Blisters are very common, but in the majority of cases, they aren’t dangerous. A blood blister occurs when your sub-dermal tissues and blood vessels get damaged, but the skin isn’t pierced. This type of blister is filled with a mix of blood, lymph, and other bodily fluids.
Where do They Come From?
Like with any other blisters, the ones filled with blood usually occur due to physical damage caused by friction. As there are no blood vessels in the epidermis, the presence of blood signifies that the injury occurred deeper in your tissues. This is possible when your foot is somewhat deformed or its biomechanics are affected in a way that prevents proper movement. In this case, when friction occurs, your tissues are damaged both from the outside (friction) and from the inside (directly by the deformed or immobile bone).
The most common causes of this type of blister are:
- Bunion or any other bony prominence.
- Defects of the first big toe knuckle that affect the biomechanics of your leg.
- Physical trauma (including sunburn and scalding).
- Fungal or viral skin infections.
Should You Pop It?
The answer to this question is a definite no. This type of damage should be left to heal naturally, unless it bursts on its own. If this happens, you have to treat the wound with antiseptic and keep it clean.
The risk of infection is very high in this case, so it’s imperative to dress the wound carefully and clean it every few hours. If you see any signs of inflammation, contact a doctor immediately. Some of the most dangerous consequences this type of problem can lead to are sepsis and gangrene. Both can be fatal if not treated immediately. If gangrene is developed, the extremity affected by it will need to be amputated.
If you are worried about the blister and its condition doesn’t change or deteriorates, contact a doctor immediately. The injury should be examined by a professional so that he or she can determine whether there is a need to drain the blister.
Seek medical attention if you experience the following symptoms:
- Weakness in the affected extremity.
- Numbness in the damaged area.
- Extreme pain.
- Difficulty moving the injured extremity.
How to Get Rid of a Blood Blister
The first thing you should do is to elevate the blister so that blood can flow away. Apply a cold pack to reduce pain and swelling. In order to prevent damage to your skin from the ice pack, wrap it in a towel.
Blisters filled with blood are often very painful and look quite intimidating. However, they should drain and heal on their own in several days. Even if the blister doesn’t pop, you should cover the injury with a bandage to minimize the risk of infection. Don’t bandage too tightly as this will impede blood circulation in the area and can worsen your condition.
Try to reduce the pressure in the affected area and minimize friction that caused your injury. If the problem is serious, you may need to immobilize the injured extremity in order to facilitate healing. Contact a doctor if the blister is big or located in a spot that makes it difficult to move.