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Blisters: To Pop or Not to Pop…That is the question!

Blisters are not fun.

We always get them at the worst times and in the worst places. They hurt, they stick around for days or even weeks, and we have to find a way to deal with them without putting the rest of our life on hold.

You’ve probably heard people say popping blisters isn’t a problem, and you’ve probably heard people say you should never pop a blister under any circumstances. And now, because you’ve heard all these people, you don’t know what to do.

So should we pop blisters or not?

Well, it all depends on the situation.

When a blister forms, new skin grows underneath the blister as part of the healing process, and the liquid inside the blister keeps this new skin clean and healthy. If you pop a blister, you expose the sensitive skin to germs and risk infection.

For that reason, if a blister isn’t bothering you, there is no need to pop it. But if a blister is large and painful, it may be beneficial to pop it if you have the right equipment.

How to Pop a Blister

  1. Clean your hands and the area around your blister before you start.
  2. Sterilize a needle by dipping the tip in alcohol or holding the tip over a fire until it’s red.
  3. Poke a small hole in the blister and let the fluid drain on its own. Do not remove the dead skin because it will continue to protect the new skin underneath.
  4. Apply antibacterial cream and wrap the blister in a dressing.

When is It Safe to Pop a Blister?

If you have a blister in an area you know it will continue to be rubbed and bothered, you should consider popping it.

For example, if you have a blister on the back of your heal and your about to go to the gym for a quick workout, you should pop the blister. It will probably rip open on its own if you don’t.

But there’s no need to pop a blister on the back of your heal if you aren’t going to be wearing shoes or doing a lot of walking anytime soon.

When is It Unsafe to Pop a Blister?

Try to avoid popping blisters on the bottom of your feet. Your feet are in constant contact with the ground and touch a lot of bacteria. A blister on the bottom of your foot is more likely to get infected if you pop it.

No matter how bad the blister is, don’t pop it unless you have the proper supplies. If you get a blister halfway through a run or long walk, don’t pop it until you get home.

Even if you have the right tools to pop a blister, don’t pop it if the ground is muddy or if you will be walking through any water. Damp will seep through your dressing and introduce bacteria to the growing skin beneath the blister.

Only pop your blister if it is necessary and is in a place that won’t get easily infected. Now that you know how to handle your blisters, you’re ready to go on some hikes with us.

Contact us if you need some help staying active this fall!