A blister is a small, fluid-filled bubble on the skin. Most blisters on the feet are caused by friction and do not require medical attention. New skin will form underneath the affected area, and the fluid built up in the blister is simply absorbed back into the tissue.
Causes of Blisters
- Cold injuries
- Friction caused by your foot rubbing against an improperly fitting shoe
- Sweaty feet that may cause your socks to stick to your skin
Symptoms of Blisters
- Initial redness that precedes the formation of the bubble-like sac
- Pus, fever, and/or red streaks, which indicate that the blister has become infected
Treatments for Blisters
If your blister is not causing you pain and if it has not become infected, home remedies will often take care of most blisters:
- Aloe-based cream
- Petroleum jelly
- Placing moleskin (rather than a traditional bandage) over the blister
- Vitamin E ointment
If the blister is filled with clear fluid, it is best to leave it alone and not pop it. New skin will form beneath the blister and allow the blister to pop on its own when appropriate. If, however, the blister is filled with blood or yellow or white pus, then you should see your doctor immediately, as the blister has become infected.
If you absolutely have to pop a clear-fluid-filled blister because it is large, painful, or likely to be further irritated, you should follow these steps carefully:
- Use a sterilized needle or razor blade.
- Wash the area thoroughly.
- Make a small hole and gently squeeze out the clear fluid.
- Apply a dab of hydrogen peroxide to help protect against infection.
- Avoid removing the skin over a broken blister, as the new skin beneath it needs this protective cover.
- Cover the area with a bandage and mild compression.
Prevention of Blisters
- Keeping your feet dry
- Placing moleskin or petroleum jelly on a potentially sensitive area before you go out exercising or walking
- Washing and drying your feet daily to prevent bacterial infections, such as athlete's foot
- Wearing properly fitting shoes
- Wearing socks that have heels instead of tube socks; acrylic and other synthetic-fiber socks are good choices
Check out this article, "Boxer’s Loss to Fighting Legend Is Said to Have Been Caused by Blisters", for further information.
For more information on blister treatment, call New Orleans Podiatry Associates in New Orleans, LA, at (504) 897-3627. For the Metairie, LA, location, call (504) 457-2300.