Blisters often heal on their own within a week. They can be painful while they heal, but you shouldn't need to see a GP.

How you can treat a blister yourself

There are things you can do to protect a blister and help stop it getting infected.


  • keep the blister as clean as possible - gently wash the skin and pat it dry
  • cover blisters with a soft plaster or padded dressing
  • wash your hands before touching a burst blister
  • allow the fluid in a burst blister to drain before covering it with a plaster or dressing


  • do not burst a blister yourself
  • do not peel the skin off a burst blister
  • do not pick at the edges of the remaining skin
  • do not wear the shoes or use the equipment that caused your blister until it heals

A pharmacist can help with blisters

To protect your blister from becoming infected, a pharmacist can recommend a plaster or dressing to cover it while it heals.

A hydrocolloid dressing (a moist dressing) can help reduce pain and speed up healing.

Find a pharmacy here.

Check if you have a blister

Blisters are small pockets of clear fluid under a layer of skin.

Blood blisters are red or black and filled with blood instead of clear fluid.

An infected blister can be hot and filled with green or yellow pus. The surrounding skin may look red, but this can be hard to see on brown or black skin.


Don't ignore an infected blister. Without treatment it could lead to a skin or blood infection.

Get help from NHS 111 if:

  • a blister is very painful or keeps coming back
  • the skin looks infected – it's red, hot and the blister is filled with green or yellow pus
  • the skin around the blister looks red, but this can be harder to see on brown or black skin
  • a blister is in an unusual place – such as your eyelids, mouth or genitals
  • several blisters have appeared for no reason
  • a blister was caused by a burn or scald, sunburn, or an allergic reaction

You can call 111 or get help from 111 online.

Treatment from a GP

Your GP might burst a large or painful blister using a sterilised needle. If your blister is infected, they may prescribe antibiotics.

They can also offer treatment and advice if blisters are caused by a medical condition.

How to prevent blisters

Blisters develop to protect damaged skin and help it heal. They are mostly caused by friction, burns and skin reactions, such as an allergic reaction.

Blood blisters appear when blood vessels in the skin have also been damaged. 

If you often get friction blisters on your feet or hands:

  • wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes
  • wear new shoes for short periods of time, until they're comfortable
  • wear thick socks during exercise, such as moisture-wicking sports socks
  • change your socks frequently if you get sweaty feet
  • wear protective gloves when you exercise or if you use tools at work


The information on this page has been adapted by NHS Wales from original content supplied by NHS UK NHS website
Last Updated: 01/03/2024 14:17:10