Burns and burn blisters are very normal household injuries, but they don’t make them less terrible or severe. If burn blisters are burst, whether purposefully or inadvertently, they pose a significant threat of infection.
Medically reviewed by Dr K on 20th June 2022.
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What To Do And What Not To Do If You Have Burn Blisters
A burn blister is a bubble of clear fluid beneath the skin formed by the body to protect a damaged spot. Blisters caused by frequent friction, rashes, or squeezed skin are not the same as burn blisters. They are most typically associated with second-degree burns caused by a heat source, chemicals, frostbite, or sunburn.
This article gives an overview of burn blisters as well as treatment and preventative recommendations.
Source - Greatist
Blister Treatment for Burns
The degree of the underlying burn will determine the treatment for burn blisters. Basic first aid may help with minor burns, but medical attention may be required for moderate to severe burns.
Mild burn blisters may typically be treated at home, but if the burn is serious or develops infected, medical assistance will be needed. It is critical not to pick at or burst burn blisters as they heal to prevent infection and additional skin damage.
Blisters caused by first-degree burns and moderate second-degree burns may often be treated at home.
You can try the following steps to help the area heal:
- For five to ten minutes, rinse the area under cool (not cold) water or use a cool compress.
- Gently wash the affected area with plain soap and water.
- Apply a petroleum-based ointment or aloe vera gel to the affected area.
- Wrap the wound loosely with a sterile gauze bandage and replace it once a day.
- For any discomfort or inflammation, use an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever.
- Maintain clean surroundings.
Keep an eye out for indications of infection, which may need extra medical attention.
Don’t Pop Or Peel Anything
Refrain from popping or peeling off a blister, since this might lead to infection. If the blister bursts on its own, carefully wash the area and apply a dry bandage on it.
Burn blisters and moderate burns will need medical intervention. A healthcare provider can treat this by doing the following:
- If required, safely drain the fluid from a bloated and painful burn blister in a hygienic way.
- Medication is prescribed to treat any inflammation or infection.
- IV (intravenous) fluid administration to maintain blood pressure, minimise shock and treat dehydration
- In severe cases, a skin graft needs to be performed by removing the burned skin and transferring healthy skin onto the afflicted spot.
When Should You See a Doctor?
Severe second-degree burns with burn blisters, as well as any third-degree burns, should be treated at once. If you detect any of the following symptoms, go to the emergency department right away:
- Blisters from a burn that is exceeding 2 inches wide
- Blisters caused by burns on the face, hands, feet, or genitals
- Several blisters on a dark red, glossy burn
- Intensified pain or swelling
- Breathing difficulty
- Swollen lymph nodes
You should also seek medical attention right away if a burn blister develops indications of infection, such as:
- The blister produces white or yellow drainage or milky-white pus.
- Heat, discomfort, or swelling in the blister’s proximity
- Red streaks encircling the blister
Recap Of Treatment
If a burn blister develops with a serious second- or third-degree burn and becomes infected, it requires rapid medical intervention. You should also go to the hospital if you have any doubts about the seriousness of the injury or if the spot does not heal within a few days.
What to Avoid
If your skin has blistered as a result of a burn, follow these steps:
- Do not burst the blister as this may result in infection.
- Do not apply ice or ice-cold water directly to the affected area, as this might reduce body temperature and cause more irritation and damage to the skin tissue.
- Do not use household or fragrance-containing products to the blister, such as butter, oil, eggs, lotions, sprays, or creams.
- If the blister gets itchy, do not touch it since this might cause it to burst and become more susceptible to infection.
- Applying a tight bandage puts extra and unnecessary pressure on the blister.
- To prevent infection, avoid touching the blister without first washing your hands, and keep the area clean and wrapped.
- Do not pick, pop, or scrape at your burn blister, no matter how tempting it may seem. It’s critical to maintain the site clean and the blister intact so that the skin underneath it may recover without becoming infected.
Although burns and burn blisters are not always avoidable, doctors suggest the following precautions to lessen the likelihood of occurrence:
- Take care in the kitchen, particularly while dealing with hot items or near a fire, and never leave things on the burner unsupervised.
- Reduce the temperature of your water heater to 120 ℉ to avoid scorching, and always elbow test the water (dip your elbow into it) before bathing or using, particularly for newborns and toddlers.
- Keep hot appliances, matches, and lighters out of the reach of children and elderly family members.
- To prevent frostbite, dress appropriately for the weather, and if you do suffer frostbite, steadily increase your body temperature with lukewarm water.
- If you intend to remain in the sun or hot weather for a prolonged amount of time, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen and seek shade often.
Take Precautions At Home
The majority of burns and burn blisters occur at home or during everyday routines. You can avoid them by exercising care in the kitchen, bathroom, and in excessively hot or cold environments.
Treatment For General Burns
Different kinds of burns will need distinct treatments.
Minor injuries (such as first-degree burns) are easily treatable at home. This includes treatments like:
- Using a cold damp compress to relieve the burn
- Cleanse the area gently with plain water and soap
- Two to three times every day, use petroleum jelly or aloe vera
- Covering the burn with a sterile, dry, nonstick bandage and replacing it on a daily basis
- Reducing any discomfort or inflammation using over-the-counter medications such as Advil or Motrin (ibuprofen)
- Keeping an eye on the area to ensure proper healing and the absence of any indications of infection
Moderate to severe cases (such as serious second- or third-degree burns) would need emergency medical treatment, during which a healthcare professional may treat the burn with prescription medicine, IV fluids, and perhaps a skin graft. In the meantime, as you wait for medical attention, you should do the following:
- If possible, elevate the scorched spot above heart level.
- On the burnt area, use a wet, clean, cool (but not cold) towel.
- To avoid shock, lie down flat, lift your feet, and keep the rest of your body warm.
- Ensure no clothing is sticking to the burn.
Burns On Infants Or The Elderly
For at-home care, first-degree or very mild second-degree burns can usually heal on their own. However, if the first-degree burn covers a significant area or occurs on a newborn or elderly person, it is best to seek emergency medical attention.
Burn blisters are fluid-filled bubbles that grow as a layer of protection over burned portions of the skin. They should never be popped since doing so increases the risk of infection. Mild burn blisters can be treated safely at home with simple first aid, but burn blisters caused by moderate or severe burns need rapid medical treatment.
Burns and burn blisters are very normal household injuries, but it doesn’t make them any less terrible or severe. If burn blisters are burst, whether purposefully or inadvertently, they pose a significant threat of infection. If your blister does not improve in a few days or seems infected, you should contact a healthcare expert right away to ensure it is properly treated.
- How long does it take for burn blisters to heal?
This is determined by the severity of the underlying burn, whether or not it is being treated properly, and whether or not an infection has formed. If the burn blister does not seem to be healing after a week or two, get medical assistance immediately, since this might signal an infection.
- Is it okay to burst a burn blister?
Never attempt to burst a burn blister. Popping burn blisters will induce infection and slow down the healing process since they are the body’s method of protecting the underlying skin while it heals. If the blister bursts on its own, do not rip the skin away from the blister and keep the area clean and protected.
- What are the various degrees of burns?
Burns are classified into three levels. First-degree burns damage the skin’s outer layer and may not usually blister. Second-degree burns damage the skin’s outer and beneath layers and often blister immediately. Third-degree burns attack the skin’s deepest layers and may or may not involve blisters.
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