Treatment and Prevention of Blisters

Published on June 14th, 2016

Blisters are painful skin irritations caused by the friction of body parts rubbing together or against clothing. Blisters can occur anywhere on the body where there is chafing. Taking a few simple precautions can reduce chafing and prevent blisters.

Choose Proper Footwear

Start by choosing shoes that are not too tight or too loose. Wearing one to two pairs of nylon socks or socks that are made from materials that draw moisture from the body can also help protect the skin.

Select the Right Clothing

When engaging in physical activity, choose clothes that are loose-fitting and that draw moisture from the body. It is best to avoid cotton clothes since they absorb moisture and stick to the body, which can cause chafing.

Prevent Friction

Consider using items such as moleskin, soft bandages, powder, or petroleum jelly to reduce friction in areas where your skin rubs together or can feel friction against clothing.

Treating Blisters

Stop any physical activity if an area becomes red or painful to try to prevent a blister from forming. Do not resume that particular activity until the area is healed. Most blisters will heal on their own in about two weeks as long as the area is protected. Dermatologists recommend that the area be covered with a loose bandage. To reduce the pressure on blisters on the bottom of the feet, cut out a donut-shaped piece of padding with a hole in the middle and place it around the blister. Then, cover the area with a bandage. It is best to avoid popping blisters since this can lead to an infection. If it becomes necessary to drain a large or painful blister, it should be done using a needle that has been sterilized using alcohol. Only one edge of the blister should be pierced to allow the fluid to drain. The roof of the blister should be kept intact to protect the skin underneath. After draining, the area should be kept clean and covered. Consult a doctor as soon as possible if the area becomes red, painful, or if you notice any other signs of infection.