|Macenzie Campbell, 12, almost died from a blister|
after wearing shoes without socks
Macenzie Campbell was rushed to Royal Bolton Hospital when a blister on his foot became infected because he wore shoes without socks. His mother thought that the infection was a wart and applied a treatment but the next day, his foot had swollen and a red rash spread all over his body. After the rash started turning black, his body went into shock, his organs started to fail and his body began to shut down. Macenzie is now recovering at home, after doctors operated on his foot to remove the infected tissue and kept him in the hospital for a week. According to the doctors, he was six hours away from death.
A blister is the result of friction or rubbing on the skin. It forms when the outer layer of skin separates from the inner layers causing fluid to build up in between them. A blister could also be filled with pus if it is infected. Typically, a blister develops if the skin is wet or moist and is continually rubbed in the same location, and they are most common on the feet and hands. If you are suffering from a blister, you might wonder, “When is it okay to drain it?”
Do not drain it if...
If the blister is small and not too painful, keep it clean and leave it intact. Do not try to drain it because the skin acts as a barrier to keep bacteria out and lowers the risk of infection. Also, the fluid within the blister keeps the underlying skin clean and promotes healing. Cover the blister with a bandage or gauze pad and it should heal on its own. If you are diabetic, do not attempt to puncture or drain your blister and please see a podiatrist.
Drain it if...
If the blister is large, painful and prevents you from your daily activities, you may want to try to drain it. First, make sure your hands are clean and clean the blister thoroughly. Wipe the blister with rubbing alcohol, and use the rubbing alcohol to sterilize a sharp needle. Puncture the blister near the edge not the middle because you want to try to avoid disturbing the unbroken skin over a blister. Let the fluid drain and when it is done, apply an antibiotic ointment and cover the blister with a bandage.
Don’t forget to look for signs of an infection: pus drainage, redness or warmth around a blister, an increase in pain, red streaks in skin, and fever. If a blister becomes infected, one of the risks include secondary impetigo, a contagious bacterial infection. Another risk is cellulitis, a serious skin infection that may affect tissues under your skin and spread into your bloodstream. In the case of Macenzie Campbell, he suffered from Sepsis, a life-threatening bacterial infection in the blood stream.
To prevent blisters, minimize the friction and keep your feet dry by wearing fresh socks. You should also wear proper fitting shoes.
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