Pushing it hard or even breaking into a new footwear can take a toll on your feet, causing you foot blisters. Although they aren’t a major health problem, foot blisters are annoying and can be quite painful if left untreated. Use these tips to keep blister hot spots at bay or treat a bubble before it becomes a real pain.
1. If your shoes rub
Before you put on your socks, apply a thin layer of a blister treatment product or petroleum jelly over the irritated areas, says Pam Kirby, D.P.M., a podiatrist in Daytona Beach, Florida. “These products will help decrease friction, which is what causes blisters.” But the right pair of socks can do the job too. Look for a synthetic type, made from moisture wicking material to keep your feet dry. Otherwise, cornstarch and talcum can also do the job. Sprinkle some of these powder onto the feet and socks before you put on the shoes.
2. When you notice a hot spot
A hot spot is a pre-blister state where the skin has reddened and stretched enough to have a blister coming. To prevent further damage, pad the spot with a plaster to prevent chafing. “Cut a hole the size of the blister in a piece of moleskin, then stick it on so the blister is exposed through the opening,” says Shape advisory board member Carol Otis, M.D., a sport medicine doctor in Portland, Oregon.
3. For a full-blown bubble
“Puncture about-to-burst blisters with a sterilized needle to drain the fluid, clean the area with soap and water, then apply an antibiotic cream to kill the germs,” says Otis. Leave the skin in place and pad up the area to prevent chafing that can cause a lot of pain at this point.