How to Treat a Foot Blister

Two Methods:Early Treatment of Pre-Blister Hot SpotsTreating a Formed Foot Blister

Blisters on your feet? They are painful—annoying at best, debilitating at their worst. If you're the unfortunate sufferer of foot blisters, follow these steps for treatment, and you'll be back on your feet in no time!

Method 1
Early Treatment of Pre-Blister Hot Spots

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    Understand blisters. Know that blisters often develop when faced with friction, heat, dirt, and moisture.[1] These factors are present when hiking, doing gymnastics or figure skating, especially with inappropriate socks or boots. They are frequently caused by wearing that brand new pair of footwear for extended periods, without any break-in time, so the shoes are stiff and unforgiving. Compared to your soft, tender skin, it's no match!
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    Minimize blister growth upon early discovery. Follow these steps used to prevent blisters to minimize their growth:
    • If you can, spend some time breaking in your new shoes so that the shoes have a chance to conform to your foot shape, and your foot has had a chance to be conditioned to being rubbed the wrong way.
    • Remove the hiking boot or uncomfortable shoes that might be causing the warm spot which will soon become a blister.
    • Try to let your feet cool down and dry out.
    • If you keep walking, cover the area with moleskin, zinc oxide tape, or a bandage—anything to reduce the heat and friction on the area which might become a blister.

Method 2
Treating a Formed Foot Blister

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    Clean around the blister with warm water and soap. Consider adding anti-bacterial ointment.
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    Let the blister heal on its own if possible. To pop, or not to pop. Decide if you want to let the blister heal by itself or whether you want to drain it. As a general rule of thumb, if the blister is not making walking painful, then you should let it heal by itself.
    • If it is impractical to let the blister heal, treat it by draining it. Start by sterilizing a needle with alcohol or boiling water, or use a pre-sterilised medical hypodermic needle.
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    Pop the bubble if necessary. Carefully Insert the needle at the side and base of the blister. Allow all the liquid to drain.
    • Do not remove the loose skin that covers a blister, as this opens it to infection.
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    Disinfect the blistered area. Apply some povidone-iodine antiseptic to the blister site. This may sting slightly, especially if applied from a cold spray, but will help to ensure the site doesn't get infected now that it's open.
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    Cover the blistered area. Use a gauze bandage, plaster, moleskin or other protective cover. Try to use a low-adherent or non-adherent dressing where possible as this will be easier to change without disturbing the healing skin underneath.
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    Allow the blister to heal. Remove any bandages, and keep the injured appendage in the open air as much as possible.
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    Don't exacerbate the damage. If you continue the exercise which caused the blister in the first place, apply a measure of iodine antiseptic, cover with a non-adherent dressing and secure in place with a strong tape such as zinc oxide. This will prevent infection, allow easy dressing removal, and secure the site against further friction respectively.
    • Do not use duct tape! It is not intended for use on human skin and can further damage the blister or surrounding areas. Think about gripping the blister skin and tearing it with a pair of pliers. That's what duct tape will do for you.
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    Keep it clean. Check the blister daily and continue to keep it clean, applying further iodine antiseptic where required.


  • Don't wear socks or it will make you itch and it could bleed.
  • Try not to detach the skin that covers the blister. It offers natural protection for the raw skin underneath. If you must remove the loose skin, do so with sterile or sterilised scissors or a scalpel. Do not pull at loose skin (pulling will also make it hurt much more.)
  • Do not use the method of putting a thread through the blister. It's no longer used or taught as it's ineffective as a drainage method and will quickly cause infection.
  • Don't wear heels!
  • Aloe Vera is also an effective way to heal the blister throughout. Just rub some on the blistered area with the aloe vera and it should go away in a couple of days to a week.
  • Try not to use anything dirty. When you do, it will open it further to infection.
  • Lotion like Nivea can soothe your blister. A way to heal it faster is to soak your feet in specials salts or tea tree oil.
  • Don't walk on it for a while - it still will be sore as its healing, so if you do decide to get back to sports, make sure that it is fully healed. If it isn't painful, but still there, don't carry on with your sports! You'll end up hurting yourself, and probably get another blister.
  • Run your foot blisters under cold water in the bathtub. It not only removes the heat and the pain from the blisters it also cleans any dirt or sweat on them.
  • Try using benzoyl peroxide on it. It is found in most acne products and reduces the fluids under the skin. It should work overnight.
  • Rub some antiperspirant on an area to reduce sweating.
  • Tea tree oil works well for healing blisters quickly.
  • An alternative treatment is to buy a special blister plaster and put in onto the blister. This is medicated and will dry the blister, so you may not need to take any further action, though they are often unsuitable for further activity and will break or detach, possibly causing further skin damage if friction is applied.
  • Putting a plaster on the blister is probably the best thing to do.


  • Do not use a match to sterilize the instrument that you will use to pierce the blister—fire will oxidize any coatings on the metal and leave black, sooty particulate that can cause an infection.
  • If a foot blister contains blood, then most probably the injury is more serious and hit some capillaries. Proceed with caution in draining this type of blister, as in these cases, the tissues tend to infect more often.
  • Keep your wounds clean—wash with Dettol or similar disinfectant mixture made for personal application.
  • If a blister has excessive amounts of pus draining from it, starts to smell, or becomes red, the blister is probably infected. See a doctor.[2]

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