19 Home Remedies for Blisters


You just couldn't resist a bargain. Those shoes looked great with your new outfit, even if they didn't feel so great on your feet. "They'll stretch out," you told yourself, and then patted yourself on the back for getting such a good deal. Unfortunately, you got more than you bargained for: painful blisters to go with your new shoes.

Blisters are tender spots that fill up with fluid released by tiny blood vessels in an area where delicate skin tissues have been burned, pinched, or just plain irritated. Virtually everyone has experienced friction blisters, the kind caused by hot, sweaty, or ill-fitting shoes.

In this article, you'll learn some safe and easy home remedies to ease the pain and discomfort of blisters for good, and that's no small feat. First, we'll look at how to treat the blisters you may already have.

For more information about blisters and how to combat them, try the following links:

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

Home Remedies for Treating Blisters

©2007 Publications International, Ltd. Elevating the blistered area can help relieve the pressure and temporarily ease discomfort.

A blister is your body's way of telling you that skin and tissues are being injured. So it's important to take steps to relieve the discomfort and protect the injured area. If you have a blister, read these helpful home remedies to treat your feet:

Make a tent. Instead of simply placing an adhesive bandage right on top of the blister, "tent" the bandage by bringing in its sides so the padding in the middle of the bandage raises up a bit. A tented bandage will help protect the blister while exposing it to air, which will speed healing.

Use a double-duty bandage. Another type of bandage, available in pharmacies, contains a gel and antiseptic to cushion and "clean" the blister. Ask your pharmacist if you can't find it on the shelf.

Let it breathe. Some physicians believe a blister needs as much exposure to air as possible and should never be covered. So you may want to give your blister a chance to "breathe" by going without a bandage occasionally, such as when you're sitting around relaxing at home and your blister is less likely to need protection from bumps and debris.

Smear on an ointment. Whether you decide to cover your blister or not, you should apply an antibacterial/antibiotic ointment to it. Doctors generally recommend Bacitracin or Polysporin, which may be less likely to cause an allergic reaction or sensitivity than other over-the-counter ointments.

Pad it. When a blister is in a particularly annoying spot, like the bottom of the foot, padding might provide more of a cushion than a bandage alone would. Try using the circular pads made of foam adhesive found in the foot-care aisle of drug and beauty-aids stores. Most pharmacies sell sheets of padding, which you can trim for a more precise fit. Cut the padding in the shape of a donut, and place it on the skin surrounding the blister. Then gently cover the blister with an antibacterial ointment, and place a bandage over the blister and pad.

Put it up. Elevating the blistered area can help relieve the pressure and temporarily ease discomfort.

Be patient. It usually takes about a week to ten days for the blister's fluid to be reabsorbed by the body.

Drain it. While some doctors believe that a blister should never be popped because of the risk of infection, most agree that a blister causing extreme pressure, such as one on a finger or toe or under a nail, is a candidate for draining. Never open a blister that was caused by a burn. Large blisters that may open on their own through normal activity should be treated by a doctor.

If you should decide to pop a blister, first wipe the blister and a sewing needle with alcohol. (Some doctors discourage the common practice of sterilizing needles over flames, since soot on the tip could irritate the blister.) Prick the blister once or twice near its edge; then slowly and gently press out the fluid.

Keep the roof on it. Once you have popped the blister and drained the fluid, do not remove the deflated top skin. This skin, called the blister's roof, protects the blister from infection and forms a "bridge" across which new cells can migrate on their journey to heal the site.

Soak first. To drain a blister on a tough-skinned area, such as the sole of the foot, soak the blister for fifteen minutes in Burow's solution, available from pharmacies in packets or tablets (follow the directions on the package). Soak the blister three to four times a day. A day or two of this will soften the blister and make draining easier.

Watch for signs of infection. Redness, red streaks, or pus in an intact or "popped" blister should be treated by a doctor.

Wouldn't it be even better to not have any blisters at all? In the next section, we'll look at home remedies you can take to help prevent blisters before they start to form.

For more information about blisters and how to combat them, try the following links:

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

Home Remedies for Preventing Blisters

©2007 Publications International, Ltd. Unlike nonporous vinyl and plastic materials, leather has microscopic pores that allow air to circulate, keeping the foot drier.

Anyone who frequently engages in physical activity will have to contend with a blister sooner or later. However, the following home remedies can help prevent friction blisters:

Buy shoes in the afternoon. Pounding the pavement all day can cause your feet to swell by as much as half a shoe size, so you'll want to do your shoe shopping when your feet are likely to be at their largest. Another tip: When trying on shoes, wear the same type of socks that you plan to use with the shoes.

Look for leather. Unlike nonporous vinyl and plastic materials, leather has microscopic pores that allow air to circulate, keeping the foot drier. The clusters of perforated holes primarily found on many styles of sports footwear serve the same purpose. Remember: A dry foot is less likely to develop blisters.

Break it in, if you must. Ideally, a shoe should fit well and feel comfortable when you try it on. Often, however, new shoes have stiff areas that take time to soften up. While you may be tempted to wear the new pair right away, your best bet is to break them in gradually. Wear them for limited amounts of time, switching to your old pair of shoes in between.

Don't exercise at midday. The heat of midday, especially in the summer, can make the feet perspire more, making them more blister-prone.

Never wear wet shoes. The wetness can cause more "dragging" between the foot and shoe and can result in blisters. If you jog twice a day, for instance, you may want to have two pairs of shoes, one that you wear for your first run of the day and another for the second; this way, each pair has more time to dry out.

Protect "hot spots." If you have a chronic "hot spot," or place where blisters tend to develop, apply petroleum jelly to it, then slip on your sock. Used alone, adhesive foam or felt pads (sometimes called moleskin), can also absorb the friction and protect a hot spot. For best results, make sure the padding covers more area than you think a blister would take up, since the neighboring areas can become irritated, too.

Wear the right socks. Specially made sport socks with extra padding in typical hot spots can help prevent blisters. Natural fibers such as cotton and wool tend to keep the feet dry by absorbing moisture. However, some research suggests that acrylic fibers may, through a wicking action, move moisture away from the foot, actually keeping it drier and making it less prone to blistering. Your best bet? Try them both to see which type of fiber keeps your feet drier and more comfortable. In addition, be sure the sock fits your foot, so it doesn't bunch up inside the shoe and cause a blister.

Try a sprinkle. Foot powders may aid in keeping the foot dry and preventing painful blisters.

A blister can turn a pleasant walk into a painful ordeal. But using the home remedies outlined in this article means you're putting your best foot forward in avoiding this pesky problem.

For more information about blisters and how to combat them, try the following links:

David J. Hufford, Ph.D., is university professor and chair of the Medical Humanities Department at Pennsylvania State University's College of Medicine. He also is a professor in the departments of Neural and Behavioral Sciences and Family and Community Medicine. Dr. Hufford serves on the editorial boards of several journals, including Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine and Explore.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.