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:
- To see all of our home remedies and the conditions they treat, go to our main Home Remedies page.
- To learn about coping with boils, read Home Remedies for Boils.
- To read about athlete's foot, another exercise-related nuisance, go to Home Remedies for Athlete's Foot.
- Or to combat calluses and corns, check out Home Remedies for Calluses and Corns.
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.