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A blister is a pocket of liquid that forms after the skin has been damaged. The job of this fluid is to protect the skin underneath and allow it to heal. This fluid is colorless, however it may become inflamed or infected and filled with blood or pus instead. An infected blister can lead to complications like secondary impetigo, which is a bacterial skin infection, and other conditions like cellulitis or sepsis.

Typically, blisters develop on the outer, upper layers of the skin, particularly in the hands and the feet but it can form on any part of the body. The most common cause of blisters is friction, which is when something continuously rubs against the skin. Other causes of blisters are burns due to extreme temperature or chemical exposure, crushing or pinching, and medical conditions like contact dermatitis and allergic eczema. Blister in itself can be a symptom of chickenpox, shingles, or herpes.

How to prevent blisters

To prevent blisters on the feet, one should not wear tight, ill-fitting, or stiff shoes like high heels and dress shoes.  Because blisters form faster on moist skin, one should wear keep their feet dry. This can be done by wearing clean socks and bringing along a spare pair or two or by using talcum powder. If one feels that a blister is beginning to develop, he can use protective padding, bandages, and tapes on this area. To prevent blisters on the hand, one should use gloves when doing manual work and when handling chemicals.

How to treat blisters

Blisters can heal on their own, if they are given enough time. However, to prevent further complications, one can choose to use plasters and rolls of gauze to protect the blister. By keeping the blister intact, one can avoid infection and allow it to heal faster.

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