Blisters! To Pop or Not to Pop, That is The Question

To Pop or Not to Pop? No, I am not talking about Pringles, collars, or chewing gum. I refer to the dilemma we often have in the face of a blister. There are a few important guidelines you should consider before making the final decision to drain a blister.

Is the blister small or large?

  • There is some debate whether to pop and drain a large blister or not. If a large blister is in an area where it will be irritated by clothing or shoe gear, then you might consider draining it.

Is the blister painful?

  • If the blister is painful then drain it.

Is the blister on a weight bearing aspect of your foot?

  • If the blister is on the bottom of your foot and subject to further pressure, then drain the blister.

Now if you have decided to leave the blister alone, large or small, then you should cover it with some type of bandage that will not further irritate it. For small blisters a band aide will suffice. Larger blisters may require the use of a gauze type dressing or a really large band aide.

If you have decided to pop and drain the blister there are very important steps you should take in this process.

  1. Wash your hands and the blister with warm, soapy water.
  2. Swab the blister with iodine or alcohol.
  3. Sterilize a clean, sharp needle with rubbing alcohol.
  4. Use the needle to make several holes in the blister, typically around one of the edges.
  5. Allow the fluid to drain. You might need to apply gentle pressure from the opposite side and slowly milk the fluid out.
  6. Apply an antibiotic ointment to the blister and cover with a bandage. It is important to leave the roof of the blister intact because it will act as a natural bandage.
  7. In several days, trim away the roof of the loose skin with clean tweezers and scissors. Apply more antibiotic ointment and bandage.

If you are a diabetic, I do not recommend you perform this. Contact your local Podiatrist and allow him/her to monitor and manage the blister.

If you are concerned about managing your blisters or notice signs of infection, please contact your local Podiatrist. If you have any questions please feel free to contact Dr. Bowman at 713-467-8886 or visit Houston Foot Specialists website.

Category: Foot Problems

Tags: Blisters, Diabetic Foot Care, Foot Care, foot pain, Skin Problems