Blisters on Hand or Foot in Children: Care Instructions

Skip to the navigation

Your Care Instructions

Blisters are fluid-filled bumps that look like bubbles on the skin. Most of the time they're caused by something rubbing against the skin. Sometimes injuries to the skin, such as burns, spider bites, or pinching, can cause a blister.

You can treat most blisters at home. A small, unbroken blister on the hand or foot, or even a blood blister, will usually heal on its own.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

How can you care for your child at home?

  • If a blister is small and closed, leave it alone. Use a loose bandage to protect it. Have your child avoid the activity that caused the blister.
  • If a small blister is on a weight-bearing area like the bottom of the foot, protect it with a doughnut-shaped moleskin pad. Leave the area over the blister open.
  • It's best not to drain a blister at home. But when blisters are painful, some people do drain them. If you do decide to drain a blister, make sure to follow these steps.
    • Wipe a needle with rubbing alcohol.
    • Gently puncture the edge of the blister.
    • Press the fluid in the blister toward the hole so it can drain out.
  • After you have opened a blister, or if it has torn open:
    • Gently wash the area with clean water. Don't use hydrogen peroxide or alcohol, which can slow healing.
    • Don't remove the flap of skin over a blister unless it's very dirty or torn or there is pus under it. Gently smooth the flap over the tender skin.
    • You may cover the blister with a thin layer of petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline, and a non-stick bandage.
    • Apply more petroleum jelly and replace the bandage as needed.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Your child has signs of infection, such as:
    • Increased pain, swelling, warmth, or redness.
    • Red streaks leading from the blister.
    • Pus draining from the blister.
    • A fever.

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • Your child does not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

Go to http://www.healthwise.net/ed

Enter O974 in the search box to learn more about "Blisters on Hand or Foot in Children: Care Instructions."