A Guide for Using Blister Plasters
There is much debate on whether it is beneficial to use blister plasters to treat the painful skin disorder. In an age of health conscious people who are getting exercise through walking or jogging, the likelihood of obtaining blisters is increased, and knowing how and when to treat them can help avoid undue pain.
Blisters are generally caused by friction; friction of clothing, shoes or participating in a type of activity such as using a hand tool. They occur when a rubbing against the skin irritates the derma and creates a separation of the layers of skin. As an injury, the body immediately begins to repair the problem by causing the separated skin layers to fill with a clear, watery fluid called serum. Serum is a natural component of blood, less the red blood cells and clotting agents. The reason for the collection of serum is to protect and cushion the lower skin layer from any additional damage that may occur as the wound heals. As the wound heals, the fluid is slowly reabsorbed into the system when left alone.
This type of injury is a common foot ailment. Ill fitting shoes, sweaty feet encased in socks within the shoe during long or strenuous walks or runs or inappropriate shoe material can all cause blisters. Undoubtedly, the condition creating the friction and ultimately the blister should be discontinued as soon as possible to limit the damage. As the soft pocket of fluid begins the healing process, pain will be usually experienced at the site of injury. Many people are strongly tempted to pierce the watery pillow, believing this process to alleviate the pain and hasten the healing. This is actually the worst case of action that can be taken. Opening the skin allows bacteria to enter into the wound, and increasing the risk for infection. It also removes the cushioning effect that protects that second skin layer while it heals.
Most medical professionals feel that it is best to leave blisters alone; allowing the body to follow its natural path in healing itself. They also mostly agree that protecting the blister from possible puncture as the damage is being repaired is a wise step. Blister plasters are one type of protective measures utilized in treating blisters.
A plaster is generally made of a moisture absorbent material that will assume the fluid leaked from a blister. The ideal type is one that will not adhere to the wound, tearing away the newly formed skin when the plaster is removed.
Using blister plasters is recommended in order to protect an intact blister when continued activity that may irritate the area will commence. They should also be used if a blister has broken on its own accord, protecting the broken skin from bacteria that could cause infection. There are situations when a blister should be pierced and drained; particularly when walking or running will persist in causing friction; absorbent plasters are also highly recommended for these occurrences.
The process for using the plaster is an easy one. When the first sensations of the forming blister are felt, the area should be cleaned well with an antiseptic. Making sure that the area is thoroughly dry, open the plaster packet and apply to the affected area, ensuring that the blister is completely covered by the protective material. Now simply leave it alone, allowing your body the opportunity to do its work.
Though there are many situations when a blister should simply be left alone to heal, there are also others that require a little intervention to ease pain and assist in repairing the injury. Blister plasters are one method of helping the body along in the healing process.