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blisters; friction; sunburn; rubbing ;


Blisters look like bubbles under the surface of the skin with watery stuff underneath. You can get blisters when your skin is burned by heat or by friction (rubbing against something).

Blisters caused by sunburn

sunburnIf you are really unlucky (or not careful enough) you could get blisters coming up on your skin.

Your body knows that your skin is burnt and sends fluid to help your skin start to recover.

What you should do

  • Cool down with cool water or a wet cloth.
  • Do not burst blisters - you could get germs in there.
  • Use a sunburn cream, which will soothe the burn.
  • If you have lots of blisters or your skin is very sore, then you should see a doctor.

Blisters caused by friction

You can also get blisters that are caused by your skin rubbing against something.

You may get them on your hands when you are helping to dig in the garden or you may get them when using a bat, hockey stick or tennis racquet.

You may get them on your heels because your shoes are rubbing.

One kid said:
"One day I went ice skating with my friend. We had never been before. We stayed on the ice for two hours. When she took the boot off she had one big blister."

Your skin has been rubbed and is sending fluid to that area to help it get better.

What you can do

  • Stop what you were doing that caused the blister.
  • Don't pop the blisters as you could let germs get in there.
  • Wash the part which is blistered (in case there is any dirt there).
  • Cover with a Bandaid** if you have to continue with your sport.
  • Find what has caused the blister and see if you can do something about it so that you don't get more blisters (eg. your shoes could be too big - wear two pairs of socks so that your foot doesn't slide up and down).
  • Cool the blister down with cool water (don't use ice) and cover with a non-stick dressing before you go to bed at night. That will stop your blister being rubbed against the bed sheets.

Other causes of blisters

  • Allergies - people can get itchy blisters if they are allergic to something that touches their skin - eg some plants, soaps or cleaners - this is called 'contact dermatitis'.
  • Viral infections -  eg cold sores or chickenpox.
  • Contagious (say con-tay-gious) skin infections such as impetigo (school sores). Contagious means that you could catch it by touching the sores or touching dressings that have covered the sores.

Dr Kate says:

Dr Kate"Blisters can be pretty painful at first but your own body will heal them, most of the time. If you keep them clean they will heal quickly.

If you are getting blisters from using a tennis racquet, hockey stick, cricket or baseball bat it is a god idea to wear gloves or use tape to protect your skin."



**Please Note
: The brand names of products referred to in these health guidelines are only examples of the range of commercially available products on the market. Those names which are mentioned are well-known brands and readily available on the market in Australia.

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We've provided this information to help you to understand important things about staying healthy and happy. However, if you feel sick or unhappy, it is important to tell your mum or dad, a teacher or another grown-up.


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