Skipped socks to wear your sexy new slip-ons or sandals? When wearing ill-fitted shoes - or when breaking in a new pair - friction or pressure can injure the skin and cause blood vessels to leak into the skin. Clear fluid pools beneath the skin and forms a blister, and if blood happens to mix in, what you get is a darker blood blister.

Should I leave it be?
Most of the time, a blister is very minor and will resolve on its own. If the skin over a blister is intact and not bothering you too much, simply cover the area with a bandage or with gauze if the blister is larger. The blister will resolve itself and the unbroken skin will protect you from bacteria or infection.

Should I drain it?
Do not drain blisters if you have diabetes or poor circulation. Instead, let your doctor know about new blisters, since these minor injuries can pose an infection risk. But if a blister is causing you pain or making it difficult to walk or fit into your shoes, you can try extracting the fluid on your own.

  • Wash your hands and the blister with soap and warm water.
  • Use 70% isopropyl alcohol (available at your pharmacy - ask the pharmacist) to sterilize both your blister and a clean, sharp needle.
  • Without detaching the overlying skin, use the needle to puncture the blister along its edge and let the fluid drain.
  • Dab on a bit of antibiotic cream and cover the blister with a bandage of gauze. You should repeat the application of the antibiotic daily for a few days (check the directions on the cream for how many times per day to apply).
  • Once the dead skin detaches, you can remove it using sterilized tweezers or scissors and cover the spot with a lightly placed bandage for a few days so as to protect the fresh skin.

Should I blame my shoes?
Yes, if you got the blister while wearing new, uncomfortable, or ill-fitted shoes.

  • Tread lightly during the breaking-in phase with new shoes. Do a test run - or walk - before heading out for the day in a new pair of shoes. Walk around your home or neighbourhood to note if there are any spots where the shoes seem to rub you the wrong way.
  • Be sure that your shoes fit well. Plan shoe-shopping trips toward the end of the day, when your feet are at their largest due to sitting or standing all day. And have both of your feet measured in case one is larger than the other. An insole or leather uppers could help with fit and with wicking away moisture that might irritate your skin and lead to blisters.
  • Softer, comfier shoes will be less likely to cause friction and blisters.
  • It may not always be the most fashionable choice, but wear socks - especially if wearing new or loosely-fitted shoes. Or you can apply bandages to the areas where a blister is likely to form.

Should I see a doctor?
Consult a doctor if you notice any symptoms of infection, including redness, warmth around the area, pus, or increasing pain. If you have diabetes, talk to your doctor about the best ways you can prevent and treat blisters and other diabetes-related foot problems.

Amy Toffelmire