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How to Prevent & Treat Blisters

  • Dr. Bruce Zappan
  • October 13, 2017

Even a tiny blister can cause severe pain and discomfort, which is why taking steps to prevent blisters in the first place is a great tactic to employ. Blisters are caused by a combination of heat, friction and moisture that inevitably occur during activities such as running, hiking, and playing tennis and other sports.

Some of the steps you can take to help prevent and treat blisters include:

  • Wear the right socks—Although it may seem unlikely, the importance of moisture wicking fabrics in blister prevention can’t be underestimated. While cotton socks may feel comfortable, they are terrible at wicking moisture. Using two layers of thin socks can also minimize rubbing and friction.
  • Hot spots—If you are prone to developing blisters on certain spots, take action ahead of time by placing moleskin or other barriers like medical tape or liquid bandage in that location.
  • Proper shoe fitting—Shoes that are too tight or too loose can cause blistering to occur. Always wear shoes that are appropriate for the activity to avoid rubbing and pressure.
  • Prompt and proper treatment—One of the worst things you can do to a blister is to pop it. Inserting and removing a sterilized pin at the edge of the blister can help drain the blister without breaking the skin open. If a blister does pop, apply an antibiotic ointment or cream and cover with a large bandaid. Donut shaped pads can also be used to isolate the blistered area.>

See your foot specialist if a blister becomes infected, or to determine if some underlying condition is contributing to blister formation. For any problems you may be experiencing with your feet and ankles, it is important to see a podiatrist to receive the correct care. Bruce B. Zappan, D.P.M., P.C., of Medical Arts Podiatry Associates in Philadelphia, is an expert in proper evaluation and recommendations for treatment. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or make an appointment with our office at 215-563-2560.