Should You Pop a Blister, or Leave it Alone?

Blisters are patches of skin filled with clear fluid that pop up on your toes, heels, soles, or other parts of your foot. They’re not inherently dangerous, but can become a problem if they get infected. Popping blisters is one way to cause an infection, so the podiatrists at Montgomery Foot Care Specialists usually recommend leaving them alone.

Causes of blisters

Blisters are caused by any sort of friction or rubbing, such as between your skin and your socks or shoes. Friction between your feet and sports equipment, such as a bike pedal, can also cause a blister. Blisters form as the result of the skin trying to protect itself. When damage begins to occur from whatever friction is present, the skin reacts by forming this protective barrier.

You can suspect that you’re getting a blister if you feel that your skin is irritated and you can see that it’s red and warm. Next, the skin will form a fluid-filled bump.

Preventing blisters

  • Wear synthetic socks that are designed to wick away moisture and sweat.
  • Make sure your shoes fit properly. Blisters can occur through friction from shoes that are too big or too small.
  • If you know that you are prone to getting blisters on certain toes (this is a frequent occurrence among distance runners), tape them together before beginning your activity.

 How to treat a blister

Leave it alone – but keep a close watch on it, say our expert podiatrists. If the skin around a blister is very tender, red, and warm or if there are red streaks leading to or from the blister, you may have an infection. Seek the attention of Dr. Michael L. Rosenberg or Dr. Heidi M. Christie in Montgomery, Alabama as soon as possible.

When a blister breaks on its own, clean it thoroughly with soap and water. Don’t remove the patch of skin that broke because it’s still protecting the new skin that’s growing beneath it. To prevent infection, cover with antibiotic ointment and a bandage.

If you have a blister that’s very large and irritated by normal daily activities such as walking, don’t give in to the temptation to pop it yourself. Visit us in our Montgomery office for safe and sterile treatment. Make an appointment online or call us at (334) 396-3668 for prompt and skilled service.