Child care: How to care for blisters

Blisters appear similar to bubbles on the skin of a child that can range from small or big. They are usually filled with clear fluid but can also be filled with blood or pus. These blisters typically heal on their own.

What are the causes of blisters?

Children end up with blisters once fluid accumulates beneath the skin. This occurs due to damage to the skin. The usual cause of a water blister is friction such as wearing new shoes that rub against the back part of the heel.

Other common causes include the following:

  • Burns including sunburn
    Blisters

    Children end up with blisters once fluid accumulates beneath the skin. This occurs due to damage to the skin.

  • Insect bites
  • Contact dermatitis

Blisters can be triggered by viral infections such as cold sores, chickenpox and hand, foot and mouth disease. Even bacterial infections such as impetigo can cause the formation of blisters.

When to consult a doctor

A doctor should be consulted if a child has the following:

  • Blisters are bursting with yellowish-greenish fluid or the adjacent skin is reddened, swollen, warm or tender since these are indications of infection.
  • Child is not well
  • Child has several blisters accompanied by fever

Management of blisters

Small-sized blisters typically heal on their own and only requires a Band-Aid. There are some blisters that are large and uncomfortable. These take a longer time to heal since the fluid within the blister impedes the healing process.

If the child has a large-sized, uncomfortable blister that has not broken on its own, the following steps can be performed.

  • Prick the side of the blister using a sterile needle. Simply expose the needle under hot water or utilize an alcohol wipe to sterilize it.
  • Slowly massage the fluid out. Smoothen the thin covering of skin over the base of the blister that will serve as a natural “Band Aid”.
  • Apply a non-adhesive dry dressing.

After the procedure, the blister must dry up in a few days and a crust forms. Allow the crust to peel off naturally.

In case the child develops a blister due to shoes, opt for open shoes or those that do not press on the blister. The blisters triggered by other factors might require specific treatment such as antivirals for severe cold sores and antibiotics for impetigo.

Prevention

It is vital to ensure that the child wears shoes that are not too tight or too loose. If new shoes are used, it is recommended to apply an adhesive plaster on the rear part of the heel for the first week until eventually “breaking” in the shoes.

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