Foot blisters are a common ankle and foot related condition that most people have experienced at one point or another.
Whether you are an avid walker or pursue sports, you probably have experienced foot blisters. Women who wear heels for long hours know the pain of blisters all too well.
The important question here, however, is this: How do you determine if your foot blister is infected? And if it is, how do you treat it?
In most cases foot blisters do heal by themselves with basic medical treatment of cleaning the blister and then applying a topical antibiotic ointment.
However, in some cases, the blister can get infected. An infected blister can lead to all kinds of health complications if it is left untreated – especially if the infection is serious and it starts to spread.
If this happens, it is best to visit a foot and ankle doctor to treat the infection and prevent complications.
How Do I Know If My Foot Blister Is Infected?
All wounds where the skin breaks are painful. However, there are a few important signs which should help you judge whether your blister is infected. Watch out for the following signs:
- The blister and the surrounding area are painful to touch.
- The skin displays a reddish discoloration and feels tender.
- There is pus formation, bleeding, and the blister emits a foul smell.
- The skin is peeling, and the blister is not healing at all.
You need to visit a doctor immediately if the infection shows signs of spreading. If this has happened, you might notice you’ve developed chills or a fever and body ache.
How Can I Treat My Foot Blister at Home?
As with any open wound, cleaning is necessary. So, start by cleaning the blister before following through with any treatment.
- Place the affected foot with the blister in warm water.
- Gently clean/rinse the blister – ensure your hands are clean before doing this.
- Mix 1-2 teaspoons of salt in some warm water and soak your feet in it for about 15-20 minutes – salt can help sanitize the wound and reduce pain.
- If the blister is open and the outer skin is loose or flapping, cut it gently with medical scissors – make sure you don’t cut too close to the open wound.
- Once the blister is clean, apply an over-the-counter topical antibiotic ointment to treat the infection.
- You can take an anti-inflammatory pain killer to manage the pain.
- You can continue doing this until the blister heals.
- If you find the blister is not healing at all even after a week or so, please consult with a podiatrist as soon as possible.
Important – If you have a health condition such as diabetes or you suffer from poor circulation or any other serious chronic condition or infection, consult with your medical doctor and a podiatrist before trying home remedies.
Health Risks Associated With Infected Blisters
Even if you don’t have a health condition and find that your blister is not healing – please visit a professional foot and ankle specialist as soon as possible.
An untreated or infected blister can pose serious health risks. If the infection spreads, it could lead to cellulitis – a skin infection which, if left unchecked, can infect your lymph nodes.
The spread of infection could easily compromise your immune system leading to further complications.
What to Expect During a Doctor’s Visit?
When you visit a doctor for an infected blister, the doctor will put you on a course of antibiotics or antifungal medication to treat the infection.
If there is pus formation, the doctor will drain the blister first and treat it medically, which may also involve cutting away the loose skin and dead tissue.
Again, if the infection is very serious, a further lab exam might be needed to accurately diagnose the cause of infection – once the cause is accurately diagnosed, the doctor can recommend the correct treatment.
Do You Or A Family Member Need The Help Of An Experienced Podiatrist In The Caldwell Or Meridian, Idaho Area?
If you're seeking the help of an experienced podiatrist you owe it to yourself to speak with our doctors as soon as possible. Please feel free to contact us online or call our office directly at 208.855.5955 to schedule your appointment. We service all areas surrounding Meridian, Idaho as well as all areas in the Caldwell, Idaho area. We look forward to helping you!