Hi. I'm Dr. John Fritz, and I'm going to talk to you a little bit about how to prevent and treat foot blisters. Blisters are a small, water filled, raised area on your skin, and they're typically caused by excessive friction and moisture. To effectively prevent and manage them, you must control moisture and prevent friction.
Moisture is best controlled with proper shoe gear, proper foot hygiene, proper socks. A lot of the new socks out today are synthetic wicking socks, and they're fantastic at controlling moisture on the feet and preventing buildup. Friction can also be controlled with socks. There are several new brands out that are padded socks, double layer socks, which really reduce friction. The theory is that the inner sock and the outer sock is the source of the friction instead of your foot in the sock itself.
Proper shoe gear is critical in reducing friction. Make sure your shoes fit properly so that you don't have any areas of friction. If you feel like you're getting a hot spot, stop and either protect it with some type of a lubricant. There are several lubricants. I prefer old-school Vaseline. Put it on the hot spot. By putting it on the area of irritation. you will reduce the friction in the area.
If you get a blister and it doesn't hurt and it's not bothering you, leave it alone. If the skin is intact, the fluid beneath is sterile. If you have one that is bothering you, you can padded off depending on its size. You can use adhesive felt, adhesive foam and adequately cushion the blister and let it result naturally.
If however you have a blister and its large and it's painful, seek medical attention. They can drain it easily. If you are out on the Appalachian Trail hiking and there is no medical facility close by, you can drain a blister by first washing the skin with soap and water. Prep the skin with an antiseptic solution. I prefer Betadine. You would take a sterilized needle and at the edge of the blister pop the blister. Completely drain the contents out and apply a compressive bandage.