Blister burn: How to treat one

A blister forms after sustaining certain types of burns. Even though it is unpleasant, it is how the body seals off the impaired tissue with a protective bubble of fluid to prevent entry of harmful bacteria.

You can assist with the healing process by treating a blister burn to relieve the pain, lower the risk for a potential infection and allow faster healing of the skin with reduced chances for scarring or re-injury.

Measures in caring for a blister burn

  • Allow cool water to flow over the affected skin for 3-4 minutes right after the burn occurs.
  • Cleanse the blister burn using water and an antibacterial soap. Wash the surface in a gentle manner and make sure not to scrub the site which might irritate the blister burn and even potentially damage the skin tissue by breaking the newly-formed blister. Once finished washing, allow the area to air dry if possible or lightly pat using sterile gauze to prevent contamination of the site by bacteria.

    The bandage should be changed after 24 hours or once it is dirty, wet or no longer sticks to the skin.

  • Dab on an antibacterial ointment to cover the site of the blister burn. Make sure that enough is applied to keep the site moist before it is covered with a bandage since burns quickly heal with less potential for scarring in a moist, sterile environment. A porous adhesive bandage should be used to cover the site.
  • The bandage should be changed after 24 hours or once it is dirty, wet or no longer sticks to the skin. Apply an antibacterial ointment before the burn is covered with fresh dressing. Make sure that the bandage is changed daily along with the application of an ointment.
  • Lessen the pain by draining the blister burn if needed. Allow a few days for the blister to heal before this is done. Get rid of the bandage and cleanse the area using water and soap. Place rubbing alcohol on sterile gauze and lightly dab on the site. Sterilize a small needle using alcohol and create 1 or 2 punctures at the edge of the blister to allow it to drain. Once the fluid has drained, clean the site again and reapply fresh ointment and bandage.
  • Cut away the dead skin once it starts to form of the blister burn, usually after 3-4 days. Immerse the blades of a small-sized grooming scissors in rubbing alcohol before creating an incision. If there is new, pinkish skin under the dead skin, the bandage can be removed.

Disclaimer / More Information

The information posted on this page on a blister burn is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to properly care for a blister, register for first aid training at one of our training centers located throughout Canada. The training centers are in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Saskatoon, Victoria, Surrey, Mississauga, Winnipeg, Red Deer, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.


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