Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can the blisters on my feet become infected?"
I had a sunburn and got blisters on my feet. Can these get worse? They are pretty bad
Any time the barrier of your skin is broken for any reason, you can always get an infection. A blister occurs when the outermost layer of skin breaks off from the second layer. This can occur in response to a sunburn, an infection with a virus, or repeated trauma to the skin. Blisters usually have fluid that has built up in between the first and second layer of skin. This fluid is kept in with only the outer most layer of skin as a barrier. When this barrier is broken (when the blister pops), this allows bacteria that normally hang out happily on the outer skin to penetrate into the tissues. The immune system responds to this by sending white blood cells to the area to fight off the infection. This causes inflammation, redness, pain, and sometimes swelling. The best thing for you to do about this is schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she will be able to examine your blisters and determine what the best course of action is for your feet. If no infection is set in yet, then your doctor will likely recommend general wound care with or without some antibiotic ointment.
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