Blisters: Foot or Hand

What is a blister?

A blister is a raised area on the skin that is usually filled with fluid. Blisters commonly occur on the feet or hands. They are most often caused by the hands or feet rubbing against something (such as using a tool for a long time or wearing hiking boots or new shoes).

How can I take care of my child?

Do not open the blisters, since this increases the possibility of infection. They will dry up and peel off in 1 to 2 weeks. In the meantime, take the pressure off the area by placing a donut shaped piece of foam, a Band-Aid with a hole cut in the center or a liquid bandage over the blister. If the blister accidentally breaks open, trim off the loose skin. Keep the surface clean by washing it twice a day with an antibacterial soap (such as Dial or Safeguard). Apply an antibiotic ointment and a Band-Aid or liquid bandage to help with healing.

How can I help prevent blisters?

Avoid shoes that are too tight or too loose. If your child frequently gets blisters on one toe, cover that spot with petroleum jelly before athletic activities to decrease the friction (rubbing) on the spot. Friction can also be reduced by wearing two pairs of socks.

When should I call my healthcare provider?

Call during office hours if:

  • The blister looks infected.
  • You have other questions or concerns.
Written by Barton D. Schmitt, MD, author of “My Child Is Sick,” American Academy of Pediatrics Books.
Pediatric Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2009-06-18
Last reviewed: 2014-06-10
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright ©1986-2015 Barton D. Schmitt, MD. All rights reserved.

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