Every one of us had blisters for one reason or another. They are annoying and painful, fluid filled sacs that appear on your skin due to friction. Mostly, these blisters are caused by wearing uncomfortable shoes, hiking without wearing gloves, from the bite of an insect or from a burn. When you get the blister you want to get rid of it as soon as possible. If you don’t know how to heal a blister faster, and how long does it take for a blister to heal, then you’ve come to the right place.
We are going to explain some really easy ways to heal it faster. Also, when you are outdoors a blister proves to be more annoying and you just want it to disappear in a blink. We are going to tell you the useful and effective ways of taking care of a blister when you are outdoors and ways to make the blister much faster than it would without doing nothing about it.
The time it takes for a blister to heal depends on the type of it. If it’s a small one, then it will heal quickly, but if the size of the blister is big, then it will take more time. Maybe longer than you were expecting. To know how to treat them, first you need to know the types of them.
Types of Blisters
Sunburn blisters, as the name indicates, are caused by sunburn. They are mostly small and filled with fluid. They usually happen due to exposure of the skin to the sun.
These kinds of blisters usually take a few days to heal.
Friction blisters are also filled with fluid and they are caused by constant irritation and pressure on the skin. This usually happens if you wear something uncomfortable and the constant friction results in blisters. Most of the time, they heal quickly, without leaving a scar, but a severe blister can take a few weeks to heal. To prevent blisters caused by new footwear, see our article on how to break-in your hiking boots for more information.
Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, usually appear on the lips and they are caused by skin contact. They cause redness and itching at the affected area and are painful.
Cold sores usually heal in 8 to 10 days.
Insect bites blister
Blisters caused by insect bites are small and produce redness and itchiness. It will cause a sudden and sharp pain and then cause redness and swelling. These kinds of blisters can take days or even weeks to heal, depending on the insect that had bitten you. Prevent bites by reading our article on DIY homemade insect repellents which are safe and made from natural ingredients.
What Can Cause the Delay of Healing Process?
There are a few factors that may cause the delay in the healing process. Exceptions are always there, so if you need to know why your blister isn’t healing fast enough, following the reason of it might help.
Here are a few of the most common factors that might slow down the healing process.
- Affected Area: If the blister is on a sensitive part of the skin, it will take more time to heal. Especially the areas that move with the blister on them, then it will take more time to heal because you are not giving it enough rest and the healing requires rest.
- Infection: If the blister pops, then there is a risk of an infection and the wound might even get worse because the blister actually protects the inner skin and lets it heal. In case that blister breaks, its fluid should be drained using a sterilized needle so that there is no risk of infection.
- Impaired immunity diseases and diabetes: Diabetes can also slow down the healing process because of the nerve and circulation issues. And, people with impaired immunity diseases have bigger chances of getting an infection, so that can be a cause of a slow healing too. The weak immune system means more chances of getting an infection.
- Medicine: There are few drugs that can slow down the healing process of a blister too. You need to watch out for these drugs and take something only after you are sure it will do no harm.
- Alcohol or Smoking: Numerous researches show that if a person smokes, the healing time is longer. Alcohol consumption affects the healing process as well.
10 Ways to Heal a Blister Faster
To heal a blister faster there are some natural and effective ways that have proved to be very helpful.
Following are the 10 ways to heal a blister faster. They are easy to follow and effective, even if you’re outdoors.
- Let it breathe: The first thing that you need to do is to let it breathe and give it air. The air exposure is really good for the healing process. If you are putting a bandage over it, then make sure it’s loose enough that It doesn’t break the skin over it, and allows the air flow. The process of healing surely depends on the state of the wound. If it’s torn open, then the chance of infection is bigger and that can delay the healing. If it’s intact, you need to carefully clean it without tearing it open and try to leave the skin in its place. It will hurt less this way and will heal faster.
- Put a bandage on the blister: To keep the blister clean, in the case it broke, and to avoid infection, you need to put a bandage on it. This will cover your wound from any kind of infection, and will keep it covered so that it doesn’t get dirty. Before putting the bandage, clean the wound with a sterilized gauze pad and try to get as much fluid out as you can, gently. After that, put an ointment on it and then cover it with a bandage. Like we just mentioned above, make sure that the bandage is loose.
- Topical ointment: Putting an ointment on your blister really helps to speed up the healing. Clean the dirt off of your blister and put an antibacterial ointment on it. It can be a gel or a tube, whichever you prefer. Some gels even offer cooling effects that help with the pain. Make sure that you clean the area before putting the cream on it. To avoid any infection, you can wipe the area with an antiseptic before putting the cream on it. Tree tea oil is known to be effective to speed up the healing of the blister after it’s drained.
- Elevating: If the blister is on your foot or your heel area, then elevation will help with the inflammation and reduce the pressure and that will in turn help with the pain and irritation. If the blister is not in the area that will be affected when you walk, you should leave the blister after cleaning it to heal on its own. Additionally, you should elevate your foot to waist level. This elevation will lessen the pressure and will help with the draining of fluid,` and will speed up the healing process.
- Draining the fluid: If you have a blister that is extremely painful and irritating, you need to break it and drain the fluid. To prevent infection, wipe it with antiseptic and water and use a sterilized needle to drain the fluid. Try not to remove the top skin because it provides protection against the bacteria. The best way to drain a blister, is to wash your hands with a sanitizer or soap. Then, you need to clean the blister using an antiseptic. After that, take a sterilized needle and break the blister with it. Let the fluid out, don’t try to squeeze it out. Try to leave the top skin intact so that it can protect against infections. Now, you need to apply an antibiotic cream or gel and put a bandage on it. This will speed up the healing process. If you feel like there is an infection, then you should consult a doctor.
- Padding: This depends on the area where the blister is. If the blister is on your heel area, then a bit cushioning may help with the healing and the pain. To do this, you can take the sheets of foamy pads and use them according to your required shape and fit, to cushion the blister. In case that you are outdoors and you are not in a clean environment, you must cover it up with a clean bandage to avoid any kind of infection. And, to avoid this in the future, you can put a bandage on the chaffed areas or you can wear padded athletic socks to prevent the rubbing which causes the blister.
- Softening the Blister: Softening a blister, if it’s drained, also helps with faster healing. To soften the area, you need to soak the area in a saline solution a few times a day. This will speed up the healing, and will rub away the extra skin. Softening a blister is recommended before breaking it, but if you have an extremely painful blister, to lessen the pain, you can break it. Softening the blister in a clean saline solution before breaking it, will help to prevent infection. Additionally, soaking it in warm and clean water after draining the fluid will speed up the healing and will lessen the pressure and ease the pain.
- Preventing Infection: If you want your blister to heal faster, it is important for you to take precautionary measures to prevent the infection. First of all, if a blister breaks, you need to make sure that you clean it with an antiseptic, and cover it loosely with a bandage. The precautions need to be taken more seriously if you are outdoors. If the swelling isn’t going away, even after it’s drained, then you should see a doctor immediately. If you just leave a blister to heal on its own, chances of infection to happen are bigger. Also, if you keep squeezing or rubbing it, it will lead to infection or blister rupture. If the blister gets an infection, it will take more time to heal and it can even cause a skin infection. Furthermore, if it’s not healing and you are not doing anything about it, bacterial infection can happen too, so, you need to be extra careful.
- Moisturizing the affected area: Moisturizing of the affected area can speed up the healing and Aloe Vera works as a great moisturizer for blisters. Just apply the Aloe Vera on the blister after cleaning it, and give it time to dry. After that, you can cover it. It will prevent the swelling and Aloe Vera will give the cooling effect too. To avoid blisters in future, if you are prone to blisters, you need to take safety measures. For starters, you need to wear comfortable shoes that you can run and walk in with convenience. The socks you are wearing, need to be of a soft and comfortable material that gives way to air so that the moisture doesn’t cause itching. If you are working out and your shoes get wet due to sweating, you should let them dry off first and then wear them again.
- Patience, patience, and more patience: No matter how small a blister is, it’s going to take the time to heal. A few days, is the minimum time a blister takes to heal, so, if you think that it’s going to heal overnight, it’s probably not going to happen. The best you can do is to take proper care of it. Keep it clean and let it take its course to heal. You can try to leave it open in clean air for faster healing.
Natural Remedies to make a blister heal faster
There are a few natural remedies that you can try to make it heal faster. They are very easy to do and will also help with the pain.
Epsom salt is one of the most effective ways to heal a blister faster. These salts work very well to dry out the blister, if it is not popped yet.
The salt contains magnesium that helps with the inflammation and reduces the pain.
- Take 1 or 2 tablespoons of it and put it in warm water and mix it well
- Now soak the injured area in that water for a while
- After that, dry the blister and put some vitamin E on it.
- Doing this, even once a day, is enough to speed up the healing.
Green tea is also a very effective natural remedy to speed up the healing of a blister. It is very effective for the swelling and pain.
It reduces the swelling because of the vitamins and antioxidants present in it which promote the healing.
- Put a green tea bag in warm water and let it soak
- Then put it out and leave it to cool off for a few minutes
- Then put that tea bag on the blister for a while
- Repeat this process 4 or 5 times a day till the blister heals
- Drinking green tea 2 or 3 times a day helps with the healing too
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar helps to prevent the infection and lessens the swelling as well. It acts as an antibacterial to prevent the infection and really helps in case of a fever blister. To apply it you need to:
- Dip cotton wool in vinegar
- Then apply that cotton on the blister for about 3 to 4 times a day for approximately 3 days
If you start applying this as soon as the blister appear to make the healing faster. Also, you need to know that it might sting a little at the start, particularly if the blister is drained. You can avoid this by tempering the water.
Another way to use apple cider vinegar is to mix it the apple and cider vinegar with onion paste, and apply that paste to the affected area. Let it dry and rinse it off using warm water. Repeat this 2 times a day.
Taking a proper amount of food and nutrition is very important for healing. If you are not eating well then that can affect the healing as well. Food that contains vitamins A, C and bioflavonoids really helps with the healing and also prevents infections to happen. The vegetables are really good source for this and for proteins, eggs, fish and nuts are a good choice.
Another thing that you should know is to try to avoid the dairy products, for example, white flour or sugar, as they can slow down the healing.
Wrapping it up
Blisters can prove to be very painful and irritating if you don’t take care of them. Leaving them as it is, will make the healing slower and will maximize the risk of an infection. So, by following the above safety measures, you can get rid of them conveniently and faster than it would take on its own. When you are outdoors, you should take the first aid kit with you, just in case of any kind of an emergency situation. Read our piece featuring a list of medical essentials for your first aid kit to help you.
Keeping a bandage and antiseptic surely comes handy during situations like this. Give the blister it’s time to heal properly, and you are all good. In case that it’s not healing and is causing extra pain, then you should immediately consult with a doctor.
To give you more confidence on how to care for blisters, see our useful article on the topic.
We hope that our article was helpful and that you found it useful. If you think that we missed to mention something important on this topic, feel free to leave a comment in the comments section below.