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Blisters are round, fluid-filled bubbles that form between layers of skin. Blisters may consist of clear fluid, or they may contain blood. They can be painful and sore to the touch, especially when pressure is applied. They may also be red, irritated and itchy.

Although blisters can occur anywhere on the body, they’re most common on the hands and feet. Foot blisters can be especially problematic because the feet often withstand a great deal of pressure throughout the day.


Friction and pressure are the most common causes of blisters on the feet. If there are areas of the skin that rub against a sock or a shoe, a blister may form. Friction can occur if your shoes don’t fit properly or if you wear a new pair of shoes for an extended period without breaking them in first. Excess moisture from sweating can also increase the risk of blisters.

Less commonly, blisters can occur due to an allergic reaction, a burn or an infection such as athlete’s foot.

The body produces blisters as a natural defense response in order to prevent further skin damage. Blisters help protect and cushion the underlying skin, allowing it to heal.


You can reduce the risk of foot blisters by minimizing friction and pressure on the skin. The following tips can help:

  • Wear well-fitted shoes and always break in new shoes before wearing them all day. If you notice your feet slipping or sliding in your shoes, consider using insoles or heel liners to improve the fit. Dr. Scholl’s® Stylish Step® Gel Heel Liners are designed specifically for women. The liners help prevent rubbing and slipping along the heel where blisters are common.
  • If there are specific areas of the feet that are rubbing against your shoes, apply Dr. Scholl’s® Moleskin to reduce friction. Dr. Scholl’s® Molefoam® Padding Strips can be cut to the desired size and applied directly to the skin in order to reduce rubbing and pressure that could lead to a blister. For thinner cushioning, consider Dr. Scholl’s® Moleskin Padding Roll. The thin, flexible padding is designed to fit any shoe.
  • Use sweat-absorbing powder on the feet in order to eliminate moisture that can contribute to friction. Dr. Scholl’s® Ultra Sweat-Absorbing Foot Powder absorbs wetness on the feet to help keep skin dry and fresh.
  • Wear moisture-wicking socks to reduce shoe rubbing and excess wetness.


When caring for a blister that hasn’t broken:

  • It’s important to protect the blister and allow it to heal. Most blisters will heal on their own if they’re not disturbed. Resist the urge to pop blisters as this could lead to infection.
  • Avoid wearing shoes or socks that caused the blister in the first place. If friction to the area continues, the blister could break.
  • Use blister cushions to protect skin and speed healing. Dr. Scholl’s® Blister Cushions Seal & Heal Bandage with Hydrogel Technology are specifically designed for blisters. The cushions help speed healing while reducing friction that could lead to additional blisters.

If your blister has broken or popped, follow these steps:

  1. Wash the entire area thoroughly using warm water and soap.
  2. Apply an antibiotic ointment or disinfectant after cleansing to reduce the risk of infection.
  3. Apply a sterile bandage or blister cushion over the blister. Continue to cover the blister until it has healed completely.

Be sure to avoid further friction to the area so that the skin can recover properly. See your doctor if your blister isn’t healing or if there are signs of infection such as redness, swelling and pus.



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Frequently Asked Questions

How to get rid of blisters on the foot

In order to get rid of blisters on the bottom, top and back of the foot, it’s important to protect the blisters and give them time to heal. Most foot blisters go away on their own. To make foot blisters heal faster, cover the area with a protective cushion or bandage to prevent friction and irritation which can interfere with healing or cause blisters to open. While it can be frustrating to deal with foot blisters, avoid the temptation to pop them as this can increase the risk of infection.

If a blister pops, clean the area thoroughly using soap and warm water. Antibiotic ointments can be used to reduce the risk of infection. Cover the blister with a sterile bandage and replace the bandage on a daily basis until the skin has healed.

Some blisters become infected and require medical attention. Signs of infection include redness, pain and swelling. Infected blisters may also feel hot to the touch and produce a yellow, cloudy liquid.

How to treat foot blisters

To treat and heal foot blisters, it’s better to leave them alone and allow them time to resolve undisturbed. As long as they’re not causing pain, blisters shouldn’t be popped. In order to cure foot blisters and promote proper healing, avoid ill-fitted shoes that rub against the affected area. Blisters from shoes will have trouble healing if the same shoes are worn with no steps to protect the skin. To heal blisters from shoes, cover the affected skin with a blister cushion or bandage in order to prevent friction and irritation. Cushions and bandages can also be used to treat blisters from running.

To care for foot blisters that have broken open, wash the skin using warm water and soap. Consider using alcohol to disinfect or an antibiotic ointment in order to reduce the chance of an infection. Cover the skin with a sterile bandage every day while the skin has a chance to heal. To treat large foot blisters, bigger bandages and gauze may be required.

If a blister appears to be infected, consult a healthcare professional for evaluation. Infected blisters may be red and swollen, and they may be painful, hot or tender to the touch. Infected blisters may also ooze a yellow-colored liquid.

How long do blood blisters last on your foot?

Blood blisters on the foot usually last about 1-2 weeks and typically go away on their own without any special care aside from keeping the area clean.

Blood blisters on the foot should be evaluated by a healthcare professional if they don’t go away on their own or they keep coming back. A blood blister that is painful or infected should also be seen by a medical provider.

Does athlete’s foot cause blisters?

Athlete’s foot can cause blisters in some severe cases but not all cases. Blisters from athlete’s foot most commonly form on the soles of the feet and between the toes.

Should you pop foot blisters?

No, it’s best not to pop foot blisters as long as they’re not painful. In most cases, blisters heal on their own and the fluid inside is reabsorbed back into the body. Foot blisters typically heal faster with less chance of infection when they’re left undisturbed and allowed to heal without being popped.

How to prevent blisters on the arch of the foot when running

There are several ways to prevent blisters under the foot and on the arch of the foot when running.

  • Wear properly fitted running shoes that stay in place. When shoes don’t fit properly, they can rub against the skin and cause blisters.
  • Consider using orthotics, insoles and heel liners with shoes as these can help prevent blisters by improving the fit of running shoes and reducing friction.
  • Wear moisture-wicking socks as they can help reduce the buildup of sweat which contributes to blister-causing friction. Moisture-absorbing powders and spray products can also reduce sweat.
  • Apply moleskin or blister cushions to specific areas of the foot prior to running in order to protect against friction.

What to put on foot blisters

Blister cushions and bandages can be applied to foot blisters that haven’t popped. These products protect the skin from friction and help promote healing. For blisters that have popped, apply a sterile bandage after cleaning the skin thoroughly with soap and warm water. Prior to bandaging, alcohol or antibiotic ointment can be applied to reduce the chance of infection.

What causes foot blisters?

Most foot blisters are caused by friction from shoes rubbing against the skin. This can occur from shoes that don’t fit properly or from wearing a new pair of shoes all day without breaking them in first. There are other causes of foot blisters as well. For example, allergic reactions and certain types of skin infections such as athlete’s foot can cause foot blisters.