Children's Health and Wellness

Blisters in Children

What is a blister?

A blister is a bump on the skin containing fluid. Blisters are usually round in shape. The fluid that forms underneath the skin can be bloody or clear.

What causes a blister?

Blisters are caused by injury, allergic reactions, or infections, which may include the following:

  • Burns and scalds

  • Sunburns

  • Friction (such as from a shoe)

  • Contact dermatitis

  • Impetigo, a contagious skin infection

  • Viral infections, including chickenpox and herpes zoster

  • Fungus

  • Thumb-sucking

  • Medicine reactions

The symptoms of a blister may resemble other skin conditions or medical problems. Always talk with your child's healthcare provider for a diagnosis.

First aid for blisters

Blisters often heal on their own. Treatment will vary according to the cause. Some general guidelines for treatment may include:

  • Wash the area with soap and water.

  • A cold or ice pack may help reduce swelling and discomfort.

  • Keep the area clean and dry. Don't burst or puncture the blister.

  • If the blister bursts, place an adhesive bandage or dressing on the area to keep it clean.

  • Watch the area for signs of infection. These include increased warmth, swelling, redness, drainage, pus formation, or pain. If you see any signs of infection, call your child's healthcare provider. Antibiotics may be needed.

Blisters that don't heal, or, blisters that keep coming back, should be seen by a healthcare provider.

Online Source: Types of Allergies: Skin Allergy, American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunologyhttp://acaai.org/allergies/types/skin-allergies
Online Source: Tinea Infections, American Academy of Family Physicianshttps://familydoctor.org/condition/tinea-infections/#overview
Online Source: First Aid for Burns: Parent FAQs, American Academy of Family Physicianshttps://https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/all-around/Pages/First-Aid-For-Burns.aspx.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/skin/Pages/Sunburn-Treatment-and-Prevention.aspx
Online Source: How to prevent and treat blisters, American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunologyhttps://www.aad.org/public/skin-hair-nails/injured-skin/blisters
Online Source: Chickenpox (Varicella) - Signs and Symptoms, CDChttps://www.cdc.gov/chickenpox/about/symptoms.html
Online Source: Shingles: Signs and Symptoms, CDChttps://www.cdc.gov/shingles/about/symptoms.html
Online Source: Impetigo, American Academy of Pediatricshttps://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/skin/Pages/Impetigo.aspx
Online Source: Sunburn: Treatment and Prevention, American Academy of Family Physicianshttps://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/skin/Pages/Sunburn-Treatment-and-Prevention.aspx
Online Editor: Tchang, Kimberly
Online Medical Reviewer: Dozier, Tennille, RN, BSN, RDMS
Online Medical Reviewer: Lehrer, Michael Stephen, MD
Date Last Reviewed: 3/1/2017
© 2000-2017 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.