Let's face it. Even if you get smart about the types of high heels you buy, it's unlikely that you'll go the rest of your life without another blister. So what should you do if you get one? Well, first let's focus on what you shouldn't do: pop it.
That's right; you should always try to make sure a blister remains intact. Believe it or not, the fluid in a blister is there to protect your skin and guard it against infection. It's as if your foot has grown its own cushion. So as tempting as it may be to pick at a blister, you should instead cover it with a small bandage. For a large blister, you can use a porous, nonstick gauze.
If, however, a blister becomes so painful that you're unable to wear shoes, draining it is an option. This practice must be done carefully and should be considered a last resort -- but if it's the only option you're left with, here are the steps you can follow to perform it safely:
- Wash your hands and the blister with soap and warm water.
- Apply rubbing alcohol or iodine to the blister and surrounding area.
- Sterilize a clean, sharp needle with rubbing alcohol.
- Puncture the blister gently in a few spots around its edge.
- Let the fluid drain, but do not remove the overlying skin.
- Immediately apply antibiotic ointment to the blister.
- Cover the blister with a bandage or gauze.
- After several days, cut or pull way the dead skin with sterilized scissors or tweezers.
- Apply more ointment and another bandage or gauze.
- Keep an eye on the area to ensure it's healing properly.
Signs such as redness, pus, pain or skin warmth could indicate infection. If you notice such symptoms, contact your doctor right way. However, if you're someone with diabetes or poor circulation, the time to contact your doctor is before the blister is drained. Because you're more susceptible to infections and foot problems, you should have the puncturing performed by a medical professional.
Click on the following page for lots more information on foot care.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- "Blisters: First Aid." MayoClinic.com. Jan. 11, 2008. (Sept. 29, 2009) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/first-aid-blisters/WL00008
- Bouchez, Colette. "Tips to Avoid Foot Pain from High Heels." WebMD. 2009. (Sept. 29, 2009) http://women.webmd.com/features/tips-to-avoid-foot-pain-from-high-heels
- "Foot and Heel Conditions." Canadian Federation of Podiatric Medicine. July 16, 2009. (Sept. 29, 2009) http://www.podiatryinfocanada.ca/FootHealthEd/footConditions/Blisters.htm
- "The High Heel-a-Thon in NYC!" Running With Heels. July 11, 2008. (Sept. 29, 2009) http://www.runningwithheels.com/index.php/2008/07/the-high-heel-a-thon-in-nyc/
- "How to Prevent Chafing and Blisters." The Walking Site. 2009. (Sept. 29, 2009) http://www.thewalkingsite.com/blisters.html
- Krieger, Liz. "Bye-Bye Blisters. Hello Happy Feet!" Simply Stated. May 28, 2008. (Sept. 29, 2009) http://simplystated.realsimple.com/life/2008/05/banishing-blist.html
- "O's Ultimate Shoe-Buying Guide." Oprah Magazine. 2009. (Sept. 29, 2009) http://www.oprah.com/article/omagazine/beauty_fashion_200702_shoe/2
- "SheFinds Solution: How To Survive Your High Heels." SHEfinds.com. 2009. (Sept. 29, 2009) http://www.shefinds.com/2009/shefinds_solution_how_to_survive_your_high_heels/
- Vonhof, John. "Blister Prevention." Fixing Your Feet. 2009. (Sept. 29, 2009) http://www.fixingyourfeet.com/Blister-Prevention.html
- Wexler, Suzanne. "Heels: Women follow men in high-stepping fashion." The Vancouver Sun. Sept. 28, 2009. (Sept. 29, 2009) http://www.vancouversun.com/entertainment/Heels+Women+follow+high+stepping+fashion/2044128/story.html