How to Prevent Blisters (And Treat Them)

woman wearing yellow high heels concerned about blisters
Woman in yellow high heels shoes.

They’re pesky, aren’t they? There are the new shoe blisters, the “I may have overdone it,” blisters, and the “How did I get a blister in these shoes…I wear them all the time” blisters.

Whatever the case, blisters are painful. The good news? There are ways to prevent them. If you missed the prevention part, there are also ways to treat them to alleviate further discomfort.

More often than not, you can feel a blister starting to form. The minute you sense a blister starting, it’s essential for you to stop and adjust what you’re doing. It could be as easy as pulling up your slouching sock. However, don’t power through the blister sensation. Most likely, you’ll end up accidentally popping the blister, which could lead to infection.

If you’re headed out for extended activity, consider additional padding for your feet. Moleskin, anti-blister pads, and bandages will not only provide extra padding but may also protect any existing blisters from further irritation. Of course, not all padding is created equal. Experiment with several types, so you know what works for you.

Dr. Matthew Robison, a podiatrist and owner of Aboite Podiatry, says one of the most common questions he gets is, “Should I pop my blister or leave it be?”

“I tell my patients to be patient,” Dr. Robison quipped. ”Blisters are better off if they’re left to heal naturally. After a few days, most blisters will heal themselves.” However, he said that if a blister affects the way you walk, popping it will provide relief.

Pop Blisters Safely With These Tips

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Clean your blister with soap and water.
  • Check for any sign of infection (yellow or green pus, swelling). If you notice an infection, call your doctor.
  • With rubbing alcohol, sterilize a needle.
  • Gently poke the edge of your blister with the needle (in several spots) and use a clean piece of gauze to soak up any drainage.
  • Apply an antibiotic ointment over the blister and cover it with a bandage.
  • Keep the blister clean and check it after a few days. By then, you should cut away the dead skin (apply more antibiotic ointment to the new skin).

Blister Prevention

  • Wear good-fitting, quality shoes.
  • Wear socks made to wick away moisture. Stay away from cotton socks. For extended activities, consider wearing two pairs of socks. One pair will wick away the moisture, and the other will provide you with extra padding.
  • Stay dry. Pack an extra pair of socks in case you notice your feet are wet. Powders such as talcum or corn starch are also great for wicking away moisture.
  • Because friction causes blisters, try lubricating your feet prior to exercising.

Make a plan for preventing blisters. You know your feet better than anyone. An ounce of prevention makes for happier, healthy feet.

If your blister is infected, call Aboite Podiatry right away to be seen by one of our podiatrists.