Festive Fun

A blister is a raised area of skin that is filled with a clear liquid, or occasionally blood, over which the skin is intact.

They form when that area has been damaged by pressure, chemicals that have been applied to the area, burns, insect bites, allergies, fungal or viral infections.

If no further damage occurs to that area, then the skin over the fluid stays intact and unbroken and the fluid is gradually re-absorbed back into the surrounding tissue.

Blisters formed from pressure often occur on the feet, from new footwear or after a sporting activity, and from changing from casual summer shoes to more formal, constricting footwear. Blisters also occur from overuse, such as on the hands after repetitive actions with tools and devices, like from the handle of a spade after digging in the garden, especially if you are working in warm conditions.

If the blister has been caused by friction or pressure, try to relieve the pressure by using padded dressings and bandages and soft footwear or protective gloves when undertaking activities that may cause further damage. 

To prevent blisters and other skin damage, remember to protect the skin with socks, soft comfortable footwear that is neither too large or too tight and use gloves to protect your hands from friction and pressure damage, as well as from irritant chemicals.

We are all aware of the dangers of sun exposure and the importance of staying protected, more so if you are planning on being outside for long periods at a time. Sunburn occurs when living tissue, like your skin, is overexposed to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) causing it to change in colour from slightly pink to severely red or purple. Sunburn can appear from one to six hours after exposure and the skin feels hot to the touch. Severe sunburn may cause blistered skin and even a fever, nausea, and dehydration. Your eyes may also be painful or irritated due to overexposure to UVR.

Sunscreen is one type of sun protection - ask your community pharmacist which sunscreen is best for you.  You should also always wear protective clothing during this period, as well as a hat and sunglasses. In addition, try to keep in the shade whenever possible.

However, if you have the misfortune of getting sunburnt there are a number of ways you can help treat the condition:

  • Use cold compresses on the burnt areas, for example, a wet, cold towel.
  • Ask your community pharmacist for topical treatments to manage the pain and heat, or moisturising cream for dry skin.
  • If blistering occurs, do not burst them as you may get an infection. Instead, cover with a gauze or a bandage. If your blisters do burst, see your community pharmacist for treatment options such as antiseptic ointment or hydrocortisone cream.
  • If you are in pain, you can take aspirin, paracetamol or ibuprofen. Aspirin is not recommended for children.  Ensure you follow the directions carefully.

Avoid alcohol and drink plenty of water to help rehydrate your body.