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Home :: Blisters


Blisters are small swelling of the skin that contains watery fluid. They are caused by friction. The body responds to the friction by producing fluid. The fluid builds up beneath the part of the skin being rubbed, causing pressure and pain.

Blisters are quite common for anyone who regularly participates in sports. Most athletes just accept them as the price you pay to play, but there are measures to avoid them, or decrease the pain and risk of infection if you find you have one.


Blisters are caused by friction from shoes or clothing which rubs repeatedly on the skin causing friction burns. As the outer layer of skin separates from the inner layers the space between fills with lymph fluid.

Repeated friction and pressure against the skin, especially during hot, humid weather. Examples of common sites for blisters include the hands of gymnasts, the feet of runners and dancers, the fingers of baseball pitchers, and the buttocks of bicycle riders.

Signs and symptoms

  • Fluid collection under the superficial skin layer.
  • Sensitivity to pressure over the blister.
  • Redness and swelling around the blister.


Home Treatment

No treatment is necessary for small, painless blisters (less than 1 inch across). To treat painful blisters or blisters larger than 1 inch:

  • Apply ice to the blister for 5 minutes.
  • Wash the blistered area with warm soapy water. Pat dry with a clean towel.
  • Sterilize a pin or tip of a scissor by dipping in alcohol or by holding it in the flame of a lighted match until it becomes red.
  • Puncture the blister in several places around the edge.
  • Apply gentle pressure to the top of the blister to squeeze out fluid. Leave the skin in place.
  • Repeat all steps above once a day if the blister persists.
  • Place moleskin (see Glossary) over a blister pad on top of the blister. Pad blisters on the bottoms of the feet with adhesive felt or foam with a hole cut slightly larger than the blister.


You may use non-prescription antibiotic medicine, such as Bacitracin or Neosporin, on the skin of the blister.

  • Apply 10% tannic acid to vulnerable areas of Skin once or twice daily for 2 to 3 weeks.
  • Wear shoes that fit like a glove, but allow, enough space for the forefoot and toes. Check rough seams inside the shoe.
  • Don't wear thick socks. Clean, white cotton or cotton-wool socks are less likely to cause blisters than synthetic materials. Avoid tube socks
  • Try wearing no socks, but dusting shoes with talcum powder or rubbing feet and shoes with petroleum jelly.
  • Put tape on vulnerable areas prior to exercise.
  • Don't run in shoes still wet from previous use.
  • Protect hands with gloves appropriate for your, If possible.
  • Keep feet as dry as possible. Wet shoes, boots and socks will cause blisters far quicker than dry ones.

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Disclaimer: website is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. Always take the advice of professional health care for specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment. We will not be liable for any complications, or other medical accidents arising from the use of any information on this web site. Please note that medical information is constantly changing. Therefore some information may be out of date.