Try NOT to get them, but if you do here's the best way to take care of blisters

Try NOT to get them, but if you do here’s the best way to take care of blisters

It’s your lucky day. You’ve got a blister on your foot. How can something so seemingly little and innocuous ruin your life? Don’t know, but it can. A blister is a raised area on the foot (or elsewhere) filled with fluid, situated in the superficial layer of skin.

The eruption looks comparable to bubbles on the skin. They are caused by friction, from shoes, or irritation, and sometimes are the result of a disease process, such as autoimmune conditions, inflammatory problems or skin rashes.

The eruption can be the result of moisture, which is why military personnel and athletes often experience them. These individuals sweat profusely and are extremely active, resulting in the ideal conditions for a developing sore.

The eruption can be singular or in a group. When the sore occurs and it is small and fluid-filled, it is medically referred to as a vesicle. When it is larger than one centimeter across, it is called a bulla.

Most people have experienced a friction blister at one time or another, particularly after wearing ill-fitting shoes that rubbed up and down on the heels. These little suckers are terribly painful and can make wearing shoes an excruciating experience.

Ironically, the body is actually protecting you when a sore forms. In an attempt to ease what friction is doing to the skin, the body produces fluid, which fills the area between the layers of sore skin, resulting in a friction blister.

What Should You Do?

The best way to take care of blisters on your feet entails wearing shoes that fit properly so you don’t get them in the first place. You can also use blister-preventing products like blister pads and simple bandaids.

Wear socks, as well. If you have sweaty feet, do not wear cotton socks because they snare moisture. When wearing socks, this provides supplementary support for the feet, keeps moisture away from the skin and lessens friction.

Nylon socks are a good choice because there is less moisture build-up and more breathability. Wicking socks are often worn by runners because the wool blend sock drags dampness away from the skin. Try wearing two pair of socks if one pair isn’t affording you enough protection.


Put 2nd Skin, moleskin or a bandage on the areas of the body that are likely to experience a lot of friction. These products are a soft cloth on one side and an adhesive on the other. Many runners and hikers put them on their heels and other ‘hot spots’ to prevent sores from developing. You can also put these products over a sore that has already erupted.

A blister kit contains moist pads protecting against friction and pressure. Put the moisture pads on the hot spots, such as the heels, knees, hands and elbows.

Vaseline eliminates friction. Rub some on your heels or on other hot spots.

Do Not …

 … interfere with a blister that appears to be healing on its own. Do not puncture it. The intact skin serves as an antibacteral barricade. If it does open, cover it with moleskin or a slack bandage.


An eruption of this kind can become infected. This is obviously something you want to avoid. Infection is present when the sore hurts worse than it did previously, is filled with pus and turns red.

On the Other Hand …

A large, painful eruption will be less painful if drained. You can do this yourself if it doesn’t appear to be infected. Use good judgment. Sterilize the skin and a needle with rubbing alcohol. Gently introduce the needle into the blister at the edge. This punctures it. Put antibiotic ointment on the site and cover with gauze or a bandage. Keep it dry.


Those suffering from diabetes or circulation issues should leave treatment of the foot or feet to a doctor. Do not do it yourself because you can end up with a grave infection. In a worse case scenario, a ruptured sore can lead to secondary impetigo, which is a contagious bacterial infection, or to an even more serious skin problem called cellulitis.

If an infected blister goes untreated it can lead to a potentially life-threatening condition called sepsis, where the bacterial infection enters the body tissue or bloodstream.