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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.

Gray sport shoes with orthopedic insoles. Wooden background.Nozdracheva Galina/Shutterstock

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.

Bandaid5 Second Studio/Shutterstock

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.

Apple-Cider-VinegarMichelle Lee Photography/Shutterstock

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.

castor oil with castorSiNeeKan/Shutterstock

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.

Wooden spoon with witch hazel.BW Folsom/Shutterstock

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.

Transparent essence from aloe vera plant drips from leaves,.Elizaveta Galitckaia/Shutterstock

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.

drop of fluid on the tip of a syringe needle Stonel/Shutterstock

Drain it

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.

BandagePao Laroid/Shutterstock

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.

Sources
  • 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."
Medically reviewed by Jessica Wu, MD, on October 29, 2019