Foot blisters are typically caused by the skin rubbing against the inner surface of a shoe or socks rubbing against moist skin. The injured skin then fills with straw-colored fluid, and eventually heals after about a week. Making sure that shoes fit properly and wearing socks with shoes can help prevent foot blisters. Covering the foot blister with a bandage should be done at the first sign to keep dirt and bacteria out. A small amount of antibiotic ointment can also be placed on the pad of the bandage to prevent infection after the blister breaks.
As the blister begins to heal, the bandage can be removed to expose the blister to air, which will facilitate healing. When wearing shoes, padding the pressure points with cotton balls can help reduce friction and reduce the risk of further injury. It is typically not recommended for a person to drain the blister, however, if attempts are made to do so, the needle and the skin should be sterilized with rubbing alcohol. It used to be common practice to hold a needle under a match or lighter to sterilize it, but this should be done with caution to avoid burns. After the needle is sterilized, the blister can then be gently pricked to allow the fluid to escape.
Rarely, foot blisters can become infected, characterized by pain, inflammation, and pus formation at the site. Infected foot blisters require the attention of a health care provider, who can prescribe topical or oral antibiotics. Severe infections of foot blisters may produce body-wide symptoms such as fever, chills, headache, and nausea, and when noticed, these symptoms need prompt evaluation and treatment.
Foot pads can be purchased at most drug stores that can ease pressure and friction from tight shoes. These gel-filled pads act as shock absorbers. Even certain brands of athletic shoes come equipped with gel cushions, strategically placed around pressure points of the shoe, such as the backs and the sides of the shoes.
Getting foot blisters during the summer is common. Wearing flip flops can create extreme friction between the first and second toes of the feet, causing blisters to from quickly. These blisters are typically painful and can take weeks to heal. A blister sufferer should not wear flip flops or similarly styled sandals, and should treat the blisters with home remedies to allow the blisters to heal uneventfully.