Treating a blood blister

Fact Checked

A blood blister is due to trauma on the skin where the blood vessel found under the skin becomes damaged such as a very strong pinching. The blisters are red bumps filled with fluid and cause severe pain when touched.

What are the causes?

  • Accidents where the skin is pinched by a tool, mechanism or something heavy without protective gear.
  • Strong human contact such as grappling
  • Rubbing of skin against a surface
  • Frostbite
  • Medications
    Blood blister

    The blisters are red bumps filled with fluid and cause severe pain when touched.

  • Nutritional deficiency
  • Injuries in the mouth

Treatment for a blood blister

  • Remove pressure from the blood blister by exposing the area to air. Make sure that nothing is rubbing against it or pressing down on it. Exposing the blister allows it to heal naturally and lessen the chances of bursting or tearing as well as the risk for infection.
  • Apply an ice pack on the affected area immediately after the injury for at least 10-30 minutes at a time to lessen the pain and cool down the affected area. Avoid placing the pack directly on the skin to prevent further damage and worsen the condition.
  • Apply an aloe vera gel on the blood blister to lessen the pain and swelling.
  • Avoid popping the blisters to prevent the risk of being infected that can worsen the condition.
  • If a blood blister is on the heel or toe, use donut-shaped moleskin or felt pad to lessen friction while still exposed to the air for fast healing of the area.
  • If a blood blister is on the feet or fingers, cover with a loose bandage for added protection. Bandages lessen the pressure and friction on the blister. Use sterile dressings and change them regularly. The surrounding area of the blood blister should be properly cleaned before covering with a dressing.
  • If there is a need to drain the blood blister especially if it causes severe pain, make sure that it does not become infected. Wash hands properly before touching the blisters. Clean the blood blister thoroughly with soap and water. Sterilize a needle using rubbing alcohol. This needle will be use to lance the blister. Gently puncture the edge using the needle and the fluid will start draining out of the hole.
  • After drainage, leave the extra skin intact, smoothing it over the raw area of the skin. Clean around the blister and apply an antiseptic. Cover the area using a sterile dressing. Avoid applying friction or pressure on the blister to prevent further damage that can worsen the condition. Change dressings regularly to prevent infection.

More Information

The details posted on this page on a blood blister is for learning purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage blisters, enroll in a first aid course with one of our training providers.

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  • All cprhcp.ca content is reviewed by a medical professional and / sourced to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

  • We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable websites, academic research institutions and medical articles.

  • If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please contact us through our contact us page.