KidsMD Health Topics


  • Overview

    A blister is a raised area containing blood or clear fluid that forms in a pocket under the top layer of skin.

    • Blisters commonly result from friction, such as when a child's shoe rubs against his foot.
    • They can also form as a reaction to other skin conditions, including sunburns and impetigo, a contagious infection of the skin.
    • Since the symptoms of a blister can resemble those of other medical conditions, you should consult your child's physician for a confirmed diagnosis.

    Children's Hospital Boston
    300 Longwood Avenue
    Boston MA 02115

     fax: 617-730-0505
  • In-Depth

    What is a blister?

    A blister is a raised area containing fluid under the top layer of skin. Blisters are usually circular in shape. The fluid that forms underneath the skin can be blood or serum, the clear liquid portion of the blood. These fluids sometimes collect in an area of damaged cells and form a blister.

    What causes a blister?

    Blisters can form as a reaction to trauma to the skin or certain skin diseases, including:

  • Tests

    The symptoms of a blister may resemble other skin conditions or medical problems. Always consult your child's physician if you think your child's blister may need medical attention.

  • A blister will usually heal on its own, but here are some general guidelines for treatment:

    • Calm your child and let him know that you can help.
    • Wash the area with soap and water.
    • Apply a cold or ice pack to reduce swelling and discomfort.
    • Keep the area clean and dry. Do not burst or "pop" the blister.
    • If the blister bursts, place an adhesive bandage or dressing on the area to keep it clean.
    • Observe the area for signs of infection such as increased warmth, swelling, redness, drainage or pain. If you notice any signs of infection, call your child's physician. Antibiotics may be needed.
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