It’s only inevitable that at least a few pairs of our summer sandals will leave us with not-so-pretty blisters. You can blame humidity and skin-to-shoe friction for the painful results. Defeating blisters, however, is a fairly easy feat. Our tried-and-true strategies won't just heal and prevent the little guys, they'll get you back in your favorite heels and flats in no time.
1. Wash Your Hands
Hands carry bacteria, so it's crucial to wash well before treating your blister. Lather with standard hand soap for at least 20 seconds, and spend another 20 making sure you get under nails.
2. Pop the Blister
Now that your hands are ready to go, it’s time to make sure the blister itself is just as clean. Disinfect by daubing with iodine ($12; drugstore.com) to clear away any dirt and microbes. Once the blister is prepared, draining all plasma inside (gross, we know) is your next step. To do so effectively, carefully puncture the wound with a rubbing alcohol-sterilized needle, entering from the side rather than the top for safety. Then soak up the liquid with a tissue or cotton pad, pushing from the end opposite where you made your pin prick. Important: Do not remove any of the dead skin. It the wound will heal better left untouched.
3. Treat the Wound
Everyone loves a good home remedy, and healing a blister can be done with around-the-house goodies. To prevent yours from becoming infected post-pop, try a swab of apple cider vinegar ($7; amazon.com), a natural antibacterial. To reduce swelling and redness, snap off the leaf of an aloe plant and squeeze to drip liquid onto the wound. To dry out the blister after lancing, try tea tree oil ($13; gnc.com) or toothpaste ($4; walgreens.com).
When it comes to the pre-bandage phase, start by soothing the wound. Neosporin Plus Pain Relief First Aid Antibiotic Cream ($7; drugstore.com) combines an analgesic into its germ-fighting ointment. For soothing hydration, stick with Vaseline Petroleum Jelly ($2; drugstore.com) or Burt's Bees Re-Q ointment ($6; burtsbees.com).
4. Bandage It
Seal out water, dirt and germs while also adding a little protective padding using Band-Aid Advanced Healing Blister, Cushions ($5; drugstore.com) or Dr. Scholl's Blister Treatment, Sterile Cushions ($5; drugstore.com). To protect and relieve pain, choose PediFix SoreSpot Blister and Skin Protection Bandages ($11; amazon.com). Be sure to change the bandage daily, or when it becomes dirty, loose, or wet to prevent infection.
5. Prevent More Blisters
Since you’ve now experienced your first blister of the summer, you’re aware of the pain and trouble that come with it. Chafing balms such as Dr. Scholl's Blister Defense Anti-Friction Stick ($7; drugstore.com), Band-Aid Active Friction Block Stick ($6; drugstore.com), and Body Glide Anti-Blister Foot Balm ($8; bodyglide.com) shield skin against the rubbing that causes blisters to form.