Is it Okay to Pop a Blister?


Did you ever wonder why you don’t get blisters on your elbows? Your forearms? How about your back or your stomach? Not happening – because those body parts don’t usually rub against anything. Feet, on the other hand, tend to get blisters because they’re subject to a lot of friction.

There are two primary causes of blisters:

  1. Blisters form on your toes and soles from shoes that are too tight. Let’s say you’re wearing a shoe that’s too tight in the toes. It pinches your pinky toe and squeezes the toe against your fourth toe. If you walk all day under these conditions, the skin of your pinky toe is constantly experiencing irritation.
  2. Wet or too-tight socks can also cause blisters. Imagine you’re out for a long run. Your feet get hot and sweaty, and all that perspiration accumulates on your skin. Nothing travels smoothly over sweaty, sticky skin. Socks (or shoes if you’re not wearing socks) rubbing against clammy skin creates friction.

In both situations, the irritated skin wants to protect itself. So, it forms a bubble of skin filled with cushioning liquid to prevent further irritation and allow the area to heal.

To pop or not to pop? – That is the question
In general, we recommend leaving a blister alone. If you pop it, there’s a chance it’ll get infected. People with diabetes should never take that chance, and most other people don’t need to. A blister will heal on its own.

If you have a foot blister that’s large, painful, or shows signs of infection, contact our experienced podiatric surgeons, Dr. Craig B. Frey, Dr. Megan L. Oltmann, and Dr. Jim Swienconek. We can safely drain a blister or prescribe antibiotics if it’s infected. Call Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland in Solon, Ohio at (440) 903-1041 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. We offer a modern office with the latest technology for podiatric patients in Portage, Geauga, Cuyahoga, and Summit Counties, proudly serving our patients from Solon, Aurora, Bedford, Chagrin Falls, Hudson, Macedonia, and Twinsburg.