Blisters are a common experience in fitness programs. Whenever soft skin is rubbed repeatedly, these shells form and fill with liquid. Blisters are often painful, especially those which form on the bottoms of the feet or on areas which are continuously irritated by clothing. People often wonder if they should pop blisters in order to make them less painful or to get rid of them faster. We’ll look at the pros and cons of popping blisters in this article.

Should You Pop Blisters?

The overall answer to this question is “no”. The raised skin covering the blister and the fluid inside it protects your vulnerable growing skin beneath from germs which can lead to even more painful infection. Blisters will eventually heal on their own with the fluid being absorbed into the body.

The best care for a raised blister is to generously cover it with antibacterial cream and then apply sterile gauze and hypoallergenic tape to protect the area from infection in the case that it should pop on its own. Change the dressing daily and wear different shoes with clean socks if the blister happens to be on the foot.

According to experts you should absolutely not pop a blister if you have diabetes. Doing so could cause a foot ulcer and severe infection. Also, if the blister is very large and painful, and the area surrounding it is red then it is probably infected. In this case, you should have it looked at by a doctor who may need to lance it and administer antibiotics.

When You Can Pop a Blister

There are some instances when it is ok to pop a blister. This will allow it to be drained of the fluid and make it less painful, especially if it’s in an area described above. However, remember that popping a blister heightens the chances of infection so special care must be taken before, during and after.

Prior to popping the blister, thoroughly clean your hands and the blistered area, preferably with an antibacterial soap. When you’re ready to pop the blister, use a disinfected needle or pin. You can disinfect the item by either using rubbing alcohol or running it briefly through an open flame. Once the blister has been punctured, carefully press out the fluid into a clean tissue until the blister is flat.

DO NOT remove the skin from the top of the blister before the skin has had a chance to heal underneath. The top skin helps to protect the area and will die and come off easily once the lower layers have recovered sufficiently.

Apply an antibiotic cream on the flat, drained blister and apply gauze and tape as described above, changing the dressing daily. Wash your hands again thoroughly after puncturing a blister and disinfect or discard the pin that was used. This same care should be taken if the blister bursts on its own (with the exception of the lancing part).

Ways to Avoid Getting Blisters

Blisters usually form on the feet and hands due to excessive rubbing of those areas when working out. Feet are particularly vulnerable because they are housed in shoes and become soft from sweating. Extra care should be taken to avoid foot blisters since they can be quite painful, interfere with workouts and other activities, and are very susceptible to infection.

To help avoid foot blisters, wear comfortable shoes that fit properly. Try to break brand new shoes in by wearing them during softer activities such as walking before donning them for intense workouts. You should also apply foot powder to help keep feet dry and always wear socks of sufficient thickness to absorb any extra sweat.

Gloves can be worn to help prevent blisters forming on the hands when involved in heavy work or exercise. However, gloves may not be desired when working on grip as they can hinder such strengthening. In such cases, taping the more vulnerable parts of the hand or chalk can be used instead.

Sometimes, tight fitted clothing can also cause blisters. You can either wear looser clothing or wear a light, soft piece of clothing under the tighter fitted clothing item to help prevent the irritable rubbing which can cause blisters to form.