A burn blister is a bubble of clear fluid under the skin that forms as the body's way of protecting a burned area. Burn blisters are different from the blisters that develop as a result of repeated friction, rashes, or pinched skin. They commonly occur with second-degree burns from a heat source, chemicals, frostbite, or sunburn.
This article provides an overview of burn blisters, as well as tips for treatment and prevention.
Treatment for burn blisters will vary based on the severity of the underlying burn. Basic first aid can help for mild cases, while medical care may be necessary for moderate or severe burns.
Mild burn blisters can usually be treated at home but may require medical attention if the burn is severe or becomes infected. To avoid infection and further damage to the skin, it's important not to pick at or pop burn blisters as they heal.
Blisters that occur with first-degree burns and mild second-degree burns can typically be treated with at-home care.
To help the area heal, you can try the following steps:
Be sure to watch for signs of infection, which may require additional medical care.
Resist the urge to pop or peel off a blister, as this can lead to infection. If the blister pops on its own, gently clean the area and cover with a dry bandage.
Moderate burns and burn blisters will require medical attention. A healthcare provider may treat this by:
You should see a healthcare provider immediately for severe second-degree burns with burn blisters, and all third-degree burns. Head straight to the emergency room if you notice the following symptoms:
You should also seek immediate medical care if a burn blister shows signs of infection, such as:
Burn blisters need immediate medical attention if they develop with a severe second-degree or third-degree burn, and if they become infected. You should also head to the hospital if you have any doubt about the severity, or if the area doesn't show signs of healing after a few days.
If you notice your skin has blistered after a burn, follow these guidelines:
As tempting as it might be, do not pick, pop, or scratch at your burn blister. It's important to keep the area clean and the blister intact so the skin beneath it can heal without infection.
Burns and burn blisters aren't always preventable, but experts recommend the following safety measures to reduce the risk of occurrence:
Most burns and burn blisters happen at home or during daily activities. You can help prevent them from occurring by taking caution while in the kitchen, bathroom, and extremely hot or cold temperatures.
Different types of burns will require different treatments.
Minor cases (like first-degree burns) can usually be treated at home. This includes remedies such as:
Moderate to severe cases (like serious second-degree or third-degree burns) will need emergency medical attention, where a healthcare provider may treat the burn with prescription medication, IV fluids, and potentially a skin graft. In the meantime, while awaiting medical assistance, you should:
First-degree or very mild second-degree burns can typically heal on their own with at-home care. But if the first-degree burn covers a large area, or happens to an infant or elderly person, it's a good idea to get urgent medical care.
Burn blisters are fluid-filled bubbles that form over burned areas of skin as a layer of protection. They should never be popped, as this could increase the likelihood of an infection. Mild burn blisters can be safely treated at home with basic first aid care, but burn blisters that occur with moderate or severe burns will need immediate medical attention.
Burns and the burn blisters that may occur with them are a pretty common household injury, but that doesn't make them any less painful or serious. Burn blisters carry a risk of infection if they're popped, whether intentionally or unintentionally. If your blister doesn't show signs of improvement in a few days or if it appears infected, you should see a healthcare provider immediately to make sure it gets treated appropriately.
This depends on the severity of the underlying burn, if it's being treated appropriately, and whether an infection has developed. If you notice that the burn blister does not appear to be healing after a week or so, seek immediate medical attention, as this could indicate an infection.
You should never try to pop a burn blister. Burn blisters are the body's way of protecting the underlying skin while it heals, so popping it can cause infection and slow down the healing process. If the blister pops on its own, don't peel off the skin, and keep the area clean and covered.
There are three levels of burns. First-degree burns affect the outer layer of the skin, and don't always blister. Second-degree burns affect the outer and underlying layers of the skin, and usually blister right away. Third-degree burns affect the deepest layers of the skin and may or may not include blisters.