Treatment of Friction Blisters

Despite prevention strategies, blisters may still occur and treatment will be necessary.  The primary goals of treatment should be to prevent expansion of the lesion, reduce discomfort, promote healing and prevent infection.

 If pain persists or infections are suspected, a physician should be consulted.  The following is a guideline to treating blisters:

 1.    For hot spots or blisters less than 5mm in size…

  • don’t unroof (tear skin off)
  • clear the area with antibacterial scrub
  • apply sterile dressing or hydrocolloid dressing (eg: Duoderm or Sports Patch)
  • cover sterile dressing with DONUT pad or moleskin (deflective pad)
  • check shoe for abnormal pressure points or manufacture defects
  • re-examine blister in 24 hours for signs of infection

 2.    For larger blisters – greater than 5mm in size….

  • clean area with antibacterial scrub
  • at approximately 24 hours, drain the blister of fluid with a sterile technique (do not unroof the blister unless the roof is largely torn or there are signs of infection)
  • apply hydrocolloid/sterile gauze
  • cover with moleskin
  • recheck blister in 24 hours but don’t remove patch unless infection is present; this allows healing of the roof and floor of the blister
  • re-check as above within 72 hours

If blister roof is nearly ripped off it should be removed gently, cleaned with antibacterial scrub, rinsed with saline and covered with a sterile dressing.  Consult your GP if pain persists or surrounding pus/infection is noted.