It is a common summer complaint: getting a blister on your foot. Those blisters can be painful and annoying, but doctors say knowing how to treat them properly can help them heal faster. And, the first step you should take with that blister is ignore it.
"If you have a blister and it's really not bothering you- leave it alone. You want to leave the top on as much as you can. That creates an ideal biological environment for healing," explained Cleveland Clinic Dermatologist Dr. Melissa Piliang.
Turns out we usually do more harm than good when trying to care for a blister. Piliang says the top of a blister acts as a natural bandage, protecting the skin below. The fluid is basically water - with some protein - and will reabsorb into your bloodstream as the blister heals. if you can't ignore it because it's large or painful, Piliang says you can drain it.
"To do that you want to clean the blister good with soap and water, wipe it with alcohol, and wipe a needle with alcohol. Then you can take the needle and poke the edge of the blister a couple of times. You want to do the edge that is closest to normal skin," she said.
Leave the flap of skin in place, apply antibiotic ointment and cover it to help the healing process.
Watch for any sign of infection including fever, increased pain, swelling, redness or warmth around that blister. Do not however, drain a blister on your own if you have a serious medical condition like diabetes, HIV, cancer or heart disease. Call your doctor instead.
Remember, before you touch that blister, make sure you wash your hands and the blister with soap and warm water first.