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Family Foot Care & Surgery, LLC

When should you pop a blister?

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If you want to start picking up on your exercise and have fun doing it, you might consider heading to free Zumba classes each Tuesday at Beyond FITness in New Haven. Work out in the wrong shoes, however, and you might get a blister on your foot. Then you’ll have the timeless dilemma on your hands: knowing just when to pop a blister.

A blister is meant to be a protective measure for your feet, protecting underlying sensitive skin from friction by producing a cushioning bubble of fluid. With that said, however, a blister doesn’t always develop on the most convenient of places.

A blister that is large and located on a spot that can’t reasonably be protected from further irritation—such as on the bottom of your foot—is likely to break open on its own, anyway. In these cases, it’s better to carefully drain the blister on your own than to have it tear open and increase your risk of infection.

However, if you have diabetes or an immunity disorder, do not attempt to drain a blister yourself. This should be performed by a medical professional as the risk of complications is too high.

To safely drain a blister, first wash your hands and the site of the blister thoroughly. Then sterilize a needle with rubbing alcohol. Make a few small holes against the edge of the blister and gently squeeze the fluid out. Do not remove the covering skin as this still provides an important protective barrier. Instead, apply an antibiotic ointment and cover the site with a bandage. Replace the ointment and bandage daily.

If a blister isn’t bothering you or isn’t in a troublesome spot, leave it alone! It will provide natural protection on its own. If your blisters keep coming back or you fear one may be infected, though, call one of our offices at Family Foot Care & Surgery: (203) 876-7736 for Milford or (203) 288-4055 for Hamden. We can treat your blisters safely and effectively, plus find the best ways to keep them from returning.

Dr. Sanjay V. Patel
Dr. Patel has over 20 years of experience in the field of podiatric medicine and podiatric surgery.
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