Don’t Pop That Blister, Mister!

Ho, ho, hooo, boy! Has a day of hustling, bustling, and last-minute Christmas shopping left your feet feeling sore and—yikes!—blistered? Well whatever you do, don’t pop them! Here’s the right way to tend to the troubling bubbles so you’ll be back on your feet just in time for your holiday feast.

·        Let it breathe. Even though it’s good to protect a blister with a bandage, you want to expose it to the air 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.

·        Lace tight. When putting on running or other sports shoes, be sure to lace them up properly, so your feet are held firmly in place. Otherwise, they’ll rub around against the insides of the shoes and create an even bigger problem.

·        Wash away the germs. The best way to keep infection-causing germs out of blisters is to clean them (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.

·        No worries with “wort.” The herb St. John’s wort is great for killing germs and easing pain. Use an alcohol-based tincture, available at health food stores, to moisten a square of gauze, then apply it to the blister after you’ve washed it.

The only time blisters are really dangerous is when they get infected. If the pain is getting worse, or if you notice the area is swelling or turning red, apply an over-the-counter triple antibiotic ointment a few times a day. If that doesn’t do the trick, see a doctor.
Merry Christmas!
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