How to Treat a Blister That Has Popped

Uncomfortable shoes should not be worn when a blister on your foot or ankle is healing.
Uncomfortable shoes should not be worn when a blister on your foot or ankle is healing. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Treating a blister that has popped is a matter of providing comfort and preventing infection while the blister heals. This is done by carefully washing the area, and then putting on an antibiotic or antibacterial ointment to prevent infection. Finally, the burst blister should be covered with a loose bandage. The bandage should be removed every night, and a new one put on every morning until the blister has healed. It should also be changed if it becomes dirty or wet.

Things You'll Need

  • Antibiotic or antiseptic ointment
  • Sterile bandage or gauze
  • First aid tape

Wash your hands with soap and water. If medical gloves are available, put them on both hands.

Wash the affected area with soap and water. Then pat it dry with clean gauze.

Cut the flap of skin covering the blister with clean scissors if it has become dirty or infected. Otherwise gently smooth it down.

Apply antibiotic or antiseptic ointment to the affected area. Examples include bacitracin, polymyxin B, mixed antibiotic ointments and Betadine ointment.

Apply a loose sterile bandage or gauze pad. Fasten it lightly with first aid tape if you are using a non-adhesive bandage or pad. Make sure the tape or adhesive surface does not touch the blister.

Remove the bandage at night. Soak the bandage in cool water if necessary so that it is easier and less painful to remove.

Wash the affected area again and dry with gauze in the morning. Then apply and fasten another loose bandage and repeat the process every day until the blister has healed.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not intentionally pop a blister unless it is extremely large or painful.
  • Do not use alcohol or iodine on the blister.
  • If there is any itching or skin rash under the bandage, it could be caused by an antibiotic allergy. Stop using the antibiotic ointment. If possible, switch to a different antibiotic ointment or an antiseptic ointment such as Betadine.
  • Signs of infection include red streaks, swelling, redness, pain, heat and fever. In the event any of these signs appear, obtain medical attention immediately.

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