Blood blisters develop when injury is sustained to the skin. The injury leads to the separation of upper skin layers. Blood from damaged blood vessels and blister fluid fill the vacuum created and form a bubble-like tight red bump.
The blisters can develop on any part of the body. The more delicate the skin is, the more it is likely to develop blood blisters. However, most cases are reported on hands, fingers, feet and mouth. Vaginal blood blisters can also occur.
You can have a blood blister on the finger, mostly on the sides or tip or even under the skin on the fingernail. While it is not a fatal condition, it can be painful to the touch. If popped or broken, infections can develop.
Common causes of a blood blister on finger
Most cases of blood blisters on a finger are due to physical injuries or traumas. This mostly occurs during activities that exert friction or pressure on the finger. Trauma can also be due to accidental burns.
A flat and sometimes raised blood blister under the skin on the finger during winter is likely to have been caused by frostbite. Frostbite causes expansion of blood which makes blood vessels burst under the pressure. Blisters appear about 48 hours after.
Irritant and allergens
Chemicals, acids and alkalines can irritate the skin to a point of causing blood blisters. The same can be effected by extreme weather conditions. Contact with allergens such as some foods and medications can also cause such blisters.
Diseases and health conditions
A number of health conditions and diseases cause blood blisters on the fingers as one of the symptoms. Some examples include:
- Impetigo – causes itchy blisters which spread acutely. Lymph nodes may swell
- Viruses – herpes simplex virus and chicken pox viruses are good examples. Herpes will cause additional symptoms such as blood blister on gums above tooth while chicken pox will cause shingles.
- Eczema and psoriasis – these two cause itchy red patches of irritated skin, on which fluid-filled bumps form. They are potential blood blister on the hand causes.
- Fungi – Tinea fungal infections cause itchy and burning blisters
Low platelets count
Platelets prevent from excessive blood loss during injuries. In their deficiency, blood blisters will appear on fingers and mouth.
A blood blister under the fingernail can be caused by deficiency of vitamins C and B12. They occur due to internal bleeding under the skin, a sign of scurvy.
Over exposure to direct sunlight causes skin pigment cells to accumulate in some areas. When accompanied by blisters, the blisters can turn red or purplish.
How to treat blood blister on finger
Whether on or under the skin, a blood blister will not develop into a fatal condition. This is as long as it is not a symptom of a health condition or disease. Below are some tips on how to treat such a blister:
Place ice on it
You can wrap some ice cubes in a plastic bag, cover the bag with a piece of cloth and place on the blister for about 10 minutes. This procedure helps reduce expansion of blood vessels. It is very effective also in reducing pain, especially just after the blister has developed. A cold spoon can be used in place of ice cubes. This treatment option is very helpful when treating blisters on sensitive areas such as a blood blister inside the cheek.
Keep it protected
The first thing you want to do is protect the blister from any source of trauma. This mostly applies to the initial conditions under which the blister developed. The best approach is to apply a bandage over the blister. When applying the bandage, ensure it is loose enough.
Allow it to breath
Exposure to air allows the blister to dry out quicker. It can also help reduce bacteria accumulation on the blister, which can lead to infection.
Consider pain medications
If the blister is very painful, pain medications can help. Sometimes, a blister on the finger can tear before it dries up. Much pain is likely to be endured in such cases.
Get medical treatment
Infected blisters should be treated with antibiotics. Your doctor can prescribe the best antibiotics depending on the severity of the infection. You should also seek medical attention if a blister on finger is due to health conditions and diseases.
Try home remedies
Home remedies are a great option when it comes to how to treat a blister on the finger. There are a number of them that can prove effective.
Know when to pop it
It is in most cases not advisable to pop a blood blister. It for one can be more painful. It also exposes the blister to infectious microbial organisms as well as increasing the recovery period needed. However, it may come to a point that the blister keeps growing and is showing signs of tearing anyway. In that case, popping it will be the best approach if you know what to do. The most important thing is to ensure that the area and equipment you are using are disinfected accordingly. After draining it, dress with a bandage and remember to replace it daily.
How long does a blister under fingernail take to heal?
A blood blister under the fingernail is mostly caused by sudden pressure exerted on the fingernail. It can for example happen after trapping your hand under a blunt heavy object or in the door. As to how long it takes to heal, it depends on a number of factors such as how much blood was trapped.
If left alone, a blood blister under the fingernail will darken and corrupt the affected finger nail. In most cases, the fingernail will end up falling off. Rather than have the fingernail get corrupted to that extent, you can easily drain the trapped blood even at home.
To drain a blood blister under the fingernail, you will need a needle, a disinfectant and hydrogen peroxide. Start by thoroughly cleaning the fingernail with medicated soap. From there, disinfect the needle and drill a hole on the blood clotted area. The blood will in most cases come out on its own. You can squeeze a bit to get it all out. Once done, clean the fingernail, apply hydrogen peroxide and dress it with a bandage. The peroxide will keep blood from clotting. Make sure to replace the bandage on daily basis.
This procedure is best done in a clinic if you don’t have the right equipment. It is also used to get rid of blood blister on the toenail.
How to treat blister on and under skin on finger with home remedies
The following home remedies can be used for blood blisters on the finger, under the skin on the finger or under the fingernail treatment:
- Using rose water and a bit of honey, make a paste with a teaspoon of turmeric. Apply the paste 2-3 times in a day. This paste will help reduce inflammation and also relieve pain.
- Mix equal portions of tea tree oil and water. With a cotton ball, apply the solution on the blisters. Let it stay for about 15 minutes and rinse off. The tea tree oil will kill off fungi and bacteria that may infect the blister.
- Directly apply witch hazel extract to the blister. It will keep the blister dry and also act as an antiseptic.
- For a throbbing blister on the finger, sandalwood is the best home remedy. It eases the burning sensation and reduces swelling. The paste can be applied directly and rinsed off once dry.
- Smoothly massage garlic oil on and around the blister. Let it stay in place for about 25 minutes and rinse off. Repeat the treatment several times in a day till the blister heals over.
- Make a solution with water and Epsom salt. Soak the blistered finger in the solution twice or three times a day. This will quicken the healing process by making the blister burst more quickly on its own.
Under normal conditions, just let the blood blister go away on its own. To keep it protected, apply a loosely fitted bandage. With time, the blister may burst on its own. Broken blisters are prone to infection. Make sure to keep it clean and disinfected.
Signs such as painful blisters, frequent flares, red streak around the blister, pus and swelling are indications of an infection. Seek medical attention the soonest you can. As to whether it is good to pop a blister, do so if only you have the right equipment and know-how. This is if the blister is showing signs of bursting on its own.