A bulla is a sac or lesion with fluid which develops if fluid forms beneath a thin skin layer which is a form of blister. For a blister to be categorized as a bulla, it should be bigger than 0.5 centimeters in size.
What are the indications?
It is easy to pinpoint if an individual has a bulla or bullae. The skin slightly elevates with clear fluid within.
In case there are signs of infection, the liquid within has a milky appearance. If the bulla is due to trauma, it might include blood.
When to consult a doctor
See a doctor if it is painful or limits movement or if blood is present.
If the individual has diabetes or circulatory issues, a doctor must be consulted as well. Remember that these conditions increase the risk for the bulla to develop infection.
Oftentimes, a bulla forms as a response to certain medications or accompanied by fever. In such cases, seek prompt medical care.
Management of a bulla
There are various treatment options for a bulla which is based on the root cause and if drainage is necessary.
A bulla caused by friction typically heals on its own if left alone. Apply a protective bandage over the site to prevent further irritation or making it worse. Ideally, use a gauze pad should since the fabric absorbs moisture while allowing the bulla to breathe.
Do not attempt to pop or burst the blister on your own. If the skin is opened to drain the bulla, there is a high risk of introducing bacteria into the wound. This can result to an infection or make the condition worse.
In case it requires drainage, the doctor should be the one to perform the procedure to lower the risk for an infection.
At the doctor’s clinic, the doctor swabs the site with a cleanser to get rid of any bacteria or dirt. The doctor uses a sterile instrument to puncture the blister.
Once the blister is completely drained, the doctor will place a dry bandage on the site. After a few days, the individual might choose to remove the skin covering the bulla if it has already dried. Clean a pair of scissors with iodine and use it to remove the excess skin if it is no longer attached firmly.