Here’s the Right Way to Heal Blisters

Even though it’s a pretty small foot problem, blisters can be a big pain. They’re also super tempting to pop—I’m surprised there’s not yet a Dr. Blister Popper—but don’t do it! Instead, follow my careful guide to treating (and preventing) those pesky blisters.

How to Treat a Blister

If you have a small blister on your foot, cover it with a band-aid. The blister should stay covered until it heals, although you can clean and swap band-aids daily to prevent infection.

The same applies to larger blisters. If you can keep them covered, do it. But, if a blister is too big to cover and is making daily movement painful, we can drain it—in the office! Once again—don’t do this at home. In my office, I’ll insert a small, sterile needle in the blister to drain the fluid.

Most importantly, I won’t disturb the protective layer of skin on top. This is especially important in order to avoid infection. Once the blister is drained, we’ll cover the rough patch with a dry, clean dressing to prevent infection as the skin heals. I’ll give you instructions for changing the dressing every day. Most of the time, seeing your podiatrist for a blister is optional. But here are the exceptions. If a blister is inflamed or bleeding, see me right away. I’ll follow the same steps I described above, but I’ll also check to make sure infection hasn’t yet set in. If I do think you’ve developed an infection, I’ll determine the appropriate medication to prescribe—either topical or oral.

Now we know what to do with blisters, let’s help make sure they don’t develop in the first place! It's tempting to pop those blisters yourself, but don't do it!!!!

How to Keep Blisters from Forming  

Blisters form with repetitive irritation. If you are prone to blisters in specific places, putting a blister plaster between the skin and whatever is irritating it should help keep them at bay.

Blisters (painful, fluid filled bumps) also form when moisture and friction combine. The moisture can come from you (sweat) or the great outdoors (rain, humidity). Friction is created by rubbing; for runners, that usually comes from an ill-fitting sock or shoe. Here are 3 ways to stop this combo from giving you a painful bump:

Wear shoes that fit!
Always choose shoes that fit—with at least a thumb’s width of space between your longest toe and the end of the toe-box. A well-fitted shoe will go a long way in blister-prevention.

Socks matter too
Especially in Houston summers, choose socks that can keep moisture away from your feet. If you’re prone to blisters between your toes, you may even want to consider a pair that has individual holes for each toe, especially when you exercise. They look a little silly, but do help reduce friction and moisture.

See me
And, as we said before, if you already have a sizeable blister, schedule an appointment with Dr. Andrew Schneider. I can safely drain and cover the blister for you so you can get back to your normal routine.

Dr. Andrew Schneider
Connect with me
Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.
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