Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
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New Brunswick, NJ 08903-2681
A blister is a fluid-filled bump on the skin.
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Blisters have many different causes. These may include:
Factors that may increase your chance of blisters include:
Blisters may cause:
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Blisters may be diagnosed on appearance. The cause can be determined by the activity you were doing when the blisters appeared.
A blister will often heal without treatment. You may need treatment for a condition that is causing the blisters.
Some general tips for treatment include:
If the blister is closed, gently wash the area with soap and water. Apply a bandage to protect it.
If the blister is open, gently wash the area, apply an antibiotic ointment, and then cover it with a sterile dressing or bandage.
A blister usually heals by itself. See your doctor if:
To help reduce your chance of a blister:
American Academy of Dermatology
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Canadian Dermatology Association
Blistering skin conditions. DermNet New Zealand website. Available at: https://www.dermnetnz.org/topics/blistering-skin-conditions. Updated September 2015. Accessed August 17, 2017.
Blisters. Better Health Channel website. Available at: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/blisters. Updated April 2016. Accessed August 17, 2017.
Blisters—causes. NHS Choices website. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Blisters/Pages/Causes.aspx. Updated March 23, 2015. Accessed August 17, 2017.
Blisters, calluses, and corns. Kids Health—Nemours Foundation website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/en/kids/blisters.html. Updated February 2015. Accessed August 17, 2017.
Last reviewed September 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Michael Woods, MD, FAAP Last Updated: 9/3/2014