So you discovered a blister. Perhaps it was a long run in that new pair of Nike’s, a night out in your favorite high heels, or perhaps a sign that you used a rake for too long in the yard. While friction is one of the most common causes of blisters (as in the familiar scenarios above), it is not the only. Burns, including heat, wind, and sunburns, poison ivy, chemical exposure, and other allergy-inducing substances can all cause painful blisters. Even some rare skin diseases and viruses like herpes and shingles can produce blisters. Though no skin on your body is entirely safe from blisters, it is the skin on the hands, feet, and face (where is it the thinnest) that is the most susceptible.
Regardless of the cause or where they develop, blisters can be unsightly and extremely uncomfortable. As with most common ailments, there are dozens of store-bought products that promise to relieve the pain, but we prefer to handle things more naturally.
So we’ve compiled some of our favorite all-natural home remedies for blisters.
How to Treat Blisters with Home Remedies
In most cases, doing nothing is best. Yes, we know. That was not the advice you were looking for, but bear with us. Blisters are actually a result of the body’s own defense system. That fluid-filled bump is actually protecting the deeper layers of the skin beneath the epidermis. The fluid acts as a cushion, protecting those deeper layers from further damage while they heal. And it is the healing that takes time. Eventually, new skin is formed and the fluid is naturally reabsorbed.
So we while ask that you be patient, we won’t leave you without some natural options to make the wait a little easier. We like to use the following natural home remedies for blisters to take off the edge and promote faster healing so you can get back to your normal routine.
Before you begin, first wash the area with mild soap and water then get to using one of the natural home remedies for blisters below.
Natural Home Remedies for Blisters
1. Aloe Vera
Pure, natural aloe vera is perhaps one of the most popular natural home remedies for blisters. In fact, it is one of our go-to’s for all things red, itchy, and irritated when it comes to the skin. Aloe vera is a well-known anti-inflammatory that hydrates the skin as it relieves swelling and redness, which makes it an ideal home remedy for blisters. Aloe also has properties that reduce the risk of infection.
To use, simply apply a pure aloe vera gel to the blister and allow it to fully dry. You can repeat up to 2-3 times a day until it has healed. While we recommend going straight to the source (with a home aloe vera plant or purchasing the leaves from your health food store), you can find natural aloe vera products. We like this one.
2. Tea Tree and Lavender Essential Oils
Lavender essential oil is a mild antiseptic and analgesic that also promotes skin healing so it’s no surprise that it also made it onto our list of top 10 home remedies for sunburn. Tea tree oil, on the other hand, is naturally antibacterial and acts as an astringent when applied to the skin. Together they can make one powerful home remedy for blisters. For those “hot” burning blisters, try a cold compress by soaking a clean, soft cloth in a cup of cool water with a few drops of tea tree and lavender essential oils. Apply the wet cloth to the blister for a few minutes several times a day. Remember never to use essential oils directly on the skin; always dilute them in clean water or a carrier oil.
Don’t have these essential oils on hand? No problem. You can also consider using a specialized natural antiseptic ointment like this one. It’s a great addition to any natural first aid kit.
3. Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
Calendula is a flowering herb with anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties that has made it a staple in many herbal first aid kits. Most would recognize the brightly colored flowers as marigolds. Calendula has many historic uses, but in our medicine cabinet we like to use it to speed the healing of minor skin injuries and irritations. While you can purchase dried calendula to make your own calendula lotion or salve, we like going for convenience and picking up our favorite calendula cream. You can apply this calendula cream multiple times a day for relief and to promote faster healing of those pesky blisters.
4. Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum)
Horse chestnut is tree native to the Balkan Penninsula. Its seeds, leaves, and bark have traditionally been used in countless natural remedies, particularly in treating vein and circulation concerns as well as skin sores and other irritations. It is particularly effective against skin irritations that are accompanied by swelling. To use horse chestnut for blisters, we recommend a compress using 1 teaspoon of horse chestnut tincture in about 1 cup of cool water. Soak a soft cloth or cotton ball in the solution and apply to the blister for up to 20 minutes. You can repeat several times a day until healed.
5. Green Tea
Green tea contains potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that reduce both swelling and pain. Try steeping one or two tea bags in a small amount of hot water and allow to steep for at least 30 minutes. Once cooled, soak a cloth, cotton ball, or the tea bag itself in the green tea and apply to the blister as a compress for several minutes. You can repeat this 3-4 times a day until healed. You might also consider drinking a glass of green tea for good measure as the antioxidants will go to work on the inside and out!
How to Properly Pop a Blister
Most doctors do not recommend popping blisters, as draining the fluid removes the protective layer and cushion from the damaged skin and also easily introduces infection. But even doctors will admit that there are some cases in which it may be necessary to drain a blister, such as when the area continues to be irritated and the fluid continues to build up. When it becomes one of those cases, we recommend following these helpful and safe instructions.
When to See a Doctor
Though blisters generally heal perfectly well when left alone or when using safe and natural home remedies, there are times when it’s just better to get a professional involved. Consult your doctor if your blister is larger than 2 inches in diameter, there are signs of infection like increased pain or discoloration, or you suffer from certain health conditions like diabetes.
Of course, when it comes to home remedies for blisters, the best remedy is always prevention. Follow these tips to avoid blisters:
- Wear Shoes, Gloves, and Clothes that fit properly
- Utilize clothing and socks that wick away moisture from the skin
- When using your hands repeatedly for activities such as yard work or sports, it is important to wear gloves designed for the task
- Try attaching a fabric such as moleskin to the inside of your shoe or clothing to prevent friction