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Where there is constant friction or pressure on the body, tiny bubbles of skin, called blisters, are formed. Blisters commonly have bodily fluid such as serum or plasma but in some cases there could be blood (in case of blood vessel or tissue damage) or pus (in case of an infection).

Blisters can be of any size and is typically formed in the upper layer of the skin. Blisters are usually caused when the skin is damaged – the blister acts as a cushion for the skin tissues underneath and prevent the tissues from getting damaged further.

Causes:

Blisters are almost always caused when there is superficial tissue damage. Some common factors that cause blisters include:

1. Excessive or persistent friction caused by ill-fitted shoes
2. Extreme hot temperatures (causing sunburn) and cold temperatures (causing frostbite)
3. Burns
4. Exposure to harsh chemicals
5. Skin allergy caused by external factors
6. Medical diseases such as chicken pox and herpes
7. Insect bites or stings
8. Certain kinds of bacterial infection

Severe tissue damage from any of the above can cause the formation of blood blisters, where the blood vessels rupture and form a bubble on the upper layer of the skin.

Treatment:

In case you get a blister, it is best not to touch it or prick it, since blisters are prone to infection if opened up. Usually blisters, if left untouched, dry up and harden on their own and eventually disappear.

You can do the following to reduce the discomfort caused by a blister:

1. Use an antiseptic pad or adhesive tape for the blister suffering from any further friction.
2. Do not touch with without washing your hands.
3. Do not prick it or burst it by yourself since this can cause infections.
4. Use sunscreen or protective wear to safeguard yourself against extreme temperatures and protect your skin from getting irritated further.
5. Wear comfortable, well fitted shoes that do not cause further friction or stress to the damaged tissues.
6. Wash your feet daily and dry them properly to help the blister heal faster.

The use of talcum powder is often recommended to dry the blisters. However, talcum powder dries the skin around it, which causes more friction especially on the feet. In case the blister is infected, painful or red, or if you get fever and body ache after the appearance of a blister, see a doctor immediately since it may mean the onset of complications or severe infection.