Blisters on Toes

feet-404674_1920Blisters on toes can be pretty uncomfortable and painful, especially if you have to walk around and wear tight shoes. It can progress to a stage where it is filled with blood If it affects the blood vessels in the dermis, or it can be filled with pus discharge which may indicate an infection. Blisters are usually superficial where they scoop the surface of the skin called epidermis. As the friction occurs, skin layers fill with a fluid called plasma or serum which serves as a cushion for the protection. Many causes can lead to blisters on toes.

3 Types Of Blisters

There are a few types of blisters. The one with the clear fluid is filled with plasma and it is full of proteins, hormones, antibodies, electrolytes.

There are the yellow or green ones, which indicate pus discharge. This is a sign of a bacteria infection. It is thick, and it has more proteins in it and it can even have a strange odor.

The third type of blister is a blood blister, which forms when a small blood vessel is damaged, leading to haemorrhage inside the blister. It can be black or red, depending on the time of development.

Common Causes


Friction can happen during walking, running or wearing poor-fitting shoes. It is more common in athletes since they sweat a lot and they are very active. When the skin is moist from the sweat, it is more sensitive to pressure. It gets warmer with increased blood circulation in the feet during activity, which can also cause swelling and shoe tightening. When rubbing against the shoe lining, the skin layers move and blisters appear as a protective cushion to stop the damage.

Skin Reaction

Toe blisters can form when the skin is exposed to cold or heat. A second-degree sunburn presents as a blister filled up with fluid. Extremities exposed to cold can form blisters when the blood vessels spasms and constriction lead to a lack of blood circulation in that part of the body. This can result in blisters and tissue damage. Blisters are present in the second stage also in the frostbites.

Fungal Infection

The fungi grow in certain conditions where it is moist and wet, warm and with bad ventilation. This is a perfect example of an athletes’ foot, where during training, they sweat a lot and move a lot, and with wearing bad fabrics and not letting the skin breathe, it can result in Athlete’s foot. It can be itchy, painful and with red blisters. Fungal infections are treated with anti-fungal medications, proper hygiene and keeping the feet dry.

Allergic Reaction

There are a lot of allergens that can cause blister forming on a toe. Some of them are fabric allergens which irritate the skin while walking in a shoe where the socks are out of a certain material. It has irritant properties to the skin resulting in blisters and itchiness. Other allergic reactions include bites from small insects like spiders or bees. They can result in a local change on the skin, but also hypersensitivity reaction like anaphylactic shock.

How To Treat Blisters On Toes?

Unburst Blisters. When blisters are still whole, apply cold pads to reduce the pain and swelling. It will constrict the blood vessels as well, and stop the fluid leak into the blister. It can go away after two days or so if it is a small one.

Drain Blisters. Usually, it is not recommended that you do so, but if you opt for this, it is important to know some steps. First, wash your feet with warm water and soap. You don’t need to use any other cleanser. Use a sterile needle to make a hole in the blister, it is best to do it on the edge, not the centre of a blister. Gently press over the blister area and drain the fluid out. If the blister is already torn, keep the thin skin on top, don’t take it off, in order to protect the flesh underneath. Smooth out the flap skin over remains of the blister. Then, apply antibiotic cream and wrap with a clean bandage. Change the bandage when it gets dirty and open the area at times when you don’t do anything, to dry the spot. You should change the bandage every day.

Medicine. There is over-the-counter medicine that you can use to treat the pain, such as ibuprofen, naproxen, acetaminophen (Tylenol) and aspirin. Carefully read the instructions on the back, and don’t take more than recommended dose. If you spot an allergic reaction, stop with intake immediately. Avoid taking aspirin if you are younger than 20. You should advise with your doctor about it.

How To Prevent Blisters On Toes

  • Wear Proper Shoe. It is crucial to have a shoe that is not poor-fitting and does not tighten the foot. This will minimize the friction and the pressure which is applied in the course of activities.
  • Wear Cotton Material And Fabric That Breathes. If you wear material that doesn’t allow the skin to perspire, it can lead to creating the surrounding for fungal infection. It is important to have the feet dry and let the skin breath.
  • Apply Talcum Powder. If your feet are still moist, even when you wear the right shoes and socks, you can try with applying powder to your feet. This will absorb any moisture and keep your feet dry.
  • Apply Band-Aid As A Prevention. If you know that you are sensitive at wearing new shoes, or your feet is prone to get blisters in a certain spot, you can apply a band-aid to the spot to create an extra protective surface to prevent creating blisters from friction.
  • Protect Your Feet. If you are going out into the sun, or somewhere where it’s cold, protect your feet. If out in the sun, always apply sunblock and don’t forget your toes. They are a sensitive area, and can get burn. In cold, always protect yourself from freezing, wear wool socks and have warm shoes and thick clothes.


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