Blisters: Symptoms, Types, Home Remedies, Risk Factor

Dr. Amit Guna

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Amit Guna

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

9 min read

Key Takeaways

  • Blisters are filled with blood, pus, or clear liquid
  • Causes of blisters include friction, contact, and more
  • Herpes simplex virus can also cause blisters on skin

Your skin has three layers – the epidermis, the dermis, and subcutaneous fat. A blister may form as a fluid-filled bubble under the epidermis, the outer layer of your skin. Blisters may be filled with blood, pus, or clear liquid depending on the causes of their formation. Blisters are also known as vesicles and bulla [1].  Usually, they occur on your hands and feet and can be itchy and painful. However, they can also form on any other part of your body [2].

The reasons for their formation can be heat, rubbing, or skin diseases. Blisters on skin usually heal on their own without any medication. Read on to know the causes of this disease and the treatment options you have. 

Are Blisters Serious? 

Medical practitioners refer to a raised skin area filled with fluid as a blister or vesicle. If you've ever spent an extended period in ill-fitting shoes, you're definitely familiar with blisters.

Blisters form when contact between your skin and the shoe causes the skin layers to separate and fill with fluid, which is a typical cause of blistering.

Blisters are frequently irritating, inconvenient, or painful. However, they usually don't indicate a serious condition and will go away on their own. Anytime you have unexplained skin blistering, you should seek medical attention to get a diagnosis.

Additional Read: Oral Psoriasis Symptoms

Causes of Blisters


Rubbing of your skin may cause friction blisters where clear fluids build up in the upper layer of your skin. Here are some usual causes of their formation.

  • Walking in new or ill-fitted shoes
  • Not wearing socks
  • Using shovels or other tools without gloves
  • Using a new sports racket 

Such activities cause these diseases on feet or blisters on palms. They may form on your toe, heel, or thumb.

Blisters types

Cold and Heat

Extreme cold or hot temperatures can hurt your skin and cause this disease. For instance, if you accidentally touch a hot stove burner or handle frozen foods, you may see multiple blisters form on your skin. Going out without gloves in the cold season can form blisters due to frostbite. Similarly, you may get sunburned from staying out in the heat for too long. Remember, frostbite requires medical attention and may cause symptoms like numb and prickly skin or loss of sensation. A fluid or blood-filled blister may also form in this case. 

Contact Dermatitis

Contact dermatitis occurs when you come in close contact with something you are allergic to [3]. For instance, rubbing against a plant may form some kinds of blisters. These appear anytime between hours to days after you touch an allergen. Some people may experience this reaction even to everyday objects like detergents, soaps, perfumes, and fabric. You may get rashes with visible borders and your skin may become red and itchy.

Herpes Simplex

The herpes simplex virus can cause fever this disease on lips, mouth, or genitals [4]. These sores contain fluid that carries the virus through a kiss, intercourse, or by sharing utensils. Although the symptoms are usually mild, they may include fever, fatigue, headache, body aches, decreased appetite, or swollen lymph nodes. Conditions like stress, menstruation, or exposure to the sun can lead the blisters to reoccur.


Stomatitis is a sore or inflammation that causes blisters in mouth or on lips [5]. It can be caused due to injury, infection, sensitivity, stress, or other conditions. There are two main types of stomatitis, herpes stomatitis and aphthous stomatitis. Herpes stomatitis is also known as a cold sore that causes symptoms like body aches, fever, and fluid-filled blisters on lips. Aphthous stomatitis, also called a canker sore, causes formation of blisters on the tender tissues of your mouth. It comes with symptoms like pain and difficulty in eating. 

Other types and causes of blisters include bug bites, fungal infections, impetigo, burns, allergic eczema, and virus infections like shingles and chickenpox.

Symptoms of Blisters

The symptoms of blisters depend on the underlying diseases or conditions. Some of the common symptoms include:

  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Pain
  • Fatigue
  • Burning sensation
  • Tingling sensation
  • Joint pain
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Loss of appetite
  • Flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, and aches

You need to seek medical care if you have blisters and experience serious symptoms such as:

  • High fever
  • Joint pain and swelling
  • Swallowing difficulty
  • Electrical injury
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals or extreme temperatures
  • Unconsciousness 
  • Respiratory or breathing difficulties
  • Sudden swelling of the face, lips, tongue or mouth
  • Redness, increased pain, pus, and warmth of affected area

Prevention Of Blisters

There are various ways to avoid getting blisters. Most need planning and prudence. Depending on the type of blister, prevention may be necessary:

For Friction Blisters: 

Frequent rubbing causes friction blisters. To stop them, here's what you can do:

  • Ensure that your shoes are comfortable and do not rub.
  • Before wearing new shoes for a long time, break them in.
  • Wear gloves to protect your hands if you want to perform a lot of physical labour.
  • Wear clothing that fits appropriately to avoid chafing, which can cause blisters on other areas of your body.

For Blood Blisters: 

These blisters form when something pinches a portion of your skin. They usually occur on the hands. It is more difficult to prevent them; however, you can follow these steps:

  • Use caution while utilizing equipment or items that can pinch.
  • For example, use gloves when working with equipment like pruners, powerful pliers or in other such situations.

For Heat Blisters: 

Heat blisters can occur due to a burn or when your skin becomes too heated when recovering from frostbite. To avoid them, you can try these steps:

  • Use sunscreen if you intend to be in the sun for a long time.
  • When handling hot goods or working near a fire, exercise extreme caution.
  • Dress for the weather to prevent frostbite. If you feel your skin is frostbitten, gradually warm your body temperature with lukewarm water.

Treatment Options For Blisters

  • A person does not always need to do anything to treat a blood blister. The blister will naturally heal and dry off.
  • To avoid subsequent infection, doctors frequently advise letting the blister cure alone and not disturbing it.
  • Blood blisters on the feet and toes may need further treatment to guarantee normal healing. In addition, a ruptured blister is vulnerable to infection.
  • Here are some general precautions you can take to avoid further infection:
  • Elevating the blister and putting ice on it
  • Wrap the blister loosely to reduce friction and avoid putting pressure on the blister by removing shoes or wearing open-toed footwear
  • Carefully cleansing a ruptured blister
  • Obtaining medical treatment when necessary

However, certain substances should not be used to treat blood blisters. People should avoid the following actions:

Wearing ill-fitting shoes, scraping away skin as it heals, as this may expose the wound to infection, and bursting the blister

Some individuals propose using natural remedies such as skin lotions and herbs to treat blood blisters. However, the effectiveness of these home cures has yet to be well explored or verified

It is generally advised that people avoid bursting blood blisters. Allowing it to recover naturally is the most secure approach to avoid issues like delayed healing and infection.

Blisters usually heal on their own. But you can make use of a bandage, moleskin padding, or tape to keep it clean and avoid breaking open. Do not pop a blister to prevent it from rubbing or friction. If it is big and causes extreme discomfort, your doctor may puncture it with a sterile needle. If a blister pops, wash the area with soap and water and apply antibiotic ointment. Use bandage to cover it when you are active. Consult your doctor immediately if your experience symptoms like fever, chills, or if your blister looks infected.

Additional Read: What is Skin Psoriasis

Process Of Diagnosis For Blisters

Following a physical examination, your doctor may establish a diagnosis. However, if you have numerous blisters or your doctor feels that an underlying ailment causes your blister, they may prescribe testing to make a diagnosis.

Tests may be performed depending on the type of blister and your other symptoms, but they may include the following:

  • Swabbing for infection
  • A skin biopsy
  • Blood testing
  • Your doctor may go over the tests with you and answer any questions you have

Risk Factors For Getting A Blood Blister

A blood blister can occur in almost any person. Preventing blood blisters entails taking proper care of one's health and physique and employing adequate protection when necessary.

To lessen the chance of acquiring a blood blister, people should do the following:

  • When working with tools or carrying big weights, use gloves.
  • Wear suitable footwear and keep your feet dry. 

Natural Remedies To Cure Blisters

People suffering from hand blisters might try the following natural remedies:

  • Coconut oil: Coconut oil includes lauric acid, a fatty acid that helps moisturise and minimise oedema in the skin. As a result, patients can use coconut oil for the blister, which may aid in wound healing
  • Aloe vera: Aloe vera’s healing properties reduce swelling and the heat that causes discomfort. You can use ointments or skincare products made from Aloe vera or directly use the gel from an aloe vera plant
  • Honey: Honey works well when it comes to skin-related issues. You can get immense relief applying honey as its anti-inflammable properties reduce heat and soothe the affected area
  • Calendula: Calendula, derived from marigold plants, includes antioxidants that may decrease swelling and increase the speed of skin healing. One systematic study found evidence that calendula extract can help wound healing
  • Petroleum Jelly: This reduces the pain caused by blisters, moisturises the area, and lessens dryness. The best time to apply petroleum jelly is when you go to bed
  • Green Tea: Besides having various other health benefits, green tea is also known for reducing swelling and pain resulting from blisters. Mix green tea with coconut oil and apply the mixture gently on the affected area 
  • Neem & Turmeric: A mixture of turmeric and neem can give you relief if blisters cause you pain. Their anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties are really helpful in curing blisters

It should be noted that calendula might induce contact dermatitis. Therefore, before using calendula to cure blisters for the first time, patients should test a small quantity on their skin. 

An important thing to remember that you can follow home remedies for fungal infections, burns or other causes of blisters. But if your blisters or skin diseases symptoms worsen, get medical help immediately. Consult your doctor if you get blisters in throat or blisters on tongue. To do this with ease, you can first book an online doctor consultation

on Bajaj Finserv Health. Talk to a dermatologist to get the best advice for blisters on skin. Then you can make a physical visit if required and get your skin back to normal.

Published on 22 Dec 2021Last updated on 12 Apr 2023

Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.

Dr. Amit Guna

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Amit Guna

, Bachelor in Physiotherapy (BPT) , MPT - Orthopedic Physiotherapy 3

Dr Amit Guna Is A Consultant Physiotherapist, Yoga Educator , Fitness Trainer, Health Psychologist. Based In Vadodara. He Has Excellent Communication And Patient Handling Skills In Neurological As Well As Orthopedic Cases.


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