Blood blisters develop when blood and blister fluid collect between the layers that form the upper skin. This occurs when trauma is sustained on the affected area. The trauma causes injury to blood vessels, which then leak blood, forming a bubble. Common sources of trauma include friction, forced pinching, or crushing.
Often, blood blisters will heal on their own even without treatment. But they can at times be not only painful but also potential causes of infection.
Medical treatment is only necessary in cases of infection or large blood blisters. In most cases, home remedies and natural treatments can help manage the situation. This includes preventive measures to reduce the severity of discomfort.
What causes a blood blister, symptoms and pictures
What causes a blood blister? Common causes include pinching, friction and other related sources of trauma. Note that blood blisters usually develop even after the skin has not broken open and bled externally, forming a blood blister under the skin. However, the opposite can happen.
For example, activities that require a lot of walking or running may cause blood blisters on the toes, the soles of the feet or even on the upper side of the foot. Wearing shoes that are too small or not wearing socks will encourage this. Activities such as digging, shoveling and so on will, on the other hand, cause blood blisters on the hands.
Blood blisters are not very different from friction blisters. The main difference is in the fact that blood blisters contain blood, which makes them red in color. Friction blisters on the other hand are filled with a clear fluid.
Initially, a blood blister will appear red and very highly inflamed. With time, it will turn purple or dark. The presence of blood is caused by sudden pressure or repeated friction sustained on the affected areas.
The most common symptoms revolve around tight bubble-like bumps, red in color and often painful, forming on traumatized skin regions. They mostly occur on hands, feet, mouth and joints. Any part of the skin can be affected, however.
For self-diagnosis, pictures of blood blisters can help. You can compare them with pictures of friction blisters.
How to get rid of blood blisters on your body
The best removal options for blood blisters depend on how severe the blister is. Below is a quick guide on how to get rid of blood blisters:
Blood blisters worsen with continued pressure on the already affected areas. The first thing you want to do is get rid of the source of trauma. You can, for example, consider wearing open shoes, wearing cotton socks or replacing the handle of the tool you were using. At any cost, keep the blister from tearing open, especially just after it has formed. It can be very painful. Furthermore, open sores attract infections.
Leave the blister alone to heal
Skin cells are continually being shed and replaced with new ones. With time, the affected skin will undergo the same process, ending up with a naturally healed blood blister. This process can take about a month or even more, however. To shorten the period, make sure that the blister is exposed to air most of the time. It also should be kept as dry as possible, as well as free from friction or even pressure. The best approach is to apply a bandage. The bandage should be loosely fitted. It keeps out infections as well as eases the pressure exerted on the blister.
Drain the blister
In some cases, blood blisters are better drained than left to heal on their own. For example, a blood blister can keep getting bigger and showing signs of tearing up. It can in fact, tear slightly at the edges. In such cases, the best removing option is to drain it all together. This should be done very carefully. If you don’t have the right tools or antiseptics, consider having a doctor drain the blister. Patients diagnosed with immune compromising diseases and conditions such as cancer and HIV are not advised to self-drain a blood blister.
Keep from infection
Harmful germs are everywhere about us, on our bodies and in the surroundings. At the first chance, they will enter the body and cause infections. Open skin parts are conducive entry points for such germs. For this reason, always make sure to clean, disinfect and cover an opened blister. Always remember to replace and disinfect a bandage you are using to cover the blister.
Get medical help
The main reason you may need to get medical attention for a blood blister is if it shows signs of infection. It can also be that the blister is increasingly reducing your work efficiency or messing with your posture. Some blisters may occur on sensitive regions such as the mouth or near the eyes. Cases such as red blood blisters on the breast have been reported. In other cases, it can be that blood blisters keep appearing even after successful treatment or have developed in clusters. In such cases, getting medical attention for getting rid of blood blisters is the best option.
Tips on how to treat a blood blister at home
Below are some tips that can help in regards to how to treat a blood blister at home:
Get ice treatment
Also known as cold compress, this is one of the best available blood blister removing options at home. One application method involves wrapping some ice cubes in a plastic bag, covering them with a piece of cloth and placing the same on the blood blister. This is best done immediately the injury has been sustained and every day afterwards until the blister heals. It eases pain and throbbing felt on the blister.
Protect it and let it heal
Avoid any possible cause of friction or pressure on the blister. Allow it maximum time to breathe. The drier the outer skin is, the better.
Consider pain medications
Blood blisters can get extremely painful and discomforting in some cases like a blood blister on gum in mouth. In such cases, you can consider over the counter pain medications.
Monitor the blister
With time, pain and throbbing from a blood blister are supposed to ease gradually. If the opposite happens, it is possible that the blister has become infected.
How remove a blood blister by draining it
The last thing you want to do is expose a blood blister to the same conditions under which it was formed without taking precautions. For example, wearing closed shoes on a blood blister on the toe can in fact change your walking style. If you decide to go ahead and drain it, you will certainly need a clean environment and sufficient tools to get the job done. The following removal guidelines on how to remove a blood blister by draining it can help:
- Get the affected areas cleaned with a disinfectant soap. Medicated hand gels can also be used if available.
- Sterilize a new razor blade, needle or scalpel. A needle is better when you only want to drain the blister and leave the outer covering intact.
- Once done, clean the blister with disinfected water and soap.
- Dress the blister with a clean and disinfected bandage. Make sure the bandage is loosely fitted. A bandage that is too tightly fitted will increase pressure on the blister.
- The blister will heal faster if the initial causes are addressed.
- Since open blisters are more predisposed to infection, ensure to clean it on daily basis, replace with a new bandage and be on the lookout for any signs of infections.
Newly formed blisters can get very painful if drained. If you are not certain about the decision, consult your doctor. Also consult your doctor for a blood blister on the lip or near the eyes.
How to get rid of blood blisters with home remedies
Blood blister treatment can also be done with home remedies. Below are some options to consider:
Placing ice cubes wrapped in a plastic bag and a piece of cloth on a blood blister for about 5 minutes can help a lot. It causes vasoconstriction of blood vessels, which in turn reduces the rate at which blood is leaking into the blister.
Aloe Vera helps keeps from infections. It is also an anti-inflammatory, which can help reduce swelling. Aloe leaves are the best but processed gel can also help.
This spice has antiseptic properties. It also helps to reduce inflammations. Turmeric can be applied directly or be taken orally. When applying it directly, make a solution with water and a teaspoon of turmeric. Some honey can also be added. When taking it orally, add a teaspoon of turmeric to water or milk.
This is an antiseptic herb that has been in use as a home remedy for centuries. It not only eases pain but also keeps the blister as dry as required. Its extract can be applied directly to the blister 2-3 times a day. Witch hazel and related antiseptic should be considered for feet and blood blister on hand treatment.
How to treat infected blood blisters and removing options
The best approach to treating infected blisters is to get medical treatment for your blood blister. First, the doctor will examine the infection. This will help find out the cause and severity of the infection. From there, relevant medications such as antibiotics will be prescribed.
Below are the symptoms of infected blood blisters you can be on the lookout for:
- Reddening of the surrounding skin
- Pus forming or oozing from the blister
- Crusts formation
- Red streaks on the surrounding skin
- Swelling and burning sensation on the surrounding regions
In most cases, blood blister infections are caused by bacteria. They can therefore be controlled with antibiotics. It is very important however that such infections be kept away from. In fact, it is not a blood blister itself that causes panic. It is the possible infections it can lead to without proper management. Always ensure to keep it as clean as possible. Don’t drain it without appropriate tools or know-how. Change the dressing bandage at least twice in a day.
- Blood blisters develop when pressure or friction creates a vacuum between upper layers of the skin. Blood from damaged blood vessels and blister fluid fill the created vacuum.
- Blood blisters heal with time even without treatment. The process can take more than a month before full recovery.
- Blood blister medical treatment involves draining the blisters and protecting from infection. Pain killers can be considered.
- A friction blister is a bit different from blood blisters. While both can appear anywhere on the skin, the former doesn’t contain blood.
- A number of home remedies can help treat blood blisters.
- At home, how to treat blood blisters mostly involves preventing from possible causes. As identified earlier, friction and pressure are the main causes.
- The most important things when it comes to how to get rid of blisters are protecting the blister, knowing when to drain it and keeping it safe from infections.