How to Treat Blisters on Feet 

Blisters on feet form as a result of excessive friction on the skin's surface. This can be from too tight shoes. The feet respond with pain and form clear fluid filled sacs called blisters. Other causes of blisters on feet include: excessive heat and moisture, fungal skin infections and abrasive fabrics in shoes or socks. So, how to treat blisters on feet?

How to Treat Blisters on Feet

Treatment of blisters depends on whether the blister is intact or already broken. There are also at-home items that can help heal blisters faster. People with diabetes are more prone to infections and great care must be taken to treat and monitor the blister area.

1. Home Remedies for Healing Blisters

You can try one of the following recommended at-home remedies to release the pain and speed up the healing of blisters.



Aloe Vera Gel


As a natural anti-inflammatory, aloe vera gel can help reduce swelling and skin redness. Also, aloe vera is very hydrating, which can moist the skin and accelerate the healing process, especially when the blister breaks on its own and shrivels up.

Apple Cider Vinegar


Apple cider vinegar contains antibacterial properties, which can prevent infection when the blister pops. But vinegar is likely to sting, so when using, dip a cotton swab into the vinegar, and gently swab around the broken or open area.

Green Tea


Containing much anti-inflammatory properties, green tea is one of the great remedies for blisters. Soak the affected area in cold green tea to soothe the blisters.

Diaper Rash Cream


Diaper rash creams are designed to dry out the area and prevent infection. Applying diaper rash cream containing zinc oxide can heal blisters faster, though it may be messy and thick.

2. Treatments for Unbroken Foot Blisters


  • Leave the Blister Alone. Any blister that is smaller than an inch across should be left alone. Resist the temptation to pop or drain these as they generally heal on their own.
  • Leave the Blister Uncovered. Unless the blister is subject to further rubbing or friction, it can be left uncovered. For those in friction prone areas, a light dry gauze bandage will serve the purpose. Avoid wrapping tape all the way around an extremity as that can cause increased swelling or impair circulation. Use moleskin pads with a central area cut out to protect blisters in weight bearing areas such as the feet.
  • Avoid the Blister Causing Shoes. Hold off on any further activity that might inflict more friction to the already damaged area of skin. Wear a different pair of shoes to prevent the same area from being rubbed by the shoe.

3. Treatments for Broken Foot Blisters


  • Wash Hands Before Touching. Blistered areas are more prone to infection and washing hands is important to minimize that risk.
  • Clean the Blister Area. Clean the blister area with alcohol or an iodine solution. This will kill any bacteria in the area in preparation for the next step. Also, this helps minimize the risk of infection from inadvertently dragging bacteria into the blister.
  • Puncture the Blister. Use an alcohol swab or soap and water to clean a needle. Avoid heating the needle as this produces a black carbon deposit on the needle that will then be introduced into the skin. Puncture at the edge of the blister and gently press on the opposite side of the blister to drain the fluid. A clean napkin, Kleenex or gauze can also be used to express the fluid from the blister.
  • Keep the Flap of Skin. Try to preserve the flap of skin left over after draining the blister. This serves as a biologic dressing and protects the sensitive skin underneath the blistered area. Smooth out the remaining flap of skin and leave it in place.
  • Apply Antibiotic Ointments. A topical antibiotic will keep the bandage from sticking to the blister and also helps cut down on infection. Options include Polymyxin B or bacitracin. Do not put additional alcohol or betadine on the area as this can delay healing. If a rash or intense itching develops, discontinue the topical cream.
  • Cover the Blister Area. Cover the area lightly with a bandage or gauze. Make sure that any tape used does not touch the blistered area. Avoid wrapping tape all the way around an extremity. It is important to keep the bandage clean and dry by changing it every day.
  • Try OTC Medicines. Over-the-counter medications are an effective way to treat the pain and inflammation associated with broken blisters. Common options include acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin), naproxen (Aleve) or aspirin. Use caution not to use multiple similar medications as they may contain the same active ingredient.

How to Prevent Blisters on Feet

  1. Choose Proper Shoes. Proper sizing is a key strategy to prevent blisters. Shoes that are either too tight or too loose will create excessive friction and result in blisters. Running shoes have a lifespan of around 500 miles or 6 months. It is a good idea to replace them before that milestone. Take care of the shoes and avoid subjecting them to excessive heat that can cause shrinkage or seams to become exposed.
  2. Apply Taping. Adding a layer of protection is a good strategy to protect potential trouble spots on the feet. Use blister tape or a second skin type product to protect areas commonly affected by blisters. Blister plaster is specially designed to protect blisters that have already formed and serves as a layer of second skin. Be sure your feet are clean and dry before applying any of these protective products.
  3. Dry Your Feet. Extra moisture will cause the skin to break down and blisters will form more easily. Try to keep your feet as dry as possible by changing socks and shoes at the first sign of excessive moisture. Foot power can also help keep feet dryer and prevent blister formation.
  4. Use Deodorant or Antiperspirant. It may sound very strange. Underarm deodorant is used to prevent odor and antiperspirant to prevent moisture. Since foot blister can be worsened by moisture as well as friction, using these two can help prevent foot blister.