Water Blisters

Everything You Need to Know About Water Blisters

Water blisters are caused by too much friction on one area of the skin.  You can recognize a water blister by examining it closely.  Water blisters look like fluid-filled patches on the skin.  The fluid inside the patch should be clear if it is a water blister.  The fluid is called serum, and it appears among the top few layers of the skin.  Serum acts as a protective layer for the skin underneath it, allowing it to heal. 


The two most common places for blisters to form are on the hands and feet.  Water blisters are especially common on the feet if the shoes you wear don’t fit properly.  Ill-fitting shoes can cause blisters in just a couple of hours.  Another common place for water blisters to form is on the hands.  Any physical labor which requires the use of tools or sports which involve gripping a racket or club can cause blisters.  Water blisters can also form as the result of a burn.  Additionally, some skin diseases, allergies, and even medications can cause blisters to form on various parts of the body.

Some blisters do not cause pain, although often they can be extremely painful, no matter how you got the blister.  A water blister usually feels tender to the touch and can burn when you move the skin around it.  Water blisters can hinder or even prevent movement in extreme cases when they form near joints.

There are plenty of ways to prevent water blisters before they start.  Wear thick socks to protect your feet and be more careful when you’re buying shoes.  Measure your feet before you shop for new shoes and don’t buy shoes if they aren’t the right size, no matter how cute they look.  Also avoid shoes that have a seam which runs right across your toes and look for cushioned insoles in any pair you purchase.  If you must wear a pair of shoes you know will give you blisters, you can try to protect the areas by placing bandages over them. 

Wear gloves when you work with tools you don’t usually use, especially shovels or rakes.  If you play baseball, golf, or any racket sports often, buy protective gloves to keep blisters from forming.

If you develop a blister, don’t pierce it to drain the fluid out.  This can cause the skin underneath the blister to become infected.  Instead, wash the blister thoroughly and swab it with iodine or rubbing alcohol.  This will dry the blister out without piercing it.  Then apply an antibiotic ointment and bandage it.  Be sure to avoid any activities which led to the development of the water blister.  After several days you should be able to use tweezers and rubbing alcohol to pull all the dead skin away.

Signs of an infected water blister include green or yellow puss, redness, and extreme pain that keeps getting worse.  You may also notice the skin around an infected blister feels warmer than other parts of your skin.