Should I pop the blood blister on my finger?

Ouch! Your hammer missed the nail but hit your finger hard. A huge blood blister forms. It's painful and inconvenient so you’re thinking about popping it. Suddenly you're struck by doubt: is it better to leave it alone?

Should I pop the blood blister on my finger?

A blister is a small vesicle filled with fluid that forms under the skin after rubbing, a pinch, a sunburn, or burn. When filled with blood, it means that the wound is deeper and has caused small blood vessels to rupture – but the blood stays trapped under the skin, like when you pinch a finger in a door or accidentally hit it with a hammer.

How to treat a blood blister

Blood blisters on the fingers are painful and can interfere with certain movements or types of activities, especially if they are big. Here's how to treat them:

If the blood blister is small, do not burst it:

  • Doing so can slow the healing process or worse, cause an infection.
  • Instead, clean it with soap and water.
  • Treat it with a medicated antibiotic cream.
  • Protect it with a sterile dressing.

If the blister bursts of its own accord:

  • It is important not to remove the skin – it acts as a dressing during the healing process and protects you from bacteria.
  • You should disinfect and dress the wound.

If the blister is bulky and highly inconvenient, do not pop it yourself:

  • Consult a doctor who can pierce it after disinfecting the area.
  • He or she will then clean the wound and cover it with a sterile dressing.
  • If necessary, your doctor will also verify that you are vaccinated against tetanus and give you a booster shot if needed.
  • If the doctor thinks there is a risk of infection, she will prescribe an appropriate treatment.

Specialized dressings

Certain dressings, called hydrocolloid dressings,  are specially designed to help prevent and treat blisters. They are highly elastic, like a second skin.

  • Based on a cellulose derivative, they create a sort of cushion which gels to promote healing.
  • They also act as shock absorbers, an effect that provides almost immediate relief and allows for rapid healing.
  • It is recommended to leave them in place until they fall off by themselves, but because different products may have different instructions it’s a good idea to always check on the packaging what the manufacturer suggests.

Take care of your hands

When you have a blister, it's best to avoid friction and immersing it in water for long periods of time.

  • Similarly, when you work with tools or play sports, you could put talc on your hands to reduce the risk of developing blisters. Wearing gloves is also a good solution.
  • There are even some people who swear that natural black tea can make skin tougher and less blister-prone.

Sometimes, despite taking every precaution, blisters occur. And although they usually go away fairly quickly, by giving your hands a little TLC you can help minimize the discomfort and risk of developing an infection.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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