How To Treat A Blister On Your Foot
Blisters often develop on the feet. If not treated early, they can cause discomfort and repeated blisters. You may get the urge to pop in and get it over with but this is not advised unless it is too big and painful. In that case, your doctor could puncture it with a sterile need to drain the excessive fluid. If it pops at home, smoothen the skin flap that remains and wash the foot with soap and water. It is important to embrace home treatments for blisters below recommended by experts from Rogers Foot and Ankle Institute.
What Are Foot Blisters
Blisters are small clear fluid-filled pockets that develop as a bubble on an area of the body beneath the skins top layer. The small pockets form when the skins protective layers separate and the space between them fills with serum the liquid part of blood. The serum contains protective substances such as antibodies since the bodys defense mechanism must try to protect the damaged skin as best as it can. These bubbles in the small pocket can vary in size and can happen for various reasons. Blister fluid is composed of water and proteins. You may develop a blister after infection with bacteria or fungus, an insect bite, skin burn, or trauma. Warm skin, pus, and fever could indicate an infection, requiring urgent medical attention. A blister can interfere with your everyday tasks, depending on its location. For example, if you have one on your feet, you may experience difficulty exercising, walking, or standing for long hours.
However, it is possible to treat blisters as shall be seen in this article. Rogers Foot & Ankle Institute covers a wide range of health topics and gives answers that are medically reviewed by several professionals. All information presented here is obtained from peer-reviewed studies and observations of common practice.
How To Prevent Blisters From Forming
Blisters are most common on the feet from wearing shoes that are too tight but there are a number of ways to prevent all types of blisters, wherever they occur.
- Know your problem areas – If you are prone to blisters you may need to prepare for a blister before it even forms. For example, if youre about to wear a new pair of shoes for the first time, apply blister plasters to reduce friction.
- Wear the right clothing– Chafing can also be a common cause of blisters so wearing loose and breathable clothing will reduce friction and the likelihood of blisters forming.
- Consider your options– The types of shoes and socks you wear will determine your chances of blisters forming. Avoid shoes that are tight-fitting or too narrow and double up on socks if youre unsure.
- Lubricate your feet– If you regularly exercise in the same shoes lubricating your feet beforehand will help to reduce friction and blisters forming.
- Wear sun protection– Blisters can also form on sunburnt skin so its best to keep your skin covered in direct sunlight or wear sun cream to prevent skin damage. Large blisters on sunburnt skin can often be a sign of severe burn so you may want to consult a healthcare professional.
Don’t Miss: How Can I Heal My Gums
How To Prevent A Blister
Preventing chafing of the foot and wearing comfortable footwear in the sun are the best measures to prevent a blister.
- Protect your feet: Always use shoes that fit you well. Buy footwear that has good padding. Use good quality socks with shoes.
- Consider soft bandages: Consider using adhesive moleskin or other soft bandages at the areas of the feet that are prone to blistering. Make sure the bandages are applied securely.
- Apply powder or petroleum jelly to problem areas: This helps in reducing the friction when your skin rubs against the footwear.
- Stop your activity immediately if you experience pain or discomfort or if your skin turns red.
Some blisters must not be self-treated. Contact your doctor in the following cases:
- You have diabetes and get foot blisters
- Blood blister
- Blisters due to spill of caustic agents
- Multiple blisters due to an insect bite
- There is a change in the color of the skin surrounding the blister
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Get Your Painful Injury Treated Now
Although most blisters are minor, they can develop into a much more painful condition if they get infected. In some cases, your foot doctor can give you advice on how to treat them at home, but if they arent healing, you will need to see us in person. To learn more about blister treatments, give us a call at Island Foot Clinics in Kelowna, BC. We can help you to resolve the situation and prevent it from occurring again in the future.
You May Like: How To Heal Generational Trauma
The Equipment Youll Need
If you are going to lance your blister, heres what youll need to do it so it doesnt hurt and to avoid infection . This is a great little kit. We call it the Sterile Blister Lance Pack and we sell it from our online store. With expedited shipping, you could have one of these in your hands tomorrow so you can start looking after your blood blisters, infection-free. There are enough items in this pack to provide 4 blister lancing and treatment episodes.
Plus, Ive included easy to follow instructions to help you every step of the way in lancing your blister safely and painlessly.
On a related note, if youve got a black toenail, heres how to treat it by drilling the nail. You can use the hypodermic needles in the Sterile Blister Lance Pack to perform this procedure.
Should You Burst A Blister
The fluid pocket is created to cushion and protect damaged tissue so if this cushion is damaged or popped, this will delay the healing process.
Keeping the blister covered with a plaster will help resist the temptation of picking or popping. If the protective top layer of the blisters is damaged or comes away its best to keep the area clean and covered to prevent infection.
Don’t Miss: First Stage Dog Hot Spot Healing Stages
Keep The Blister Lubricated
Blisters occur because of friction, explains Weiss: Skin layers separate, then fill up with fluid as protection.
To minimize friction, Weiss recommends lubricating the area with petroleum jelly before heading out for a walkapply it on top of the 2nd Skin or Band-Aid.
Clean the area with mild soap after, he says, adding: If you keep the blister clean and protected, it will usually go away within seven to 10 days.
Even The Tiniest Foot Blisters Can Cause A Lot Of Pain But Dont Think Treating Them Is A One
The best way to respond actually depends on the stage of the blister. If it is a hot spot, decrease friction to the area to minimize the chance it turns into a blister. If its a closed blister, use one of the techniques suggested to protect it through a dry, non-adherent padding. If its partially or fully opened, its time to disinfect and use a moist adherent bandage. Minimizing the chances of developing blisters starts by identifying the hot spots you are prone to and ensuring you choose the best footwear and socks for your feet. By focusing on these areas, your hiking experience will be much more enjoyable, and you can reduce the chances of blisters developing.
Learning how to treat foot blisters is just one part of the equation. Contact us today to set up your complimentary fitness consultation to ensure youre in the best shape possible for your adventure.
Anderson LS Jr, Rebholz CM, White LF, et al. The impact of footwear and packweight on injury and illness among long-distance hikers. Wilderness Environ Med. 2009 20:250256.
Twombly SE, Schussman LC. Gender differences in injury and illness rates on wilderness backpacking trips. Wilderness Environ Med. 1995 6:363376.
Also Check: Pain On Outside Of Heal
How To Treat Blisters
If you have a large blister thats big, nasty, even purple, and its affecting how your toes bend, give it a day or two to shrink, says Metzl. If it doesnt improve, you might need to have your doctor pop it in the office under sterile conditions so it doesnt get infected.
If you have a small blister thats not prohibiting your movement, as tempting as it is to touch it, just leave it alone. When the skin and the membrane of the skin are compromised by popping the blister, all of the bacteria that live on the skin normally can invade and could cause inflammation or an infection right away, Metzl says.
You could end up making a very small problem much bigger by puncturing the barrier. You should also leave small blood blisters intact, too. Otherwise, you risk getting bacteria in your bloodstream. Cover it up so the swelling goes down, then try to fix the problem that caused it. Here are some methods to treat small blisters:
- Cut a hole the size of the blister in the middle of a piece of moleskin
- Place the moleskin over the blister and cover with gauze
- Let the blister dry out and heal on its own, or try covering the blister with a waterproof pad
If you absolutely must pop a blister , use caution. Metzl suggests cleaning the area and needle with soap and water and following with an antibiotic ointment. Then be sure to clean the area regularly to prevent infection.
Environmental Foot Blister Causes
Lifestyle habits or certain exposures can result in blisters.
- Moisture changes: Walking around in wet socks or going on vacation in a drier climate than you’re used to are two ways your skin’s moisture levels can be agitated, leading to blisters.
- Clothing: Wearing itchy socks or shoes that are too tight can cause friction that leads to foot blisters.
Also Check: How To Heal Really Chapped Lips
Performing A Physical Examination
Your doctor will also ask you about why you think your blister is so painful and whether theres a way you can prevent this in the future. If theres a physical cause like a bunion, we will discuss further treatment options with you. You might be able to have the cause of your blister removed, or we might simply tell you about simple steps you can take to avoid blistering in the future.
Here Are A Few Basic Steps To Follow In Order To Treat Blisters On Your Feet And Safely Aid In The Healing Process Of Your Skin:
- It is important to note that the skin overlying the blister is protective and should remain in place as long as possible. A common mistake is to remove the overlying skin of the blister. This exposes the underlying skin to possible infection & causes increased pain because raw nerve endings can be exposed.
- Leave the blister alone! Do not pop, drain, open, or trim your blisterthis is the most common cause of infection. Allow it to pop on its own and try to keep the skin intact, if possible. There are exceptions to this rule we will cover later.
- Cover and treat the blister based on the stage of formation and healing it is in.
- After your hike or trek, allow your blister to dry outsoaking your feet in a warm Epsom salt bath will help. If possible, keep the blister uncovered overnight.
Don’t Miss: Scab Inside Nose Won’t Heal
What Can Cause Them
The presence of blood in a blister indicates there is high pressure component. Its this high pressure that causes deeper injury compared to normal blisters. When there is injury to small blood vessels in the dermis, blood is able to leak into the epidermis and mixes with the normal blister fluid. Thats why blood blisters often occur over joints and bony prominences: like the bony bit at the back of the heel, the toes and the metatarsal heads .
Blood vessels exist in the dermis, not the epidermis where blisters form. Thats why normal blisters are not filled with blood.
Home Treatments For Blisters On Feet
You may be tempted to pick at or burst a blister. But you should leave a blister intact because an open blister can become infected. Covering your blister with an adhesive bandage can help protect your blister while it heals.
If you leave a blister alone, it may eventually harden and disappear. Until this happens, the bubble may be uncomfortable, depending on its size. While you shouldnt burst a blister, safely draining the blister may provide relief. Here are steps to properly drain a blister at home:
Also Check: Best Foods For Bone Healing
How To Prevent Blisters
Blisters develop to protect damaged skin and help it heal. They’re mostly caused by friction, burns and skin reactions, such as an allergic reaction.
Blood blisters appear when blood vessels in the skin have also been damaged. They’re often more painful than a regular blister.
If you often get friction blisters on your feet or hands:
- wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes
These Items Make Up Your Blister
- Spenco 2nd Skin in all shapes and sizes.
Every spring I run into Appalachian Trail thru-hikers who are hiking in their camp shoes usually Chaco sandals, Crocs, or similar. Invariably, they could no longer hike wearing their boots or trail shoes due to blisters. Their goal then becomes hobbling along to the next zero day in town so they can stop hiking long enough to treat foot blisters. In this article, we will teach you how to treat blisters on your feet so you can back to hiking on the hiking trail in no time.
Whether you are going backpacking, trekking, or hiking, you cant give it your all if youre in painand nothing puts a damper on your outdoor performance like getting a blister a few miles into your adventure. Studies in wilderness and environmental medicine have shown that friction blisters will affect over 50 percent of active backpackers and hikers.
Also Check: Bible Verses On Health And Healing
A Word Of Caution If You Have Diabetes
Dr. Botek says If you have diabetes mellitus, a blister can lead to a more serious wound if you have risk factors such as loss of feeling, poor circulation or uncontrolled blood glucose. She says if you have a blister and one of these conditions, you should be evaluated by a healthcare provider more urgently.
Should I Pop A Blister
The general rule with blisters is do not pop or drain them. If you pop the blister, you have made a hole in the skin . This not only removes the protective effect of the blister but opens the area up to infection. Popped blisters are often more painful too, as the nerves in the skin beneath are more exposed.
It is particularly important to try to keep the blister intact if any of the following apply to you, as you will be more prone to infection and worsening damage to your feet:
- You are taking steroid tablets.
As with every rule, there are exceptions. You may need to pop a blister if it is large and getting in the way of your shoes. You may also judge that it’s better to pop it as it is so fluid-filled and tense it’s likely to pop anyway as soon as you put your shoes back on. A controlled de-pressurisation of the blister may then make a smaller hole in the skin than if your shoes rubbed the dome of the blister right off.
B Reduce Some Pressure And Reduce Friction Levels
This is where pressure deflection can help in conjunction with reducing friction levels on and around the blister. They are called friction blisters, after all! Heres How:
- Reduce pressure with donut pads cut from thick adhesive orthopedic felt. The idea is you place the cavity over your blood blister to keep the pressure off it.
- Reduce friction levels with Engo Blister Patches. You stick these to your shoe or insole to stop the skin stretching and tearing the capillaries further.
Popping Blisters Is Controversial But If You Have To Do It There Is A Proper Technique
There are some rare occasions when popping is actually a good way to treat foot blisters. A blister in a stressed area of the foot is a good reason for popping it as part of the treatment. Even if a blister popped while in the boot, the treatment is almost the same. Leave the skin in place whether its already popped or not.
Your First Aid kit should have a few safety pins and ideally, a sewing needle.