Blisters on the feet are relatively common, especially if you're an athlete or you spend a lot of time on your feet. Most often, they heal up on their own with little to no intervention as long as you take steps to stop the rubbing. However, many people make mistakes when caring for their blisters, which may lead to infections and slow healing. Adhere to these do's and don'ts the next time you develop a blister on your foot.
Don't: Pop the blister if you can avoid it.
If you leave the blister alone, the liquid inside of it will slowly be absorbed back into your body, and the area will heal without you having broken the skin. This reduces your risk of infection since there is no open wound.
Do: Use a sterilized needle if you must pop the blister.
If you're really set on popping the blister because it's just too uncomfortable, at least use a sterilized needle to do so. Dip the needle in some rubbing alcohol and let it air dry. The alcohol will kill any germs on the needle. Make just one hole in the blister, and gently massage the area (using clean hands) to encourage the liquid to drain out.
Don't: Put your foot back in a dirty shoe or sock.
After you find the blister, whether you pop it or not, switch to a clean pair of socks. You should also spray your shoes with a disinfectant spray. This will reduce your blister's exposure to bacteria. Even if the blister is not popped, it's important to limit bacterial exposure since it may pop inside the shoe, revealing the delicate under-layer of skin.
Do: Give it plenty of air.
Exposure to air will help dry out your blister and promote proper healing. So whenever you're able to do so, take off your shoes and let your foot air out. If you can wear sandals rather than closed-toe shoes to work while you have the blister, do so.
Don't: Ignore signs of an infection.
If the blister becomes overly red and painful or if you see pus coming from the area, you may have an infection. Make an appointment with your podiatrist. They can recommend antibiotics to help clear the infection and can also clean the area safely.
If you follow the tips above, your blisters should heal up without an issue. What's even better, though, is avoiding blisters altogether. Try to avoid wearing shoes that are too tight, and opt for socks that are smooth and breathable. For more information, check out websites like http://www.advancedfootclinic.org.