What can you do for blisters on your feet

Friction Blisters

When To Call A Professional

Widespread blistering, itchy blisters or blistering in a place that has not been exposed to rubbing or pressure should be evaluated by a physician. These are signs of an illness, not friction blisters.

For typical blisters, medical care is needed only if an infection develops. This is more likely to occur if the skin over the blister has been pierced, broken or popped. These types of blisters need to be watched for a few days to make sure they heal properly. See your doctor immediately if you think you have an infection, see significant redness, notice drainage that is not clear fluid or develop a fever. Also, seek professional help if the blister is so large or painful that walking or other activities become difficult.

People with diabetes who get blisters frequently or have blisters that don’t seem to heal should see a health care professional.


Most blisters heal on their own in a few days. If there is continued pressure or friction to the area, it may take two weeks or longer for the blister to go away.

External resources

American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine
4414 Ives St.
Rockville, MD 20853
Toll-Free (800) 438-3355

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Medical Disclaimer

How to Treat and Prevent Chafing

Preventing chafing is relatively simple, though it takes time and requires frequent attention.

It may be difficult to prevent completely if you regularly participate in activities that cause chafing. But there are still steps you can take to reduce its severity and keep it from getting worse. The following are some methods you can use to help prevent chafing.


Antiperspirant can prevent sweating before it causes a problem. And deodorant often contains moisturizers to protect your skin.

If you have an area prone to chafing or you’re worried that an activity may lead to it, apply a thin layer of deodorant to the area before beginning the activity. For example, if you often experience chafing along your inner thighs when wearing a skirt, apply a thin layer of deodorant to your thighs before leaving the house.


Creams, oils, and powders can provide a layer of protection and reduce friction. You’re less likely to chafe if the skin can glide smoothly. Powder may be less effective than lotion. That’s because it can clump and make chafing worse.

Moisture-wicking clothing

Materials like cotton retain sweat and moisture and keep your skin damp. This dampness increases your risk of friction and chafing.

Wear clothes that “breathe” and let the sweat evaporate off your skin, especially while exercising. Running tights and other sport-specific clothing can protect skin when you’re active. You can also wear bike shorts underneath a skirt to prevent thigh skin from rubbing together.

Properly fitting clothes

Clothes that are too big can move a lot and chafe skin by continually rubbing. Pay special attention to the fit of shoes, your shirt across your chest, and your pants at the waistline.

Soft bandages

For specific areas that flare up often, you can prevent chafing by adding a “second skin” of soft bandage. This is especially helpful on feet, inner-thighs, and nipples.

Air-drying and pads for nursing mothers

If you’re nursing, keep your nipples clean, dry, and away from any irritating fabric. Look for soft nursing bras. Some have built-in nursing pads. You can also purchase reusable or disposable pads that you can insert into your bra cups to help absorb extra moisture.

Remove wet clothes

Take your swimsuit off shortly after swimming so as not to keep the tight, wet fabric right on your skin. You should change out of other clothing that’s become saturated as soon as possible. That may include clothing that’s wet from sweat, getting stuck in a rainstorm, or wading through a river.

Plan for the weather

Consider working out when it’s cooler outside, such as morning or evening. That may help you sweat less and keep your skin and clothing drier.

There’s nothing quite as exciting as breaking out new shoes — that is until you discover the shoes are breaking you instead. There are many reasons why you may end up with blisters from those heeled sandals or even functional flats, but there are also ways to avoid trouble before it starts.

From a style guru to the podiatrist of the U.S. men’s and women’s national soccer teams, experts offer their tricks of the trade below.

An ounce of prevention…

Proper skin care and shoe choice are vital in dealing with blisters before they start, says Dr. Ken Jung, a foot and ankle surgeon in Los Angeles. For starters, keep your skin soft and supple. While you may think thickened calluses are protecting your feet, they are more prone to forming an underlying ulceration or blister, said Jung. When it comes to finding proper shoes, avoid straps that run over bony areas and look for soft materials that give way to the contours of the foot.

Then, after buying the right shoes, break them in! Be sure to wear new shoes around your house for a few hours before stepping outside, said Claire Hannum, health and wellness expert for YouBeauty.com. This helps break in the shoe, and also points out which areas are uncomfortable or painful.

“If you already feel a bit of pain in, say, your heel or your big toe while you’re wearing the shoes at home, prepare by placing a blister-fighting product (like a Band-Aid or dollop of Vaseline in a pinch) on the area you expect to be irritated before blisters even have a chance to appear,” said Hannum. “I’m a huge fan of Body Glide’s Anti Blister Balm, which reduces friction between your shoe and your skin. Another great option are Foot Petals, a collection of inserts for every type of shoe out there … If you love wearing ballet flats, pick up a pair of no-show liner socks, especially those with grips that prevent sliding. This keeps your feet sweat- and friction-free, which means no blisters!” she said.

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Hannum says the most important factor of all is to know your feet. “If a certain heel height makes you cringe in pain or you have wide feet that suffer in tight sandals, keep that in mind as you shop because it will definitely contribute to blisters,” she suggested.

Wear your high heels all day with this simple trick

May 25, 201702:13

The summer can be especially tricky since flip-flops are often the quickest to cause blisters. Instead, look for sandals with arch support since they are better for the overall health of your foot.

“It’s also important to be as honest with ourselves as possible when we shop,” said Hannum. “When we spot a pair of shoes we adore, it’s hard to convince ourselves to turn them down even if they’re a bit too tight. The reality is that the slight discomfort you feel in the store will morph into full-on pain and blisters after just a small amount of wear and you’ll soon wish you never bought them. It’s tough, but try to put them back on the shelf!”

Is it too late to prevent the blister? Here’s how to treat it.

Dr. Nick Romansky, podiatrist to the U.S. men’s and women’s national soccer teams, says there are two things to remember when it comes to blister management: prevent motion and moisture.


There are three main ways moisture can occur: from not wearing the right socks, consistently wearing the same shoes or just from being a naturally sweaty person, he said. People “often think they should wear 100 percent cotton socks but you actually want a blend of cotton and acrylic socks. Cotton absorbs the moisture and acrylic pulls moisture away,” said Romansky, who adds that purely cotton socks are like wearing wet rags.

But even if you’re just naturally sweaty, there are a few products you can use to control it. Body Glide and Certain Dri are a couple options he suggests. A cheap, do-it-yourself way of controlling sweat is to spray an antiperspirant on your feet or wear shoes with mesh, which allow air to flow in and out. Romansky also advises letting your shoes dry out at the end of the day. Don’t put them in a closet or leave them outside overnight where it can be damp.


When feet aren’t properly secured, blisters often occur. Not tying laces (or not tying them tight enough), wearing the wrong shoe size or wearing old shoes are most often to blame, says Romansky. Most laces are now partially synthetic, which loosen throughout the day, so remember to retie when possible. If the foot and shoe do not move as one unit, the friction on your skin will cause a blister.


If you have followed all the steps and tricks above and are still dealing with painful, irritating blisters, there’s one more thing you can do: Leave it alone. Blisters should be allowed to recede and regress on their own, says Jung. “Elimination of the offending external pressure is key,” he said. “If a blister has popped, it should be kept clean and allowed to dry.”

This article was originally published July 27, 2015, on TODAY.com.

How To Walk With Blisters On Your Feet Because You Can’t Just Sit All Day

There are times I can’t help but sacrifice comfort for style, and wearing high heels definitely qualifies as one of those “pain is beauty” moments. If you also love the occasional pair of stupidly uncomfortable, but fabulous stilettos, make sure you know how to walk with blisters on your feet because you’re going to get them. It’s just the hard truth. Luckily, the hacks below will help you survive the night without totally wrecking your feet and wanting to cry.

My sister got married this past August, and I decided to splurge on the most perfect pair of nude heels to go with my bridesmaid dress. They were the closest thing in my price range to a pair of dreamy nude Louboutins, and I totally ignored all the rules for how to know heels fit properly and bought them without trying them on. Bad choice.

The day of the wedding, it was hard to know whether tears were streaming down my face because my sister looked so absolutely breathtaking or because I was just in extreme pain. I may never be able to answer that question, but I do know I never want to suffer the blister disasters I encountered that day.

I absolutely intend to utilize all the hacks below next time I rock that agonizingly painful (but oh-so-pretty) pair of heels so I can actually walk with blisters!

Before I go any further, can we stop and appreciate the cuteness of my sister (and those evil damn shoes):

Now, onto the tips!

1. Swipe On Vaseline

Vaseline (Pack of 2), $5, Vaseline

As shared by Dr. Weil, swiping on Vaseline over the blister as it’s starting to form will provide a temporary “second skin” that will stop your shoe from rubbing until you have time to locate band-aids.

2. Swipe On Coconut Oil

Kirkland Signature Organic Coconut Oil, $29, A mazon

If petroleum-based products aren’t your thing, you can also use good old coconut oil to create the same sort of barrier.

3. Apply Liquid Band Aid

New Skin Liquid Band Aid, $6, Amazon

There’s one more “second skin” you can reach for if you have it on hand — liquid band aids. These will also create a protective barrier between you and your shoes.

4. Pop On Thick, Dry Socks

Argyle Socks, $4, Uniqlo

Another Dr. Weil tip: Put on fresh and dry socks to soak up moisture that’s causing your skin to easily rub and chafe.

5. Cool With Aloe Vera

Lily of the Desert Aloe Vera Gel, $7, Amazon

If you’re putting on shoes over a blister you already have, apply a little aloe vera gel to it to help cool and prevent infection.

6. Buy Blister-Specific Band Aids

Advance Healing Blister Cushions, $4, Amazon

There’s a ton of band aids designed specifically for the part of your foot has a blister on it, so find the shape you need and rock on.

7. Don’t Pick It

Swan Rubbing Alcohol, $7, Amazon

No matter how tempting it is, do not pick or pop your blister with bare hands since you then leave yourself completely exposed to infection. Instead, rub a small needle with rubbing alcohol to sterilize it, gently prick the blister, and then rinse and top with Neosporin and a band aid asap.

8. Try Out First Aid Tape

Nexcare First Aid Tape, $4, Amazon

If your blister is in a super funky spot (i.e. between your toes) first aid tape is like your magic blister pain cure. You can shape it however you need to so that your blister is protected when you pop on shoes.

9. Coat Your Shoes With Deodorant

Tom’s Aluminum-Free Deodorant, $7, Amazon

Lining the inside of your shoes with deodorant will create a protective layer and add friction so that your feet don’t rub and worsen blisters. Bonus point for canceling the stinky factor!

10. Sprinkle In Baby Powder

Johnson’sBaby Powder, $2, Amazon

If deodorant in your shoes is just a little to out there for you, you can also sprinkle baby powder in your shoes and around your feet to suck out the moisture that will make blisters worse.

11. Get Padding Strips

Moleskin Comfort Padding, $4, Amazon

If you’re struggling specifically with blisters on your heels, SheFinds recommended investing in Dr Scholl’s Moleskin Plus Padding Strips. They’re thin enough to fit with most heels, and are like getting to wear a comforting sock while you pound it out in stilettos.

Want more style tips? Check out the video below, and be sure to subscribe to Bustle’s YouTube page for more hacks and tricks!

Bustle on YouTube

Images: ; Courtesy Of Brands


Most blisters heal naturally and don’t require medical attention.

As new skin grows underneath the blister, your body slowly reabsorbs the fluid in the blister and the skin on top will dry and peel off.

When to seek medical help

See your GP if you have blisters that:

  • you think are infected – an infected blister will be filled with yellow or green pus and may be painful, red and hot
  • are very painful
  • keep coming back
  • are in unusual places, such as on your eyelids or inside your mouth
  • are caused by severe sunburn, burns or scalds or an allergic reaction

Antibiotics may be prescribed to treat an infected blister.

If you have a large or painful blister, your GP may decide to decompress the blister under sterile conditions.

If your blisters are caused by a medical condition, such as chickenpox, herpes or impetigo, your GP will be able to advise you about how to treat the underlying condition.

Friction blisters

The unbroken skin over a blister provides a natural barrier to infection. It’s important that the skin remains intact to avoid infection.

As tempting as it may be, try not to pierce a blister with a needle because it could lead to an infection or slow down the healing process. Allow the skin to peel off on its own after the skin beneath has healed.

You may choose to cover small blisters with a plaster. Larger blisters can be covered with a gauze pad or dressing that can be taped in place.

Painful blisters, or those in positions where they’re likely to burst, such as on the sole of your foot, can be covered with a soft dressing to cushion and protect them. It may help to cut the dressing into a ‘doughnut’ shape to fit around the blister and avoid placing pressure directly on it.

Change the dressing daily and wash your hands before touching the blister to avoid infection.

Burst blisters

If a blister has burst, don’t peel off the dead skin on top of the blister. Allow the fluid inside to drain and wash it with mild soap and water. Cover the blister and the area around it with a dry, sterile dressing to protect it from infection until it heals.

Hydrocolloid dressings, available over the counter from pharmacies, have been shown to help prevent discomfort and encourage healing.

If the top layer of dead skin from a burst blister has already rubbed off, don’t pick at the edges of the remaining skin. Follow the advice above to protect it from infection.

If the blister is on your foot, avoid wearing the shoes that caused it, at least until it heals.

Blood blisters

Blood blisters should be left to heal naturally. If a blood blister bursts, keep the area clean and dry. Protect it with a sterile dressing to prevent infection.

Blood blisters are often painful. Applying an ice pack to the affected area immediately after the injury can help relieve the pain (a bag of frozen vegetables works just as well). Between 10 and 30 minutes should help.

To stop the ice touching your skin directly, place a towel over the affected area before applying the ice pack.

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