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  5. How To Treat Blisters On Your Skin?

Are you unsure of how to treat blisters on your skin? Blisters are a painful affair and may end up causing further skin damage if accidentally ruptured.

The ancient science of Ayurveda recommends the use of natural herbs, which don't just treat the condition superficially. Ayurveda delves deep to analyse the root cause of the problem and aims for a holistic solution.

Read on to know the different types of blisters and the best Ayurvedic and home remedies for it.

Our Ayurvedic Doctor Speaks

“Causes of blisters can be many. A Vrana - breach in skin patency involves all the three doshas.”

- Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor, Vedix

What Are Blisters?

Blisters [1] on your skin are caused when fluid accumulates under your uppermost skin layer, the epidermis. Heat, friction or intense pressure are the most common causes that lead to the formation of these fluid-filled vesicles. The fluid, (serum/ blood) that leaks from the surrounding tissues as a result of the damage, plays a special role in protecting the underlying layers. A blister may get infected and fill up with pus or cause further skin damage if popped.

“Causes of blisters can be many. A Vrana - breach in skin patency involves all the three doshas. Vata is responsible for the pain (dolor) , kapha for swelling (tumor), and pitta causes redness and increased temperature (rubor and calor),” says Dr. Zeel Gandhi.

Small blisters are medically termed as vesicles whereas big blisters that are more than 2cms in size are called bullae.

What Causes Small Water Blisters On Skin?

1. Friction

Man with a blister on his heel

Constant wear and tear can cause friction [2] blisters to appear on your skin. Most people get these blisters from wearing shoes that are too tight or rub against one particular area of the skin. Friction blisters can also appear on your hands from operating heavy machinery or using equipment like shovels.

Though blisters from friction often develop on the hands and feet, other body parts may also be affected such as in the case of bed sores.

2. Heat

Skin damage from burns also causes blisters. During a burn, your skin cells are destroyed. As part of the healing process, fluid accumulates under the burnt area to cushion the layers underneath. White blood cells arrive at the site of injury and new skin cells begin to form to repair the damage. Blistering can also occur from severe sunburns. Such blisters may appear long hours after the skin has been exposed to the sun.

3. Cold

Your skin cells require an optimum temperature of 36C to 37C for healthy growth. It can suffer serious damage from frostbite [3] if exposed to temperatures lower than -0.55C. Blisters are common symptoms that occur when your skin is rewarmed after a frostbite. They may appear a day or two after the skin damage.

4. Injury From Pressure

Blood blisters are a result of skin injury from extreme pressure such as a pinch. In this case, a capillary is damaged leading to accumulation of blood between the epidermis and the dermis forming a blood blister.

5. Infections

lips affected by herpes

Certain infections caused by viruses such as the herpes simplex virus or the staph bacteria in case of impetigo can lead to blisters on the skin. Other conditions include chicken pox, coxsackievirus and shingles.

6. Chemical Exposure

Blistering is one of the symptoms of allergic contact dermatitis [4]. This condition occurs when your skin is exposed to an irritant such as chemicals in cleansing products, skin care substances, perfumes, essential oils, certain metals, rubber etc. The immune system perceives the allergen as a threat and launches an attack causing blisters, skin peeling, redness and inflammation.

7. Medication

Medications such as nalidixic acid, used for treating urinary tract infections, or furosemide, used to treat high blood pressure can cause small blisters on your skin. Certain antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin, doxycycline, antifungals such as voriconazole, antihistamines like cetirizine and psoralens, all make your skin more sensitive to the sun [5] thus increasing chances of blistering from sunburn.

8. Autoimmune Diseases

Autoimmune blistering diseases [6] are conditions where the immune system attacks proteins which keep the layers of your skin together. In conditions like pemphigus and pemphigoid, blister-like lesions appear on parts of the skin or on the mucous membranes.

Signs And Symptoms Of Blisters

  • Fluid filled vesicle
  • Lesion may contain serum or blood
  • Pain/ tenderness
  • Itch
  • Burning sensation
  • Redness
  • Lesion oozing fluid or pus (if infected)

Vedix Tip: If your blister has ruptured, mix honey and ghee in equal parts and apply on the wound for quick healing.

How Do You Treat Small Blisters On Skin?

Woman applying essential oil on blisters

A. Home Remedies

1. Cucumber Paste

Cucumber keeps the area of the blister free from pain and itch. Moreover, silica present in cucumber ensures quick skin repair.

How To Use Cucumber Paste

  • Blend a cucumber and apply the paste on the blister.
  • Leave it on for 30 minutes to 1 hour and wash off with cool water.

2. Gingelly Oil

According to recent research, gingelly oil extracted from sesame seeds is highly effective for treating burn wounds and blisters.

How To Use Gingelly Oil

  • Apply the oil on the blister and wash off after half an hour. Gingelly oil is a non-irritant and can be kept on the wound for longer hours too.

3. Green Tea/ Black Tea

Green or black tea contains polyphenolic flavonoids that are natural anti-inflammatory compounds. Tea is also an astringent, and the presence of tannins help to dry the blister.

How To Use

  • Brew black/ green tea, cool and apply it on the blister using a cotton pad.
  • You can also use tea bags instead.

4. Toothpaste

Toothpaste is an easily available blister prevention hack popular amongst most Indian women. Toothpaste’s cooling and astringent nature can prevent the formation of blisters on minor burns or scalds that often occur in the kitchen. It also helps relieve immediate burning sensation and pain.

How To Use Toothpaste

  • Wash the burn and immediately apply a generous amount of toothpaste over it.
  • Leave it on for half an hour and wash off. Apply aloe vera or a skin healing ointment over the wound.

5. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil has antimicrobial and astringent properties that prevent the blister from getting infected and help it to heal faster.

How to Use Tea Tree Oil

  • Apply diluted tea tree oil on the blister and wash off after 20 to 30 minutes.

B. Natural Methods

1. Cool Rinse And Cold Compress

Cold water rinses keep the area of the blister clean and prevent skin irritation, burning sensation and inflammation. Ice bag compresses also help reduce inflammation, pain and tenderness around the blister.

2. Rose Water

Rose water being anti-inflammatory and skin soothing in nature, prevents swelling and aids the skin repair process.

3. Allantoin Spray

Allantoin is a naturally derived compound used to treat minor injuries and burns. Treating your blister with allantoin spray can soothe the injury and foster skin healing and tissue growth.

C. Ayurvedic Methods

“Ayurveda employs 7 procedures to heal a wound. First is cleaning, detoxifying the area. This is followed by rinsing and application of a medicinal paste. The paste helps the blisters to settle. If big, they are drained and stitched. If they do not involve deeper tissues and are small in size, they are left to regress on their own, with the help of herbs and internal medicine," says Dr. Zeel.

"A special group of herbs called ropan - aushadhi are used to restore normalcy. The wound is carefully tended, until the skin colour normalizes and body hair begins to grow again on the wounded area,” she adds.

1. Clean With Ghritkumari

Ghritkumari or aloe vera’s antibacterial and cooling properties help cleanse the wound and dry the blister.

How To Use

  • Apply fresh aloe vera gel on the blister.
  • Aloe is safe on skin and can be left on the wound for long hours.

2. Guduchi, Rakta Chandanam, Ghee Lepa

While guduchi enhances tissue repair, rakta chandanam or red sandalwood prevents skin irritation. Ghee forms a protective layer over the wound and prevents it from getting infected.

How To Use

  • Prepare a paste by mixing all the ingredients together.
  • Apply on the blister and wash off after half an hour.

3. Jamun Leaves, Honey, Linseed Oil Lepa

Jamun leaves have amazing wound healing properties. Due to its 'Ropana' (healing) and 'Tridoshaghna' (balances all 3 doshas) properties, honey is an ideal remedy for treating blisters. Linseed oil is often applied on wounds and burns to shorten the healing time.

How To Use

  • Make a paste by blending jamun leaves, honey and linseed oil.
  • Apply this lepa on the blister regularly.
  • Wash off after 30 minutes.

4. Lodhra, Manjistha, Karpooram, Ghee

The above mentioned herbs are known for their skin restoration abilities. Applying this lepa regularly on the blisters can ensure quick healing, new skin regeneration and prevent skin discoloration.

How To Use

  • Mix lodhra and manjistha powders.
  • Warm ghee and add 1 karpooram tablet to it. You can also use organic white karpooram oil.
  • Mix all ingredients together to make a paste and apply on the injured area. Wash off after half an hour.

D. Medical Treatments

woman's heel with blister plaster on

1. Petroleum Jelly

Petroleum jelly helps to protect the blister and the skin around it. Even if the blister ruptures, petroleum can act like a protective barrier against infections.

2. Hydrocolloid Blister Plasters

These are specially designed to drain and heal blisters. The plaster gives protection, prevents dirt and infection chances as well.

3. Antiviral Or Antibacterial Creams

To treat blisters occurring from bacterial or viral infections, your dermatologist may prescribe antibacterial or antiviral ointments.

What Are The Best Tips For Blister Prevention?

1. Cover your skin and wear sunscreen to prevent blisters from sunburn.

2. Wear comfortable shoes that don’t rub against your skin. Wear thick socks that protect your feet from friction blisters.

3. While using tools and machinery, use appropriate protective gear to prevent blisters on your hands.

4. In case of burns, wash the area and apply a burn ointment that allows the wound to heal quickly.

When Should You See A Doctor About Blisters?

It is advisable to seek medical help regarding your blister if the lesion persists even after treating it with the remedies mentioned in this article. Other occasions when you should see a doctor about your blister are:

  • If the blister is infected.
  • If your blister keeps recurring.
  • If the cause of the blister is unknown.
  • If the blister appears in sensitive areas like your eyelids, mucous membranes and genitals.

Frequently Asked Questions About Blisters

1. What Do The Start Of Blisters Look Like?

A blister may look like a small bubble filled with fluid. They may appear a while after the skin injury and gradually increase in number or size.

2. Are There Different Types Of Blisters?

A blister can be classified into two types based on the fluid that accumulates in it. It is either filled with serum or with blood. Other classifications group blisters into 3 types - blood, friction and heat.

3. Do Blisters Go Away On Their Own?

Blisters occurring from friction, pressure and burns usually heal on their own with little treatment. However, those that appear as a result of autoimmune diseases or allergies, may take longer to heal or reoccur if the condition persists.

4. How Long Does It Take For Blisters To Heal?

Your blisters are likely to heal within a week or two as long as the cause of the blister is resolved or avoided.

The Last Word

Blisters are often harmless and are formed to protect the skin from further injuries. There may be mild pain and skin irritation experienced due to the injury. However, rather than superficially dealing with the blister, it is advisable to find out the cause behind it.

If your blisters are caused due to certain skin or medical conditions, visit your Ayurvedic doctor for a complete analysis of your Prakriti (body constitution). This will help you understand your condition better and opt for a holistic treatment that prevents blisters from recurring.

Know Your Dosha Now

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