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A practical guide for nutritional and traditional health care.

Blisters

Skin blisters result when the upper layer of skin detaches from the lower layer because of injury-these accumulate fluids and form bubbles of fluid on the surface of the skin. The spaces in blisters are filled by serum fluids leaking from the injured skin.

Typically most blisters on the skin are caused by injuries to the tissue of the skin through continued friction, and from injuries during second-degree burns, caused by various chemicals which may be extremely acidic or alkaline, aside from these severe allergic reactions occurring along the skin may also bring about blister formation. The development of acute allergic reactions from ingested medications or infections can sometimes cause the formation of blisters all over the skin on the entire body.

Blisters are less pronounced and much less painful if a good supply of nutrients is consumed regularly and used to reduce the inflammation arising after an injury to the skin. The essential fatty acids like linolenic acid are the vital nutrients to provide relief during this period, these essential fatty acids are found in abundant quantities in unrefined and cold-pressed vegetable oils such as the oil of the flax seed, the sunflower oil or in the walnut oil. The formation of anti-inflammatory agents called prostaglandins is carried out in the body through the transformation of these ingested essential fatty acids.
The effective healing of the skin is achieved faster when the person consumes a diet which is rich in fresh and leafy green vegetables, along with these yellow and orange fruits and vegetables also provide the vitamins A and C which are the actual active compounds which heal skin. The dark-colored fruits such as blueberries and the white part of citrus fruits are rich in compounds called bioflavonoids that speed healing along with the vitamin C. Diets must therefore contain food groups which are rich in both compounds.

Apart from injuries and absence of nutrients, blisters are also caused by some health conditions. Herpes, chickenpox, impetigo and a type of eczema known as dyshidrosis are among the medical conditions that cause blisters. In addition, some very rare health conditions are also responsible for causing blisters and they are mentioned briefly below.

Bullous pemphigoid: This is a skin complaint that is responsible for development of big blisters that are densely filled. This condition is rare and generally afflicts people who are above 60 years.

Chronic bullous dermatosis: This medical condition results in development of blisters on the mouth, face and/ or the genitals.

Cutaneous radiation syndrome (CRS): A condition caused by skin's exposure to radiation, which enters deep into the tissues and causes blisters on the affected skin area.

Dermatitis herpetiformis: This is also a skin condition that results in the development of extremely itchy blisters, which occur on the elbows, back, knees and buttocks. In this case the blisters generally develop in the form of patches having identical shapes as well as size on either surface of the body.

Pemphigus: This a severe skin condition wherein blisters form when you put pressure on the skin. These blisters rupture simply and leave behind raw skin areas, which may be infected.

Supplements and herbs

The speed of tissue healing and the prevention of infection in the affected regions of the skin after blister formation can be achieved through continuous and regular daily supplements using supplemental vitamin C along with the compounds known as bioflavonoids. These two supplements working together provide an excellent relief to the blister affected region of the skin.

While it leads to the healing of the blister affected skin, the use of external herbal treatments also proves to be very soothing to the skin and promotes the rapid healing of skin.

The supplemental forms of the oil of the St. John's wort herb or the tea tree oil diluted in olive oil can be applied onto the affected areas daily in the case of blister formation because of rubbed and raw skin due to new or ill fitting shoes. An opened blister can be treated by dabbing some calendula ointment on it. To dry and heal an open blister, the gel of the aloe vera can also be beneficially employed. The skin might be easily irritated by products that contain artificially made additives, avoid using such products on the blisters. The daily bath water can also be bolstered by adding an antiseptic infusion of thyme. Blisters can also be healed by applying crushed and fresh dandelion leaves or by dabbing dandelion juice on them. The plantain is easily obtained from lawns and fields, and the healing and soothing properties of the plantain can be profitably employed in the topical treatment of blisters. To relieve and soothe tired feet, place some plantain leaves inside footwear as a lining, the leaves can also be squashed and applied as a topical treatment for blisters.

Homeopathy

Homeopathic treatment is an effective, harmless and economical means to encourage the natural capability of our body to heal itself. Every homeopathic remedy has precisely recognized consequences on our body as well as the mind. A number of homeopathic remedies that are effective in alleviating fever blisters and cold sores that result in itching, tingling, stinging, and swelling of insignificant skin flare-ups on the face and/ or genitals are discussed briefly below.

  • Apis mellifica
    This particular homeopathic remedy works on the cellular tissues to alleviate edema of the skin. It also provides relief from itchiness, sensitive, tender and burning sensations on the skin.
  • Arsenicum album
    This is a potent homeopathic medication that works on all the tissues and organs. It is an excellent remedy for providing relief from swelling, stinging, tingling, and burning sensations caused by skin eruptions.
  • Borax
    This homeopathic remedy has a potent effect on the eruptions on the face that are distinguished by swelling and redness of the afflicted skin areas. It provides relief from symptoms that may be related to the herpes simplex virus and also the stinging and itching caused by the eruptions.
  • Capsicum annuum
    This remedy is extremely useful in providing relief from eruptions occurring on the lips and may be related to the herpes simplex virus.
  • Graphites
    It works to alleviate eruptions that develop in the region of the genitals and are likely to be related to the herpes simplex virus. This homeopathic remedy is also effectual in providing relief from the stinging and burning sensations caused by the eruptions.
  • Mentha piperita
    This homeopathic remedy works excellently on the skin, preventing the formation of sores right from the scratch.
  • Mezereum
    A wonderful homeopathic remedy for most skin conditions. It effectively provides relief from unbearable itchiness, skin ulcers accompanied with acute burning and tingling; and even skin eruptions akin to ulcers.
  • Natrum muriaticum
    This remedy provides relief from intense skin problems, such as blisters caused by fever; eruptions in the region of the lip vesicles and mouth; and internal nose pain. It also works to alleviate parched and fissured mouth corners; burning, and tingling sensations as well as inflammations caused by skin eruptions. This homeopathic remedy is helpful in clearing the tarnished flare-ups in the limb bends, at the back of the ears and along the border of the scalp.
  • Nux vomica
    This is an effective homeopathic remedy for relieving the very strong burning sensation on the skin, particularly on the face.
  • Petroleum
    A wonderful homeopathic medication for treating cracked, ulcerated skin inside the nose that causes itching and burning sensations. It also provides relief from nasal sores accompanied with scabs (crusts formed over healing sores) and discharge.
  • Psorinum
    This homeopathic remedy is indicated for the type of skin problems that are similar to those attributed to scabies mite. This remedy works effectively in all such cases, provided it is prepared appropriately. In fact, Psorinum is extremely beneficial for people who endure skin problems mentioned above.
  • Ranunculus bulbosus
    This remedy particularly works on the skin and provides relief from sensitivity to touch and coming in contact with air. It also alleviates severe burning and tingling sensations. It is a wonderful medication for treating bluish vesicles and shingles. In addition, it also alleviates eruptions akin to blisters on the palms.
  • Rhus toxicodendron
    This is a useful medication for treating blisters caused by fever in the region of the mouth and the chin and also for relieving ulcerous mouth corners. It works to provide relief from swollen, reddish skin accompanied by a severe itching sensation. This homeopathic remedy also alleviates eruptions that cause burning sensations and have a propensity to form scales. In all, Rhus toxicodendron is a wonderful remedy for skin.

Additional things you may do

You can treat the blister by spreading honey on a clean cloth and place this cloth on the surface of the blister - this will draw moisture away from the blister and aid in its healing. The bactericidal and anti-inflammatory properties of honey are well known and it is for this reason that its use is sanctioned here.

If you are suffering from health conditions like autoimmune diseases or skin disorders, there is hardly any possibility of avoiding formation of blisters. Nevertheless, it is easy to put off the formation of blisters that are caused by skin irritation. The best thing to do to prevent the occurrence of blisters is to avoid or minimize friction as much as possible. You should preferably apply petroleum jelly or talcum powder on the body areas that are prone to form blisters, as it will help in diminishing friction in those areas. In addition, if required, put on suitable footwear, socks and other protective things. You ought to know that the warm and moist body areas are more prone to blisters and, hence, ensure that you always keep your hands as well as feet dry. Also keep away from coming in contact with chemicals that cause irritations and may even result in eczema, which, in turn, may aid formation of blisters. It is also advisable that you should avoid and also get rid of all probable allergen sources, for instance, plants and curtains.

When you have a blister, it is an indication that your skin and/ or tissues have been injured. Therefore, it is essential that you initiate necessary measures to alleviate uneasiness as well as look after such injured areas.

Physicians are of the view that in order to treat blisters better, they should be kept open and exposed to air for the maximum extent. This will enable the blisters some opportunity to 'breathe'. Therefore, it is advisable that sometimes you should leave the blisters without any bandage, for instance, when you are sitting at home relaxing - times when the blisters would not require any protection from debris and bumps.

Whether or not you cover the blister under a bandage, you should essentially apply antibiotic or antibacterial balms to them. Normally, physicians advise you to apply Polysporin or Bacitracin, as there is unlikely to be any chance of sensitivity or allergic reactions when you apply these two ointments compared to using any other non-prescription gels.

If you have developed a blister in any particular irritating spot on your body, such as underneath your foot, you may use padding rather than just a bandage to provide a cushioning effect at the place. You may also use circular pads manufactured using foam adhesive and available in the drug store's foot-care aisle. These are also available at stores selling beauty aids. Nearly all pharmacies market padding sheets that can be trimmed to fit the place where the blister has formed more precisely. Ideally, you should cut the sheet of padding in the form of a donut and put is on the skin around the blister. When you have placed the padding, swathe the blister gently using any antibacterial gel or cream and then tie a bandage over the pad and the blister.

You will be able to alleviate the pressure from the blister and get temporary comfort by raising the area where the blister has formed.

Generally, it takes roughly anything between seven to ten days for the body to reabsorb the fluid inside the blister.

Although there are some physicians who think that no blister should be deliberately burst, since it will increase the chances of having an infection, majority of the doctors concur that if a blister is producing immense pressure, like those occurring on any finger, a toe or below a nail, it should ideally be drained. However, here is a word of caution. Under no circumstance should you burst a blister that has been caused by a burn injury. Often large blisters rupture on their own leaving raw skin while you are carrying on with your usual activities and it is essential that a physician treats them.

In case you make up your mind to rupture a blister that is causing immense pressure, you should first clean the blister as well as a sewing needle using alcohol. It may be noted that many physicians do not advocate the idea of sterilizing needles by keeping them over flame, because the soot on the tip of the needle may cause irritation to the blister. It is best to prick the blister not more than a couple of times close to its margin and subsequently squeeze out the liquid gently and slowly.

Even after you have ruptured the annoying blister and pressed out the liquid, never take away the deflated skin on top of the blister. Known as the blister's roof, this skin not only shields the blister from becoming infected, but also acts like a 'bridge' for the transfer of new cells to mend the place.

In order to squeeze out the fluid from the blister formed on an area having tough skin, for instance, the sole of your foot, you should first drench the blister in Burow's solution for roughly 15 minutes. All pharmacies sell Burow's solution in packets or in tablet form. It is important to follow the instructions printed on the label of the product. It is ideal to drench the blister no less than three or four time daily. Doing this for a couple of days will help to make the blister soft and facilitate the drainage of the fluid.

Usual dosage

  • Vitamin C, with bioflavonoids, 1,000 mg thrice a day.

Other beneficial herbs

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