Diabetic blisters

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Diabetic blisters are likely to form among individuals diagnosed with diabetes. Even though alarming initially, the blisters are generally painless and heal on their own without leaving behind any scars.

Various skin conditions are linked with diabetes. When it comes to diabetic blisters, they are considered uncommon. The blisters are likely to affect men than women.


Diabetic blisters typically form on the feet, legs and toes. They might also develop on the fingers, arms and hands in some cases.

Diabetic blisters typically form on the feet, legs and toes.

The blisters might grow up to 6 inches, but they are typically smaller. They often appear as blisters that occur after a burn, without the pain. The blisters seldom manifest as a single lesion but as clusters or bilateral. The skin bordering the blisters is not typically swollen or reddened. If reddened or inflamed, a doctor should be seen right away. The diabetic blisters include a clear, sterile fluid and can be quite itchy.

What are the causes?

The precise cause of diabetic blisters is unknown. Several lesions might form without no known injury. Using shoes that do not properly fit can cause blisters. In some cases, the fungal Candida albicans is also another cause of the blisters among those with diabetes.

One is also at risk if the blood sugar level is not properly controlled. Individuals who are diagnosed with diabetic neuropathy which is a form of damage to the nerve that lowers sensitivity to discomfort or pain are susceptible to the blisters.

Management of diabetic blisters

Due to the risk for infection and ulceration among those with diabetes, a dermatologist should be consulted to rule out other serious skin conditions. The blisters typically heal in 2-5 weeks without treatment.

Take note that the fluid inside the blisters is sterile. Infection can be prevented by avoiding breaking the blister open. In case the lesion is large, the doctor might decide to drain the fluid. This helps keep the skin intact as a covering for the wound.

The blisters can be managed with the application of an antibiotic ointment or cream and bandages to protect against further injury. A steroid cream might be prescribed by the doctor if the itchiness is intense.

Proper control of the blood sugar level is vital in preventing the formation of diabetic blisters or to hasten the healing if they are already present.

Quick Note / Disclaimer

The material posted on this page on diabetic blisters is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn properly provide wound care for this type of blister, register for a first aid and CPR course with Victoria First Aid.

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