ...
APR 13, 2020
Space & Astronomy
APR 13, 2020
Here's Why Humans Need Spacesuits When Exploring Other Earth-Like Worlds
At one point, the idea of colonizing another planet was merely science fiction. But as technology evolves and space agen ...
APR 20, 2020
Space & Astronomy
APR 20, 2020
Here's How the ESA's CHEOPS Mission Works
Exoplanetary detections have exploded exponentially since the first discovery of one by Swedish astronomers in 1995. The ...
APR 28, 2020
Plants & Animals
APR 28, 2020
Young Orangutans Must Learn a Lot Before Adulthood
Orangutans watch over their children for longer periods than any other primate besides humans. On average, most organs t ...
Loading Comments...