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Health Headlines - October 17

Posted Oct 16 2008 7:56pm

Health Tip: Take Care of a Blister

Blisters are fluid-filled sacs on the skin that can be caused by friction from clothing or shoes, burns, or certain disorders and conditions.

The University of Virginia Health System offers these suggestions for how to take care of a blister and prevent infection:

  • Gently wash the blister with soap and water.
  • Apply an ice pack to reduce pain and swelling.
  • Never burst or puncture the blister.
  • If the blister bursts on its own, cover it with a bandage or dressing to keep it clean and dry.
  • Check the blister frequently for signs of infection, which could include warmth, redness, swelling, drainage, pus or pain. If you have any of these signs, contact your doctor without delay.
Health Tip: Keep Stitches Clean and Dry

Stitches are used to close deep cuts in the skin. They need to be properly cared for to prevent significant scarring and infection.

Here are suggestions on caring for stitches, courtesy of the American Academy of Family Physicians:

  • Keep the stitches clean and dry. You should be able to wash the area within one to three days of getting the stitches.
  • If recommended by your doctor, after 24 hours, gently clean the wound with water, thoroughly dry, and re-bandage it.
  • Gently wash off the dirt and crust that forms over the stitches.
  • If a light, yellow fluid drains from the wound, you may need to keep it covered.
  • With your doctor's approval, use a bit of antibiotic ointment on the wound to reduce the risk of infection.
  • To reduce pain and swelling, for up to two days after getting the stitches, try to keep the wound elevated above your heart as much as possible.
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