image of bandages on heels

Should You Pop a Blister? And Other Tips to Prevent and Heal Blisters

When it comes to blisters, there’s an ongoing debate. To pop or not to pop? That is the question. And while we’re at it, what exactly causes blisters? How do you prevent blisters? And what should you do if you get a blister? Read on to find out.

What causes blisters? While blisters can develop due to a number of causes, the most common cause is excess friction. Many people experience blisters on the feet from shoes that don’t fit right. Blisters can also occur when you wear a new pair of shoes for an extensive period of time without breaking them in. When shoes rub against the skin, fluid builds up just below the top layer of the skin to form a bubble. This fluid-filled bubble develops in order to protect injured skin, allowing it to heal.

image of blister on heel

How to prevent blisters?

The best blister is the one you never get, so it’s best to avoid the issues that lead to blisters in the first place. Here are some blister prevention tips:

image of man hiking barefoot with blisters
  • If your shoes are slipping around because they’re too big, try using shoe inserts (insoles or smaller) to fill in excess space. Products like Dr. Scholl’s® Heel Liners can help keep your feet in place so they don’t slip and rub against the heels of your shoes.
image of heel liner in a heel

What to do when you get a blister?

As tempting as it can be, it’s best not to pop a blister as long as it’s not painful. When left alone, most blisters just resolve on their own over time. To avoid further irritation and protect the blister, try Dr. Scholl’s® Blister Treatment Cushions with DURAGEL® technology. The cushions are thin and barely noticeable so you can wear them with any type of shoe. They’re even sweat resistant so you don’t have to worry about them sliding off when you work out. You can also use the cushions to prevent new blisters from forming since they help reduce friction.

image of a dr scholls blister cushion on a bare foot heel

Sometimes blisters accidentally pop. If the fluid from the blister is clear, the skin should heal with proper care. Follow these steps:

  • Clean the area thoroughly with warm water and soap. You can also apply a little alcohol with a cotton swab.
  • Cover the blister with a sterile bandage. You can apply an antibiotic ointment before bandaging to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Replace the bandage every day until the blister has healed. This will help keep the damaged skin clean and protected.
image of blister popped on heel

Consult your doctor if there is any sign of infection such a foul odor, cloudy-yellow liquid oozing from the blister, redness, swelling, pain or a hot sensation. Blisters that don’t heal should also be evaluated by a doctor.


Frequently Asked Questions
How to treat foot blisters

Treatment for foot blisters depends on whether or not the blister is intact or it has popped.

If the foot blister hasn’t popped and it’s not causing pain, it’s best to protect it while it resolves on its own. You can protect the blister with a cushion. Dr. Scholl’s® Blister Treatment Cushions with DURAGEL® technology are designed specifically for blisters. They hold moisture in to encourage healing while protecting against painful pressure and friction.

If the foot blister has popped, wash the affected skin and surrounding area thoroughly with warm water and soap. You might consider using an antibiotic ointment to reduce the risk of infection. Cover the blister loosely with a sterile bandage. Make sure the bandage isn’t too tight. You can remove the bandage and replace it with a clean one daily until the blister fully heals. Call your doctor if there are signs of infection such as redness, a hot sensation or white, cloudy discharge.

How to get rid of foot blisters

The best way to get rid of foot blisters is with time and patience. Most blisters will resolve on their own if they’re left undisturbed. You can get rid of a blister faster if you can avoid the friction that caused the problem in the first place. If the blister was caused by ill-fitted shoes, avoid wearing those shoes to eliminate rubbing that could irritate the blister and delay healing. Consider wearing a blister cushion to protect the blister while it’s healing. This may speed up healing time. If you have foot blisters that have ruptured, keep them clean and covered with a bandage until they heal. 

Some foot blisters are very large and cause pain so it’s difficult to leave them alone. If this is the case, you can pierce the edge of the blister with a sterile needle and then allow it to drain.  Avoid peeling back the skin of the blister to reduce the risk of skin damage and infection. Be sure to wash the blister completely and cover with a bandage. For extra protection, apply an antibiotic product before covering the blister.

If you see any signs of infection, contact your healthcare provider.

How to heal foot blisters

It’s best to allow foot blisters to heal naturally on their own if possible. Avoid the activity or footwear that caused the blister for at least two weeks in order to allow for proper healing. Leave the blister alone if you can.

Sometimes blisters accidentally pop. If this happens, wash the blister and surrounding skin with soap and warm water. Apply petroleum jelly or antibiotic ointment after washing. Keep the blister covered with a bandage.

You can help protect and heal foot blisters with Dr. Scholl’s® Blister Treatment Cushions with DURAGEL® technology. The cushions are designed to stay put all day, moving with you throughout all of your daily activities. They help protect blisters against further irritation, and they assist with proper healing.

Can you put anything on hand foot and mouth blisters?

There are no treatments available for hand, foot and mouth disease. However, you can use topical oral anesthetics, which provide fast pain relief when applied directly to a mouth blister. 

How long do hand foot and mouth blisters last?

Blisters from hand, foot and mouth disease usually clear up on their own within two weeks. Contact your doctor if symptoms aren’t improving after 10 days.

Should I pop foot blisters?

Doctors usually recommend against popping foot blisters unless they are big and causing pain. It’s best to leave foot blisters alone and allow them to heal on their own. Most blisters will resolve undisturbed after a week or two.

If you do need to drain a foot blister because it’s large, causing pain, or it’s in a very problematic location, follow these steps:

1. Wash the blister area thoroughly with warm water and soap. 
2. Sanitize a small needle using rubbing alcohol. 
3. Carefully pierce the blister with the needle and let the contained fluid drain.
4. Wash the area thoroughly again using warm water and soap without disturbing the skin of the blister.
5. Apply an antibiotic ointment.
6. Cover the blister with a sterile bandage.

How to cure foot blisters

There is no cure for foot blisters. However, you can reduce the risk of a foot blister by avoiding friction points on the feet. Choose properly fitted shoes and make sure you break them in before any extended activity. Shoes that are too tight or too loose can cause friction that could lead to foot blisters. Be sure to wear socks with your shoes. Moisture-wicking socks are especially effective for reducing the risk of foot blisters. If you notice that your shoes are rubbing against certain areas of your feet, consider using a product like Dr. Scholl’s® Molefoam® Padding Strips. The strips can be trimmed to the exact size and shape you need. They protect against painful pressure and friction that can lead to foot blisters.

If you do get a foot blister, it’s best to leave it alone and let it heal naturally. If it pops, keep it clean and bandaged.