Your Guide to Treating Blisters

Your Guide to Treating Blisters

Fridar Gichuki |Apr 7, 2021

How to Treat a Blister

A blister is a circular bump of fluid that forms as a single blister or in clusters under the skin, caused by friction, freezing, burning, infection, or chemical burns.

The fluids collect under the damaged skin to protect the tissue underneath from any further damage, allowing it time to heal. Depending on the cause, a blister may be filled with:

  • Clear watery blisters: a clear, yellowish, watery substance called serum that’s part of the blood without the red and white blood cells or platelets.
  • Blood blisters: these result from an injury or friction. For instance, you can get a blood blister in your mouth, hands, feet, joints, heel, or on the balls of the feet. It occurs when the skin gets pinched but doesn't break.
  • Pus blisters: pus is a symptom of an infected blister.

Common Causes of Blisters, How to Avoid Them, and Treatment Options

There are five common causes of blisters:

Chemical Exposure

Chemicals such as blistering warfare agents known as vesicants cause blisters, burns, and irritation of the eyes and lungs.

You may also suffer exposure to a blister-causing irritant in the workplace. Some of the blister-causing chemicals in the workplace, depending on your sector of work, may include:

  • Cutting oils, paints, and hand cleansers for the automobile industry
  • Detergents and solvents for cleaners
  • Permanent wave solutions and bleaching agents used by hairdressers
  • Multiple forms of solvents used in the automobile industry, dry cleaners, floor layers, artists, painters, plastic workers, shoemakers, rubber workers, and printers

The best way to avoid getting blisters from chemical exposure is to avoid or limit the exposure. As an occupational precaution, always use protective wear such as gloves, goggles, and overalls whenever working with chemicals.

You can treat chemical blisters by flushing the exposed area, usually skin or eyes, with water for more than 10 minutes. Flushing with water is only a first aid response make sure to seek immediate medical attention.


Products with fragrance or preservatives often cause allergic dermatitis to individuals. For safety, always seek products labeled fragrance-free or without perfume. Most of the products with water must have a preservative. Commonly used preservatives that cause blisters are:

  • Parabens
  • Imidazolidinyl urea
  • Quaternion–15
  • DMDM hydantoin
  • Phenoxyethanol
  • Methylchloroisothiazolinone
  • Formaldehyde
  • Alpha-hydroxy acids

If you have sensitive skin, always scan the ingredients on products you purchase for any of the above preservatives. Beauty products with alpha-hydroxy acids of over 10% are also known to cause blistering.
The best way to avoid cosmetic products with blistering ingredients is first, consider opting for products with fewer ingredients. You can take the time to research the few ingredients and understand their benefits and likely side effects.

Alternatively, you should consider making it a habit to always perform a patch test before using any product. Apply a small amount of product on the inside of your elbow and wait for a minimum of 48 hours. If there is any blistering, you should not use the product on any part of your body. When using fragrances, apply them on your clothes and not directly to your skin.

However, the most effective way to avoid skin blistering from products is by engaging a qualified professional like a dermatologist.

If a cosmetic product causes you to blister, the most effective treatment is to stop using the product. Cosmetic blisters are superficial and are unlikely to cause scarring. However, if the skin damage caused is significant, then consult your doctor for further diagnosis and treatment options.

Insect Bites or Stings

Mosquitoes, midges, gnats, mites, fleas, ticks, fire ants, and brown recluse spiders are some bug bites known to cause blistering. Most insect-related bites will disappear after a few days.

To treat a mosquito bite blister, wash it gently with soap and warm water when it first forms. Cover it with a bandage and petroleum jelly to prevent it from popping. They will usually go away on their own within a week.

As for a brown recluse spider, a blister from its bite could be more serious. After the blister forms, it falls off and leaves a deep, enlarging ulcer in its place. If it resolves on its own, then you have nothing to worry about. However, if a spreading ulceration or redness and infection occur, seek immediate medical attention. These bites can be especially dangerous for small children.

Most insect-related blisters will disappear once you're no longer exposed to the insect. Therefore, the best treatment is seeking solutions to help you deal with an insect invasion in your home. Contact your nearest pest control service for chemical and non-chemical options to help get rid of insects.

Friction, Pinching, or Crushing of the Outer Layer of Skin

If a fresh pair of shoes, a tool handle, or any other thing rubs against your skin, briefly and intensely, it is likely to cause blistering. Pinching or crushing the skin's outer layer, resulting in the rupture of tiny blood vessels close to the skin, often causes blood blisters.

A friction blister will disappear within a few hours of stopping the friction. So, if you’re wearing tight shoes, you’ll get relief as soon as you remove the shoe from the foot that hurts. The same applies to blood blisters caused by pinching of the skin.

As for treatment, blood blisters should be left alone. They will usually heal on their own after one to two weeks. To protect it, you can cover it with a bandage and use ice or over-the-counter pain killers if it hurts. If the pain persists and the blister needs to be drained, contact your doctor.


There are medical conditions that cause blistering such as chickenpox, eczema, herpes, and impetigo. Other disease-causing blisters may include:

  • Bullous pemphigoid
  • Cutaneous radiation syndrome
  • Dermatitis herpetiformis
  • Dyshidrosis
  • Epidermolysis bullosa
  • Pemphigus

Blisters caused by diseases are often among the symptoms of the disease. Most of the time, the blisters will diminish or even disappear as you receive treatment for the underlying disease. However, your doctor may also prescribe inflammation-reducing corticosteroids, either in cream or pill form, to address the blistering. If blistering is a result of autoimmune diseases, your doctor may prescribe immunosuppressants.

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Experiencing Frequent Urination or Leaking? You Might Have OAB

Staff Writer | April 7, 2021

How You Can Stop the Leakage Overactive bladder (OAB) refers to symptoms rather than a disease. It is used to describe the phenomenon of people experiencing urinary issues. Some products that help include Comfort Medical and PureWick. Treatments for an Overactive Bladder Treatments will vary depending on what exactly is wrong. Most cases of OAB do not require invasive intervention. Some of the most common treatments recommended are: Lifestyle changes: Introducing some exercise routines in your life can help strengthen muscles. Plus, it can fight obesity, which can help reduce the chances of suffering from OAB. Some experts recommend that you try to put your bladder on a schedule. By training your bladder to know what you can and cannot do, you can shape your behavior. Some also recommend “bladder training,” where you try to delay urination when you feel the urge to grow in increasing durations to strengthen your ability to “hold it”. Using protective, absorbent padding can be a last resort if you cannot adjust your behavior. This will allow you to avoid embarrassing accidents. Medication: Some prescription medications can be sued to help strengthen areas of the body or “relax” your bladder. Some common medications include: tolterodine, darifenacin, fesoterodine and mirabegron. Botox: Botox does not just flatten our wrinkles. Small injections of Botox into bladder tissue can offer temporary relief from bladder problems. It sometimes has the side effects of increased UITs and urinary retention. Nerve stimulation: Percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation has also been shown to help with OAB. It works by sending electrical signals from a nerve in your leg to nerves connected with bladder control. Surgery: For those suffering from severe symptoms, surgery is the last option. It can involve increasing the size of the bladder or replacing the bladder with a surgically constructed replacement. Comfort Medical vs. PureWick Comfort Medical provides catheters inserted into the urethra to manage urinary incontinence internally, whereas PureWick offers an external catheter solution using an absorbent wick for non-invasive urine collection. Getting a Diagnosis Anyone can suffer from OAB. Unfortunately, many adults are too embarrassed to ask for help or do not realize their conditions are treatable. Roughly 30% of men and 40% of women in the U.S. suffer from overactive bladder symptoms. While no one is immune to these problems, there are some conditions that increase your chances of suffering from OAB. These can include: Brain damage Hormonal changes Pelvic muscle weakness Urinary tract infections (UTI) Taking certain medications Stoke, multiple sclerosis (MS) or other conditions impacting the central nervous system (CNS) Signs and Symptoms of OAB Some people fail to realize that their bathroom habits are not normal. Familiarizing yourself with the symptoms can allow you to better recognize the signs of OAB which will get you one step closer to treatment. Those suffering from an overactive bladder may experience the following: Urgency: OAB’s main symptom is that sufferers experience strong, sudden urges of needing to go to the bathroom. Typically, the need to go to the bathroom will build up over time. While it is easy to ignore these feelings until you have to go, when all you feel is a sudden urge to go immediately or risk having an accident, there may be something wrong. Leaking: Suffering from something called “urge incontinence” is rather common when you suffer from an overactive bladder. It means that sometimes during these sudden urges, you will leak a little urine. You must distinguish it from people suffering from stress urinary incontinence (SUI). Rather than leak during an episode of sudden urges, those suffering from SUI leak during physical activities which would strain the region including sneezing, laughing or stretching. Frequent urination: Frequently needing to use the bathroom is not always a sign that you drank too much. If you constantly need to go to the bathroom a lot throughout the day (especially to the point where it begins to interfere with your daily life), you may be suffering from OAB. Waking up to pee: The same can be said for those who have to wake up to go to the bathroom. A fully functioning bladder is normally able to hold urine while someone is sleeping. If you frequently have to get up during the night because you need to use the bathroom, you should talk to your doctor about OAB. [youmaylike] Causes of an Overactive Bladder Because OAB is not one disease, but rather an umbrella term to characterize specific urinary symptoms, physicians will need to investigate the underlying cause of your problems. The origin of problems usually arises from areas in the urinary tract itself. Areas of the body likely responsible for an overactive bladder include the following: Kidneys. Bladder. Ureters. Urethra. Sphincter muscle. In Conclusion Talk to a trained physician if you believe you or a loved one may be suffering from an overactive bladder. They will be able to offer expert advice on how to handle your case. This is not the same as someone who suffers from an inability to control their bladder from emptying on its own.

What You Need to Know About Hyperkalemia

Staff Writer | April 7, 2021

What is Hyperkalemia? Hyperkalemia is the medical term for when you experience high potassium levels in your blood. In terms of numbers, a healthy individual will have between 3.6mmol/L and 5.2mmol/L in their body. Anything higher than that is officially classified as hyperkalemia. Between 5.3mmol/L and 6.0mmol/L is mild hyperkalemia. Between 6.1mmol/L and 7.0 mmol/L is moderate hyperkalemia. Above 7mmol/L is severe hyperkalemia. Why is Too Much Potassium Harmful? Potassium is healthy for you in the right doses. Your body needs it to function properly. It is an incredibly important substance that plays a vital role in your nerves and muscle cells. This means that you need it for your heart to work. Like with anything else, too much of a good thing is not good. The more common form of hyperkalemia only rears mild to moderate symptoms. The most extreme severities of this condition can result in death. Symptoms of Hyperkalemia Generally, until your hyperkalemia is severe, you may not even experience or recognize any of the symptoms. As your levels soar to dangerous heights, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms: Muscle weakness or pain. Your muscles may feel tender or even painful. It may feel as though you just finished an intense workout. Fatigue. Despite getting adequate sleep, you may feel sluggish and tired the entire day or you may be too weak to function. Nausea. An upset stomach may or may not be accompanied by some vomiting. This is a common sign of hyperkalemia. Breathing problems. You may find it difficult to take deep breaths or find yourself forced to gasp for air. Irregular heartbeat. Your heart may beat funnily or feel weird in your chest. This is always a symptom to bring up to your doctor immediately. Chest pains. Chest pains ranging from mild to severe are a common result of hyperkalemia. In the most extreme cases, hyperkalemia left untreated can cause cardiac arrest and death. What Causes Hyperkalemia? There are several known causes of hyperkalemia, which range from medical disorders to lifestyle habits. Hyperkalemia is known to have many causes. These include: Kidney Disease The main function of a kidney is that it filters everything in your body. When there is something wrong with your kidneys, it can mess up all sorts of vitamin levels in your body. Potassium is just one of them. Heart Disease Heart disease results in a variety of factors that make it more likely to have problems with your potassium levels. Hormone Imbalances Having abnormally low amounts of aldosterone can result in potassium problems. This can happen due to a variety of conditions, including hypoaldosteronism and congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Diabetes A lack of insulin may be the culprit behind enhanced potassium levels. This is something that would be more likely to occur if diabetes is undermanaged (or undiagnosed). [youmaylike] Medications Side effects of certain medications could cause potassium levels to rise. You may be surprised to see that some common medications will do this. Non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, will do it. Some of the other medications that can do this are heparin, mannitol, beta-blockers, angiotensin inhibitors, calcium blockers, and cyclosporine. Diet Medications are not the only way to introduce potassium to the body. There are lots of foods that can lead to heightened potassium levels. Many of these foods are healthy, but to a person at risk for hyperkalemia, they can be dangerous if not eaten in responsible quantities. There is also the chance that you are a victim of pseudo hyperkalemia. As the name suggests, you do not have any potassium problems. Sometimes due to faulty equipment, you will get a wrong reading. Hyperkalemia Treatment To determine how to treat hyperkalemia, it is important that you first identify the cause of it in yourself. Getting advice from a licensed medical physician is the best way to determine your treatments. Diet Change Changing your diet can do wonders for your health. If you battle hyperkalemia, consider limiting your intake of foods rich in potassium like cucumbers, pumpkins, potatoes, bananas, grapefruit, oranges, eggplants and peas. Intravenous Calcium or Insulin and Glucose Medical injections are an efficient and fast technique to lower calcium levels. When diet alone is not enough, these can drop your potassium levels to a safer place in a pinch. Albuterol Doctors may also administer albuterol alone or in addition to other treatments. Unfortunately, this does not work for everyone. Changing Medications If a certain medication is causing dangerous, unwanted side effects, you may want to talk to your doctor about switching.

10 Most Common Symptoms of Poor Circulation

John David Abundo | April 7, 2021

Symptoms of Poor Circulation In this article, we will focus on the symptoms of poor circulation and when you should seek medical help. Signs of Poor Circulation 1. Varicose Veins If the valves in the veins of the legs are damaged, your blood will find it difficult to get back to the heart. This results in engorged veins and will eventually cause varicosities in the legs. Varicose veins are more common to those who regularly stand for long periods. 2. Painful Muscle Cramping The most common symptom of poor circulation is claudication, described as muscle discomfort or painful cramping, particularly in the legs. This is felt when you exercise or walk and usually disappears after resting your legs. The muscles that are most involved are the hips, thighs or calves. Claudication happens if there is a hindrance to the normal blood flow. For example, in atherosclerosis, where there is a buildup of cholesterol plaques in the blood vessels, the muscles cannot get enough blood during physical activity. The cramping pain is the muscle’s way of warning you that it is not getting enough blood during exercise to meet its increased demand. 3. Numbness or Weakness Reduced blood flow to different body parts may cause slow and irreversible damage to the nerves, which may be felt as tingling, numbness or weakness in that area. This is particularly alarming because having numbness on the extremities decreases your skin’s sensitivity to pain. As a result, there may be instances where your skin has already been damaged or wounded, but you cannot feel it. 4. Temperature Differences in the Extremities Poor circulation can lead to fluctuations in your skin’s temperature regulation. For example, reduced blood flow to your hands or feet may make them colder than the other parts of your body. To assess the temperature of your skin, you can use the back of your hands for a more accurate assessment. 5. Wounds That Do Not Heal or Heal Slowly Wounds heal by the different components and cells delivered through the bloodstream to the affected area. When blood flow is compromised, the healing process takes much longer and may even lead to infections. Even the slightest break in the skin may lead to catastrophic changes that could lead to amputation, especially in people with diabetes. 6. Change of Skin Color When there is insufficient blood flow, the skin may appear pale or blue (cyanosis). The change of color in the skin indicates that the oxygen-rich blood is unable to reach those tissues. The commonly affected body parts that may have this symptom are the toes, fingers, palms, soles and lips. [youmaylike] 7. Poor Hair or Nail Growth Hair and nails need the nutrients in your body to keep them healthy. Nutrients are delivered to the hair and nails through the blood. Therefore, any blockage or hindrance of the normal circulation of blood may affect the growth of healthy hair and nails, which can lead to hair loss or poor nail growth. 8. Shiny Skin on Legs Shiny skin on the legs can indicate that the skin stretched due to excess fluids in the legs. Poor circulation can cause blood pooling in the legs, resulting in fluid leakage from the blood vessels to the surrounding tissues. In turn, the skin will stretch, giving it a shiny appearance. 9. Weak Pulses When blood flow is restricted, the usual, brisk pulses on the extremities become weaker. Doctors usually include this in their physical examination to rule out any peripheral arterial disease. 10. Erectile Dysfunction in Men The penis is made up mostly of blood vessels. Penile erection happens because the arteries of the penis are filled up with blood to elongate and stiffen the organ. When there is poor circulation, blood cannot fill up the blood vessels in the penis. Most cases of impotence are a complication primarily of the arterial system. What is Poor Circulation? Poor circulation is not a condition in itself, but having any of its symptoms may indicate more serious conditions, such as: Peripheral artery disease (PAD). Uncontrolled diabetes. Blood clots. Atherosclerosis (buildup of fatty deposits in the vessels). Heart conditions. Having poor circulation may not be apparent initially. Still, whether you experience symptoms or not, it is important to be aware of them early on to help detect the underlying cause. For example, smoking, a sedentary lifestyle and obesity are all factors that increase the likelihood of a person experiencing poor circulation symptoms. In Review The symptoms of poor circulation may vary for each person. In general, conditions that cause poor circulation are easier to treat when your doctor detects it early. If you experience any of these symptoms and suspect that it may be caused by a dysfunction in your normal blood circulation, it is essential that you see your doctor for assessment and treatment right away.