What are Blisters?

Blisters on the feet form as a result of friction of the skin. They are sacs filled with clear fluid and form on the outer layer of skin and arise from constant rubbing or pressure from improperly fitted footwear. Smaller blisters are also known as vesicles, while larger ones are often referred to as bulla.

What Are the Causes of Blisters?

Blisters on your feet typically arise from wrongly fitted footwear. Footwear that's too tight can cause rubbing and pressure on your skin, which results in the formation of blisters. You can get blisters on your feet from:

  • walking or running in poorly fitted shoes
  • while hiking
  • playing sports
  • cycling

Any activity that makes you sweat increases the friction on your skin, making you more predisposed to getting a blister.

What Are the Symptoms of Blisters?

Common symptoms of blisters include:

  • pain
  • tenderness around the area
  • inability to put weight if the blister is on the ball or heel of your feet
  • infection, if left the blister bursts and is left untreated

What to Expect During Treatment for Blisters at the Podiatrist

Prevention is the best way to deal with blisters and begins with regular foot checkups with your podiatrist. Wearing footwear that fits correctly, including the use of shoe inserts or custom orthotics—which your podiatrist can help determine and fit you for—is key to managing and treating blisters. If you have diabetes, poor blood circulation, or find that your blister has popped and there's drainage, it's best to seek immediate treatment for your blisters before they get infected and worsen.

Depending on the severity of your blister, a treatment plan by your podiatrist can include:

  • properly fitted footwear
  • moisture-wicking socks
  • use of moleskin bandages to keep the blister protected and dry
  • topical antiseptic medication

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