How to heal a blister on the foot: should it be exploited?

How to heal a blister on the foot is the headache of many pilgrims who walk these days on the final stretch of the Camino de Santiago. And also that of thousands of other people who do not walk 25 km a day but who, especially on these dates, suffer blisters on their feet.

Blistering feet, yes or no?

There are theories for all tastes and colors. The first thing you should know is that something as prosaic as “blowing up a blister” in medical terms is called “flicten debridement.” There remains that, in case this summer they have a sophisticated dinner where they want to get the pedant that we all have inside. I repeat: “flicten debridement.”

On the one hand there are those who bet that nature takes its course and to take advantage of the protective effect of the skin that covers the blister. On the other hand, there are those who point out that the skin that covers the ampoule is already a dead skin because it has lost contact with the dermis (liquidite separates it from the ampoule). Therefore, this skin would be fragile and not a perfect barrier.

The following image may damage the sensitivity of the reader:

With which version of explode blisters or do we not stay?

Well, it depends, but if there is a risk that the blister will “burst” on its own (for example, if we have to walk 25km the next day), your thing is to do a controlled detonation of the pump (you know, a debridement of the flictena).

How do we cure the blister if we exploit it?

Basically the procedure is summarized in 5 steps:

1- Wash the area with soap and water.

  1. Disinfect it with chlorhexidine. Remember that in general, for these home-walking wounds, the use of chlorhexidine is preferred over hydrogen peroxide, alcohol or Betadine .
  2. Prick the ampoule with a sterile needle and empty its contents using a gauze pad or similar.
  3. Re-disinfect the area with chlorhexidine.
  4. Apply a dressing, preferably hydrocolloid to promote wet healing. I mean the famous green box dressings like these , but also  these  and  these , which are just as effective but cheaper.

What should we NOT do with an ampoule?

Following the wise advice of the NHS , we should never ever:

  1. Exploit it by squeezing your fingers roughly and uncontrollably.
  2. Tear off the remains of skin that are around, however tempting they may be.
  3. Do not wear the same shoes that caused the blister until it heals.


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