I’ve been so caught up in cheering on my favorite Major League Baseball team as the pennant race heats up (go Tigers!), that I’ve given myself blisters from playing too much catch between innings. I’m no major leaguer, but blisters sideline even the toughest players—and I don’t want to let one put me on the disabled list.

The only time a blister is really dangerous is when it gets infected, so the best way to keep nasty germs at bay is to clean it (and the surrounding skin) once or twice a day. Wash the area well with soap and water, then dry it thoroughly. Too much moisture will soften the blister and make it more likely to break open before it’s ready.

Even though it’s good to protect a blister with a bandage, you should keep it uncovered for at least 20 minutes a day. A little air circulation will help protect the area from infection-causing bacteria, which thrive in dark, moist places.

If you’re still worried about infection, do what my Grandma Putt did for me when I was a kid: Add a teaspoon each of rosemary and thyme to a cup of hot water and steep for about 10 minutes. Let the liquid cool to room temperature, pour some on a cloth, and hold it against your blister for about 20 minutes. Repeat once or twice daily until the blister is gone.

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