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June 1968

Treatment of Friction Blisters: An Experimental Study

Author Affiliations

USAR; San Francisco

From the Dermatology Research Program, US Army Medical Research Unit, Presidio of San Francisco, and the Division of Dermatology, University of California, San Francisco Medical Center, San Francisco.

Arch Dermatol. 1968;97(6):717-721. doi:10.1001/archderm.1968.01610120107016

The healing of experimental friction blisters on palms or heels of 83 volunteers was followed for three weeks with and without fluid drainage, and with and without blister top removal.

Both natural fluid resorption and aspiration resulted in the adherence of some of the blister tops to their bases. A single drainage not earlier than 24 hours and not later than 72 hours or drainage three times during the first 24 hours after blistering trauma produced the highest incidence of blister top adherence. Under the conditions of these experiments, the blister sites protected by the adhering tops became functional earlier and caused less discomfort than denuded blisters. Blister drainage did not influence epidermal regeneration of the base, which was histologically evident in the production of a new granular cell layer by 48 hours after blistering trauma.

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