Healthy Body

This Is the Fastest Way To Heal a Foot Blister, According to a Podiatrist

Photo: Stocksy/ Sergey Filiminov
"To pop or not to pop" might seem like a fair question where friction blisters on your feet are involved. At least, it was for me 10 years ago, when I was on a theme park trip in my brand new Heely's. However, "getting rid" of a friction blister on your own can do more harm than good, so we asked a podiatrist to explain the best way to heal one fast.

"A blister forms as a protective mechanism to protect irritated skin," says Marque Allen, DPM, Sports Medicine Associates of San Antonio. "The fluid in them is filled with cells which are actually trying to heal and protect the skin. The bubble around that allows the area to begin healing," he says. Foot blisters often form when you're walking or wearing ill-fitting shoes, and ultimately friction is the culprit.

So, if you want your blister to heal quickly, remove it from the offending environment and get it dry, Dr. Allen explains. This also means you should consider taking a break from walking or running or however you got it in the first place. Next: Try to keep it clean, dry and leave it alone.

It's helpful to think of skin on the top of a blister as a body-made Band-Aid. The skin and fluid layers of the blister develop to protect you from friction; however,  we get it. It is not always a pleasant feeling. Dr. Allen says that you should not pop the blister because as soon as it has popped, it must be treated like an open wound that will take longer to heal.

Even though blisters can be painful, popping them will almost always make them feel worse, Dr. Allen says. This is because, when you drain that healing fluid, the two layers of skin will touch, and the raw skin beneath your blister will sting.

You should avoid popping a blister unless it is excruciating and large and in an area where it might rupture. If you do decide to pop it, make sure you sterilize the blister and a clean needle with rubbing alcohol and apply a bandage afterward, the Mayo Clinic says. And again, even after popping, make sure to keep the blister skin "flap" on the blister because it promotes much faster healing. But before you reach for a needle,  Dr. Allen says most friction blisters heal within a day if they don't get infected, picked at, or continually worn by a shoe. In short: Your blister will heal fastest if you leave it alone.

 

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