Blister First Aid and Treatment

Not having the proper footwear is the main cause of blisters on your feet. Perhaps your socks are too large or your shoes are either too large or too small. The friction blister is a very common complaint.

Blisters are commonly found with frostbite, burns as well as caused by friction. We do address burn blisters under first aid for burns. Treatment is very similar, regardless of the cause.

Prevention of Blisters

One should always have good fitting socks and shoes before going on long treks in the outdoors. If not, blisters can easily occur. They are commonly seen in sporting activities.

Blister Treatment

Mismanaged blister treatment is a common occurrence. Many individuals believe that you should not pop or remove a blister. This is still a controversial issue. As a healthcare provider, I have had good success with the following treatment: If you have medical care that is close by, go ahead and pop the blister and remove it. The skin is dead. It is not painful. After cutting the blister away, irrigate the wound by cleaning with water. Apply a topical antibiotic such as Bacitracin and bandage. Adhere to wound care instructions such as keeping the wound clean and covered during the day, leaving it open to air at night. Watch for signs of infection.

The times when you want to leave a blister intact is when you are a long way from medical care. Blisters act as a nice shield. These will usually rupture anyway. Some individuals believe you should go ahead and rupture the blister, but leave the skin intact as a protective layer and shield against infection. However this healthcare provider has also seen infections occur as a result of this treatment plan, hence the need to remove the overlying skin.

I have seen numerous athletes try to play through the pain after the blister has ruptured. I have seen secondary infections that occur when these are not treated, and they continue to play basketball, baseball or track, and more blisters develop in the area. Of course the ideal treatment is to stay off of the foot, decrease your running for at least 7-10 days until you get good healing of the area.