9 Home Treatments to Quickly Heal Blisters
They may be hard to prevent, but they're a cinch to heal. Learn how get relief with treatments for your most painful blisters on your feet and elsewhere.
Prevent a blister with better shoes
“Blisters are typically related to rubbing or friction from a shoe or from the ground,” says John Giurini, MD, chief of podiatric surgery at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. “Blisters are a traumatic type of injury.” There are things you can do to sidestep them, he says, and that includes skipping barefoot days, making sure your shoes fit right (not too tight!), and avoiding long walks or other activities in a pair of shoes you haven’t worn before. If you do end up with one, try these at-home fixes.
Tent it to protect it
Bandages reduce friction and protect your blister from irritating contact, so Giurini suggests covering small blisters to stop any extra irritation. Here’s a trick for how to apply the covering: Make a mini “tent” by applying the sticky ends of a bandage closer together, with the middle padded part rising slightly over your blister. This home remedy allows the blister to breathe, which promotes healing while also protecting it from friction or dirt and debris that could cause infection. Find out how to tell if a cut or scrape is infected.
Dab on apple cider vinegar
Careful, this one may sting. But it’s a blister treatment worth trying, as apple cider vinegar has some antibacterial properties. Just be careful: ACV is an astringent (meaning, it can “tighten” soft tissues). It’s OK to use as a topical treatment for short periods of time, but make the area doesn’t get infected, says Giurini. Read up on tips for treating blood blisters.
Apply castor oil
Castor oil is a popular home remedy for blister treatment. Apply it with a cotton ball or pad, like other oils. Don’t miss these other natural remedies that really work.
Dab on witch hazel
Witch hazel, another astringent, can help to dry out your blister, helping it heal. Use a clean cotton ball with each application. If your feet need a little TLC, homemade foot scrubs are perfect for much needed pampering.
Apply aloe vera gel
Aloe is an anti-inflammatory, so it will help reduce redness and swelling that cause pain. Research has shown that aloe is effective in healing second- and third-degree burns, making it an excellent home remedy for blisters. Here are 11 home remedies that soothe and heal burns.
Giurini says some patients opt to drain the blister (which might be helpful if it’s a big one or in an uncomfortable location). If you go that route, he recommends using a clean needle to pop it, then alcohol to clean it out. If you’re going to be wearing shoes, cover it up. If you’re at home, it’s OK to leave it open to heal, just know it’s more prone to infection as an open wound. Here’s how to prevent scars.
Let it breathe
A blister will heal if it is left uncovered in a clean environment, says Giurini. Remove bandages when you’re at home so your blister has a chance to breathe and dry up. To protect it from infection, apply a thin layer of antibacterial ointment to promote healing, particularly if it’s popped. These are the 9 health secrets your feet wish they could tell you.
- John Giurini, MD, chief of podiatric surgery at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA.
- Journal of Histology & Histopathology: "Effect of Topical Aloe Vera on the Process of Healing of Full-thickness Skin Burn: a Histological and Immunohistochemical Study."