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What is a Blister?

A Blister is a bubble of fluid under the outer layer of skin. The fluid may be clear or filled with blood or pus. There are many possible causes of blisters including a burn, disease, an allergic reaction, or from your skin rubbing against something. Blisters are a widespread problem for athletes—the wearing of new shoes—and for people who take part in exceptionally long events like marathons or long hill walks.

The most common causes of foot blisters:

  • A result of heat, moisture and friction.
  • Friction forces caused by inappropriate footwear.
  • A result of fungal infections of the skin, allergic reactions or burns.
  • Excessive foot perspiration.
  • Blisters are caused on the foot by friction from shoes or clothing which rubs repeatedly on the skin causing friction burns. As the outer layer of skin on the foot separates from the inner layers the space between fills with lymph fluid.


    Blisters can be prevented and quickly treated. Small blisters may be treated with soaks, topical antibiotic, and bandages. Larger blisters may have to be drained to reduce the fluid pressures and pain in the foot.  The doctor may prescribe a topical and/or oral antibiotic, soaking regime, custom orthotic to reduce reoccurrence, proper hosiery, and shoe recommendations.

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