We've all suffered a blister when we've worn an uncomfortable pair of shoes. The blister forms due to rubbing and pressure. Blisters are small oval shaped water bubbles that develop under the skin. The clear liquid inside a blister is called serum. An unbroken blister that contains serum can protect the skin beneath it from becoming damaged.

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Vesicle is the medical term used to refer to small blisters; while larger blisters (bigger than half an inch) are called bulla. Blisters filled with blood rather then clear serum are called blood blisters. These types of blemishes can appear on the mouth, foot, genitals and even the tongue.

There are dozens of causes of blisters. More commonly, skin irritation, allergies, infections, skin disorders and medications cause blisters. Blisters caused by allergies occur when the skin comes into contact with toxic plants such as poison ivy, poison oak or sumac. Certain medications like NegGram and Lasix can also cause mild blistering skin reactions.

Generally a blister feels painful and itchy at the same time. The healing time for a blister usually depends on how they were caused. Small blisters caused by rubbing or skin irritation can disappear within a few days. Severe blisters will sometimes require continuous medical therapy to remedy. When a blister heals, the fluid in the blister is re-absorbed by the skin and it returns to its flat texture naturally.

To prevent blisters caused by infections, remember to wash your hands regularly. You should also avoid touching any open blisters with your hands. If a blister breaks, wash it with soap and water and apply a bandage to cover the exposed area immediately.

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