Blood Blisters
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Blood Blisters

What is a blood blister How do we get blood blisters

We have all had them at one time or another, usually from a pinching type injury such as using pliers. But what exactly is a blood blister. A blood blister is exactly what it says. a blister that is filled with blood instead of serous fluid. They can be very painful and ugly to look at, but are benign ( harmless ) in nature. Where we can get into trouble with them is if we pop them. This creates a direct route into our bodies for bacteria. More detail on this later. Let us look at how a blood blister is formed.

When we get a blood blister there are several factors occurring simultaneously. First and foremost is obviously a pinching injury. This is an injury in which a small portion of shin is pinches between two separate surfaces, such as with the use of pliers or missing your mark with a hammer and getting a glancing blow to your thumb. When this occurs, small blood vessels ( capillaries ) are torn or ruptured causing the contained blood to spill forming a small bubble. This bubble is formed because the skin is actually still intact. This injury is painful but as already stated harmless.

When we get blood blisters it can be very tempting to pop them in order to reduce the ugly appearance, but this is a bad idea. If any sort of blister is popped, this creates a break in the dermis, allowing for a direct route for the introduction of bacteria. Now a small lesson in microbiology. Bacteria are small single celled living organisms that are found on every surface imaginable. Some are harmless and actually beneficial such as Acidophilus, which aides in the maintaining of proper balance of fauna in our intestinal tract. But there are others which can be lethal. One example is what is known as a super bug, resistant to most antibiotics, this bacteria is known as MRSA, Methicillian Resistant Staphylococcus Aurous. As this organism is resistant to almost everything, you do not want it in your system. A related bacteria is a particularly nasty gem in the Staph and Strep families. They are responsible for a condition known as Necrotizing Fasciitis. Another name for this bug is " Flesh Eating Bacteria "

To treat this injury, simply apply cold to the area to reduce inflammation and pain. Then just leave it alone. The blood will be broken down and reabsorbed by the body with no bad effects. Of course it is advisable to keep the blister covered and protected. Band aides are great for small blood blisters and blisters in general. For larger ones, apply a 2 x 2 and wrap or tape to secure. The idea is to try and prevent the blister from popping. If it does happen to pop, wash very well with hot water and soap and keep covered. The use of an anti biotic ointment is often used in order to minimize the risk for infection.

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