Is it best to remove intact blisters on new second-degree burns or leave them alone? I work in two different clinics, and one debrides all blisters while the other leaves them intact. — CINDY HAACKE, FNP-C, Syracuse, Utah

A 2006 study set out to determine whether “de-roofing or aspirating the blisters is better than conservative management in minimizing infection and promoting healing” in adults with partial thickness burns. Researchers concluded that although the evidence remains poor, “based upon the currently available evidence, blisters should, whenever possible, be left intact to reduce the risk of infection…and leaving the blister intact should therefore be the default option. However, if anatomic position necessitates intervention for functional purposes, aspiration appears to result in less pain than deroofing.” — Philip R. Cohen, MD (145-10)

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