How to Handle a Blister on Your Feet

The bane of many a runner’s existence, blisters begin with the best of intentions but may ultimately cause more problems. Here at Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists, we know firsthand that these foot sores can be troublesome. Learn more from our foot specialists about the causes, how to prevent them, and when it is time to receive professional treatment.

It is simply a fluid-filled bubble on your skin that develops quite commonly. The ones found on your feet most likely develop as a response to friction, but it is important to note that other causes of blisters do exist. Friction, burning, or even reaction to an allergen or new medication can all cause a bubble to form on your skin.

Please note that one small lesion, or perhaps even a small grouping of them, is one thing, but if you have them all over your body it could be a sign of a life-threatening condition. In such a case, seek medical care as soon as possible.

Treating Blisters at Home

The first option you may want to consider is to wait it out. As long as you are not diabetic and it isn’t causing you pain or discomfort, the fluid inside will be reabsorbed into your body and the outside skin then will dry up and fall off. If you have developed one that is large or causing pain, there are steps you can take to drain it yourself:

  1. Wash the skin surrounding it with antibacterial soap and warm water and then dry the area completely.
  2. Sterilize a needle by wiping it down with rubbing alcohol.
  3. Gently make a small puncture at some point along the edge.
  4. Press the opposite side from the puncture to drain the fluid.
  5. Leave the flap of skin attached and push it down to retain the natural barrier.
  6. Cover the area with antibiotic ointment and then place a bandage over it.

If your fluid bubble bursts on its own, use the following procedure:

  1. Wash the area. Use antibacterial soap and warm water, and not iodine or rubbing alcohol.
  2. Do not remove the excess flap of skin, unless there is pus or it is dirty or torn. If everything is okay, gently smooth it over the tender area.
  3. Cover the area with an antibiotic ointment and a bandage.
  4. Replace the bandage if it becomes wet or dirty.

In the event you do have diabetes, contact our office immediately if you discover a skin bubble on your foot. This may not be a major issue for an otherwise healthy individual, but it could turn into a serious complication for diabetic feet if it were to burst. Let our foot doctors handle it for you in a safe manner so you can avoid any major issues.

Blister Prevention

Whether you have diabetes or are a runner who does not want to experience the pain and discomfort of these skin sores, it is valuable to know how to prevent them from developing in the first place. With this in mind, here are some tips that will help:

Wear properly-fitting footwear. Shoes that are too tight will rub your feet and create the friction necessary for the fluid bubble to develop. If your shoes are too loose, your foot “floats” around and this can lead to the problem as well.

Lace ‘em up. Your shoelaces actually play an integral role in how your shoes fit. If you do not have them laced properly, your feet experience extra friction from sliding around too much.

Austin’s Top Foot Care

Even if you think “it’s only a blister,” don’t suffer through pain and discomfort—or a potentially dangerous situation if you have diabetes—when you can simply make an appointment with our office and have the top Austin, TX foot doctors provide effective care for you. Give us a call at (512) 328-8900 or use our online form to request an appointment today and find out what podiatric care redefined can mean for you.

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Dr. Craig H. Thomajan, DPM, FACFAS, FAENS
Founder and Managing Partner of Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists