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How do Blister Plasters Work?

How do Blister Plasters Work?

Signs and Symptoms of a blister

Blisters appear like a bubble on the skin1. The fluid is usually clear but can be red if a small blood vessel bleeds in the bubble1. If the liquid is cloudy, this may indicate infection.

Clean and cover your blister

It is best to keep the top layer of the skin intact, to prevent infection and speed up the healing process. For most of us, it is a simple process of checking the blister area is clean, centralising the plaster over the blister to ensure a good seal around the damaged skin. This will allow the plaster to provide protection from dirt and remain waterproof, allowing the blister to heal faster.

If it is large or shows signs of infection, please seek medical advice for treatment to ensure it is cared for correctly

The difference between blister plaster and normal plasters

Blister plasters look much like normal plasters though they feel thicker and have a slightly rubbery texture. Once applied to the skin, however, they behave very differently. Blister plasters are specifically designed to aid the healing of a blister and protect it against further friction.

The healing and protection process

It sounds clever, but how does it actually work? Blister plasters contain hydrocolloid and have two layers. The inner material absorbs the excess fluid and forms a gel over the wound. This retains any moisture which may have gathered and a white bubble develops. When the bubble is visible from the outside, it means the blister is healing. The outer layer forms a seal or ‘second skin’ to protect the blister from bacteria and dirt. It is soft, comfortable and breathable. In addition, the moist and insulated environment allows the body’s own enzymes to heal the wound naturally. 

The benefits of blister plasters – Pain relief and speedy healing

One of the main benefits of using blister plasters is that there is instant relief from pain. Because of their flexibility, active gel cushion and strength, the plasters protect against friction between the skin and socks or shoes. 

Whilst a blister may take a couple of weeks or more to heal, a hydrocolloid plaster can speed up the healing process. With its waterproof and strong adhesive qualities, the plaster can remain in place for 7 days until the edges start lifting when hopefully the wound is well on its way to recovery.



  1. NHS. Blisters. Available from: (accessed September 2022);