Medical Corner 2: Blisters

Know how to treat and manage your own blisters

Look at the website: www.blisterprevention.com.au

Rebecca Rushton in Australia has a wealth of experience and I strongly recommend her website and the downloadable Foot Blister advice sheet.

Also look at YouTube videos on how to tape your toes, your foot and how to dress you blisters.

Knowing how and when to treat your own blisters will save you a lot of time and a lot of pain. When you feel a hot spot, stop immediately and attend to it as this indicates the skin is separating from the underlying tissue and can only get worse. So, STOP AND TREAT

For a Hot Spot.Cover with a dressing such as Fixomull as this protects very well.

For a Blister That Has Not Popped. Try not to pop or drain it. Cover loosely with an island bandage such as a cloth-type bandaid (don’t use plastic bandaids) Try not to put pressure on the area. If the blister is in a pressure area such as the bottom of the foot, put a donut-shaped moleskin on it.

Moleskin is generally regarded as the best type of dressing to prevent blisters and these blister prevention kits comes in various ways. The dressings are often pre-cut into shapes that fit perfectly onto the most common areas where blisters occur including your toes, heel and the sides of your feet. As soon as you start to feel the burn of a hot spot, simply clean the area, apply a dressing and you are good to go.

For a Blister That Has Popped. Clean with soap and water and wipe with Iodine pads. These tend to stain things brown but sterilises very well.

  • Smooth down the skin flap that remains.

  • Apply antiseptic ointment to the area.

  • Cover with an island dressing.

When to Drain a Blister. To drain a blister that is large, painful, or in an awkward spot:

  • Wash the area.

  • Use a sterile needle.

  • Make a small hole at the edge of the blister. Gently squeeze out the fluid.

  • Wash the blister again and pat dry. Don’t remove the skin over the blister.

  • Smooth down the skin flap.

  • Apply antiseptic ointment.

  • Cover with an island dressing

  • Deroofed Blisters

  • Use a Hydrocolloid dressing like Compeed. Only use these on deroofed blisters as they will stick to the roof and pull it off when removed.

Follow Up

  • Change the bandage daily.

  • Adjust your running shoes if possible

  • Lubricate your feet twice a day

  • Try Toe socks as these help keep toe dressings in place.

See a doctor for signs of infection, including pus, fever, red or warm skin around the blister, red streaks leading away from blister, swollen lymph glands, increased pain or swelling, or simply feeling unwell.

Please note that if you have any SHARPS there is a sharps container in the Medical Tent for safe disposal. Do not discard sharps in normal waste.