Blisters are a swelling on the skin containing fluid and most of us have experienced one at some time or other. There can be a single blister or several blisters together depending on the cause. We can usually live with the discomfort of a blister unless it becomes infected and contains pus, or the itchy blisters that accompany chicken pox and shingles can drive you crazy!


The most common blister is caused by persistent rubbing against unprotected skin. I think we’ve all experienced this type of blister from footwear that has rubbed on our feet! Although of course there are many other causes from using sports equipment to the garden trowel.


Treating blisters caused by rubbing against the skin, clean with antiseptic. If the blister hasn’t burst you can use a pin sterilized with a flame until red hot and then cooled, to prick the bubble releasing the fluid. Leave the skin in place, new skin will grow underneath whilst the old skin will give some protection until it dries and comes off. Cover with a plaster when necessary, but allow the air to get to the blister when possible to assist healing.

Treating blisters caused by chicken pox or shingles when they are starting to scab over and become itchy, is to use cold compresses and apply gently, or having a tepid bath may help. Alternatively you can ask you pharmacist for over the counter creams that can be applied to relieve itchy blisters.


Slowly build up when using new equipment, use gloves temporarily to help. When running/training etc good protection in footwear is essential. We all love our oldest trainers but there comes a time when we have to buy new ones and it’s easy to forget just how much new sports shoes can rub on! Wearing two pairs of socks can help or changing socks half way through a training session REALLY WILL HELP ( Blisters develop easier in a moist sports shoe). Stuff new trainers with screwed up paper over night to stretch them slightly.

Any other causes of blisters from the sun or from allergies or infections should be diagnosed by your doctor.