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Foot Blister Treatment

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Blisters On Feet

A common and often painful foot problem, blisters on feet can occur for a variety of reasons. They can be caused by everything from ill-fitting shoes to long periods of walking or standing, and can range in size and severity. 

While blisters are generally not a serious medical issue, they can be quite uncomfortable and lead to foot pain, making it difficult to walk or perform daily activities. 

We’ll explore what blisters are, the causes of blisters on the feet and how to treat and prevent them, as well as addressing some common questions about blisters on feet.

What Are Blisters?

Blisters are small pockets of fluid that form between layers of the skin as a result of friction or pressure. They are usually filled with a clear, watery fluid called serum, but they can also contain blood (blood blisters) or pus if they become infected.

Although blisters are most commonly found on the feet, including toes, heels, ball of the foot and bottom of the feet, they can also occur on the hands, arms and other parts of the body.

Foot blisters can be more problematic than other blisters because of the pressure placed on the feet from standing, walking, and other physical activities. When friction blisters form on the feet, they can burst and become painful, making it difficult to walk or stand.

Additionally, because the feet are often enclosed in shoes, foot blisters are more susceptible to infection, as bacteria and other pathogens can easily enter the broken skin. In severe cases, foot blisters can lead to secondary infections that can spread and cause serious health problems.

Painful blister on back of footPainful blister on back of foot

What causes blisters on feet?

There are many different things that can cause blisters on feet. Some common causes include:

  • Ill-fitting shoes: shoes that are too tight or too loose can rub against the skin, causing blisters to develop.
  • Walking or standing for long periods of time: the constant rubbing of the skin against the inside of a shoe can cause blisters to form.
  • Socks that do not fit properly: socks that are too small or too big can cause blisters to form.
  • Wet or sweaty feet: moisture can soften the skin and make it more susceptible to blister formation.
  • Activities involving friction: the repeated rubbing of the skin against a surface can cause blisters to form, when running or dancing for instance.
  • Infections: certain infections, such as athlete's foot, can cause blisters to form on the feet. 
  • Medical conditions: some medical conditions, such as diabetes, can make a person more prone to blisters on the feet.
  • Allergies: blisters can also be caused by allergic reactions.

How to treat foot blisters

If you have a blister on your foot, it’s important to take care of it properly to reduce the risk of infection and ensure proper healing. Here are some steps to follow when treating a blister on your foot.

1. Clean the blister

Use soap and water to gently clean the area around the blister. Be sure to use a clean cloth or cotton swab to avoid introducing any germs to the foot blister.

2. Protect the blister

To prevent the blister from bursting and becoming infected, it’s important to keep it covered. You can use a blister pad or adhesive plaster to cover the area and protect the blister.

3. Don't pop the blister

It can be tempting to pop or drain a blister to relieve the pressure, but it’s best to leave it intact. Popping a blister can cause it to become infected, and the skin over the blister is actually there to protect it from further damage.

4. Keep the blister clean

To prevent infection, it is important to keep the blister clean and dry. If the foot blister becomes dirty or moist, use soap and water to clean it and apply a clean adhesive dressing to keep it dry.

5. Change the dressing regularly

You should change the dressing regularly to keep the blister clean and prevent infection. Be sure to wash your hands before changing the dressing to avoid introducing germs to the foot blister.

6. Apply a blister plaster

Blister plasters, also known as blister pads or hydrocolloid dressings, are adhesive bandages that are specifically designed to protect and treat blisters. They’re made from a special material that absorbs fluid from the foot blister and helps it to heal faster.

How to Treat Open or Burst Foot Blisters

If a blister has burst or is open, you must take steps to properly treat it to prevent infection and promote healing. Here’s what you should do:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with mild soap and water.
  • Clean the blister and the surrounding area with soap and water.
  • Gently pat the area dry with a clean towel or cloth.
  • Apply an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment or healing ointment to the foot blister to help prevent bacterial infection.
  • Cover the blister with a blister plaster or a clean, dry dressing.
  • Change the dressing or blister plaster daily or more frequently if it becomes dirty or wet.

How to prevent blisters on feet

There are a few simple steps you can take to prevent blisters on your feet.

1. Wear properly fitting shoes

Supportive Footwear that fits well and has plenty of room for your toes are less likely to cause blisters on feet.

2. Wear moisture-wicking socks

Socks made from moisture-wicking materials can help keep your feet dry and reduce the risk of foot blisters.

3. Choose the right socks for your activity

Different activities may require different types of socks. For example, runners may want to wear socks with extra padding to reduce the risk of blisters on feet.

4. Break in new shoes gradually

If you are starting a new exercise routine or wearing a new pair of shoes, it’s important to break them in gradually to allow your feet to get used to them.

5. Wear insoles

Putting a pair of arch support insoles in your shoes can reduce the friction which causes blisters on feet and provide cushioning for weight-bearing areas of the foot.

6. Keep your feet dry

If your feet are prone to sweating, be sure to change your socks frequently and use foot powder to keep them dry.



Should I pop blisters?

It is generally not recommended to pop blisters as the skin over the blister is there to protect it from further damage and infection. If the blister is small and not causing too much discomfort, it’s best to leave it alone and allow it to heal on its own. 

If the blister is large or painful, you may want to consult a healthcare professional for guidance on the best course of action.

How do I know if my blister is infected?

If you notice any of the following signs, your blister may be infected:

  • Increased pain, swelling, or redness around the blister
  • Pus or a foul-smelling discharge coming from the blister
  • A fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes

What should I do if my blister is infected?

If you suspect your foot blister is infected, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Your healthcare provider may recommend antibiotics to treat the infection and, if necessary, may drain the foot blister. 

Why do I keep getting blisters?

There are many possible reasons why someone may frequently get blisters on their feet. It could be due to ill-fitting shoes, socks that are too large or small, or activities that involve a lot of friction. 

It’s also possible that a medical condition, such as diabetes, could make someone more prone to foot blisters. If you are getting foot blisters frequently and are unsure of the cause, it’s a good idea to consult a healthcare professional for some further guidance.

Do heel blisters mean my shoes are too small?

Heel blisters could be a sign that your shoes are either too small or too big. Shoes that are too small can cause blisters as they are too tight-fitting meaning the material is in constant contact with the skin on your foot. On the other hand, shoes that are too big cause movement when walking, which in turn causes friction blisters.

How to treat heel blisters?

Heel blister treatment is no different to our recommendations for any other foot blisters – keep the area clean, avoid popping your blister, and apply quality blister plasters. If your heel blister has burst, we would recommend applying antibiotic ointment to reduce the chance of infection, and manuka honey for blisters to assist with healing.

Are people with diabetes more prone to blisters on their feet?

Yes, people with diabetes are more prone to foot blisters. This is because diabetes can cause nerve damage, leading to a loss of sensation in the feet. 

Without proper sensation, it’s more difficult for someone with diabetes to feel when a blister is forming, which can increase the risk of blisters and make them more difficult to treat.

It’s important for people with diabetes to take special care of their feet and seek medical attention if they notice any blisters or other foot problems.

Do sweaty feet cause blisters?

Sweaty feet can contribute to the development of blisters on feet. Moisture can soften the skin and make it more prone to blister formation.

That’s why it’s important to keep your feet dry, especially if you are engaging in activities that involve a lot of friction, such as running or dancing. 

To keep your feet dry, you can wear moisture-wicking socks, which can help keep your feet dry and reduce the risk of blisters on feet, or use foot powder to help absorb moisture. And, if your feet tend to sweat a lot, be sure to change your socks frequently.

How do I ease the pain blisters cause?

Blisters can be quite painful, especially if they are located on a weight-bearing area of the foot. Here are some ways to ease the pain caused by blisters:

  • Protect the blister: as mentioned earlier, it is important to keep the blister covered to protect it from further damage and infection.
  • Take pain medication: over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, such as  ibuprofen, can help reduce the pain and inflammation blisters on feet can cause.
  • Apply a cold pack: applying a cold pack to blister on feet can help reduce pain and swelling.
  • Keep weight off the blister: if the blister is located on a weight-bearing area of the foot, try to keep weight off of it as much as possible to reduce pain.

How should I cover up blisters?

To protect a blister and help it heal, it is important to keep it covered. Here are some options for covering up a blister.

Use a blister pad

Blister pads are adhesive bandages specifically designed to protect blisters on feet. They have a thin, cushioned centre that helps protect the blister, and a waterproof adhesive that keeps the blister dry.

Use adhesive plasters

A medical grade Manuka honey adhesive plaster can also be used to cover blisters on feet, which effectively saturates the blister for faster healing. Be sure that your plaster is large enough to cover the entire blister and the surrounding area.

Use blister plasters

Blister plasters are thin, adhesive patches that can be placed over a blister to protect it. They are typically made of a flexible material that conforms to the shape of the foot, helping to prevent further rubbing and irritation.

Is salt water good for blisters?

There’s no scientific evidence to support the use of salt water for blisters on feet. In fact, soaking a blister in salt water could potentially cause further irritation and delay healing. 

It’s generally best to follow the foot blister treatment recommendations we outlined earlier, such as keeping the blister clean, dry and covered to promote healing.

If you‘ve any concerns about the treatment of a blister, it’s always a good idea to seek guidance from a healthcare professional.

How can FootActive help?

We hope you found this guide on foot blisters useful, but if you would like any further information or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

However, if you do have any concerns or significant pain, we’d always recommend you speak to your doctor.


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