Blisters are usually the
result of persistent or repeated rubbing against the skin. Some
illnesses, like shingles, cause blistering rashes. Burns can also
blister the skin.
Avoid shoes that are too tight or that rub on your toes or heels.
Wear gloves to protect your hands when doing heavy chores.
If a blister is small and closed, leave it alone. Protect it from
further rubbing with a loose bandage, and avoid the activity or shoes
that caused it.
If a small blister is in a weight bearing area, protect it with a
doughnut-shaped moleskin pad. Put the open area over the blister.
Blisters should be left unbroken. However, if a blister is large and you
feel that draining it would make you more comfortable, here is a safe
1. Clean a needle with rubbing alcohol.
2. Gently puncture the blister at the edge.
3. Press the fluid in the blister toward the hole to drain it.
Once you have opened a blister, or if it has torn open on its own, wash
the area with soap and water. Gently smooth the flap of skin
covering the blister over the tender skin underneath. Do not remove the
skin flap unless it is very dirty or torn, or if pus is forming
under the blister. Apply an antibiotic ointment and a sterile
bandage. Do not apply alcohol or iodine. They will delay
healing. Change the bandage once a day to reduce the chance
of infection. Remove the bandage at night to allow the area to dry.
When to Call a
If blisters recur often
and you do not know the cause.
If signs of infection develop:
1. Increased pain, swelling, redness, or
2. Heat or red streaks extending from the blister
3. Discharge of pus
4. Fever of 1000 or higher with no other cause
If you have diabetes or peripheral vascular disease.