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All there is to know about blisters

Blisters are usually formed by friction, such as the shoe rubbing on an area of the foot. The friction causes the outer skin layers to separate and fluid accumulates between the two skin layers.

Blister Treatment:
  • Treatment is based on whether or not the skin is broken, creating an open wound.
  • If the outer skin is intact, the body will eventually absorb the fluid if the blister is treated properly.
  • Puncturing this outer skin to drain the fluid will not aid in healing, but rather creates an open wound susceptible to infection.
  • If required, only a physician should drain the blister. 

If outer skin is intact:

  • Clean with antiseptic soap
  • Over the blister, place a foam pad having a hole cut in the center of the pad larger than the blister. 
  • A Band-Aid type bandage may be used if such a pad is not available.
  • Apply an antibiotic ointment on the surface of the blister.
  • Cover with sterile gauze pad.
  • Secure in place with athletic tape.
  • Change bandage daily
 If outer skin is not intact:
  • Treat it like an open wound.
  • If the skin covering of the blister is intact, leave the skin in place for several days. This will act as a protective covering over the blister.
  • Clean the area with antiseptic soap.
  • Apply an antibiotic ointment to the blister under the skin.
  • Apply a donut pad for protection.
  • Cover the blister with a sterile gauze pad.
  • Secure with athletic tape.
  • Change the bandage daily. 
  • Monitor for signs of infection

Courtesy of the National Center for Sports Safety (NCSS). NCSS was founded to promote the importance of injury prevention and safety on all levels of youth sports through education and research. The NCSS focuses on decreasing the number and/or severity of injuries through developing and teaching sports safety courses and collecting, analyzing and researching injury data. For more visit,




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