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When To Get A Blister Treated

Blisters are a common occurrence that most people will come across during their lifetime. Often times, if properly treated, blisters will resolve themselves. However, there are some instances where a blister needs more attention than a band aid and some ointment.

Is it really a blister? 

First, you need to determine if what you have is a callus or a blister. A callus is thick build up of hardening skin. They usually appear on the ball of your foot due to constant friction when you walk. One form of blisters is also caused by friction. Rather than thickening the skin around the affected area, your body forms a pocket of clear fluid covered by a layer of skin. As long as it remains intact, this serves as a sterile environment which protects the sensitive layer from further irritation. Friction blisters are usually the result of increased physical activities such as dancing, running, and biking. It is also common for new or ill-fitting shoes to create blisters on the heel or sides of the foot.

When is it serious?

Blisters that stick around for long time without any evidence of healing should definitely be seen by a podiatrist. A little known fact is that blisters, especially blood blisters, are highly susceptible to infection once popped. If you are experiencing severe pain or if the blister appears to be infected, making an appointment with your doctor should be a priority. Large blisters should also be treated by a professional as they may be a result of additional health problems.


Patients living with diabetes are more susceptible to developing frequent blister formations. It is important to check your feet quite often because if left untreated, blisters can inevitably lead to more serious infections such as gangrene. Diabetics are 15 times more likely to require amputation because of the effects of the disease on the body’s blood circulation.

Genetic Disorders

If you frequently discover blisters and areas of skin loss, you may be unknowingly suffering from epidermolysis bullosa simplex; a member of a group of genetic conditions that cause fragile skin that blisters easily. The signs and symptoms of this disease greatly vary by each case. Dehydration and infections are common in patients suffering from more severe situations. Severe epidermolysis bullosa simplex is life-threatening in infancy.

Common Treatment Methods

Keeping your blister clean, dry, and covered will all assist in generating a speedy recovery. Make sure to avoid picking at blister; the area is only sterile while covered. Popping a blister exposes the skin to bacteria, increasing the likelihood of infection and excess drainage, and each instance calls for the need of antibiotics. Wearing shoes with a good supporting sole and limiting the wear of constricting clothing are great preventative measures. As mentioned earlier, excessive swelling, pain, or redness are all strong indicators of the need to seek medical treatment. Ointments may cause infections to worsen over time. If you are unsure of the severity of your blister, make your health a priority and contact a specialist.

Everyone has their own personal remedies for dealing with the common discomforts. Although mom’s home remedies may have gotten you through childhood, consulting a physician is the better option for adults. Podiatrists treat their patients in a sterile environment with tools the average person won’t have access to in their bathroom medicine cabinet.

Dr. Ian S. Goldbaum is a Podiatric Physician and Surgeon serving patients in Boca Raton, Delray Beach and Boynton Beach.

Do you have questions or concerns?
Call or email today for immediate
answers to your questions.


16244 S. Military Trail #290
Delray Beach, FL 33445


8198 Jog Road #100
Boynton Beach, FL 33472


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