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Causes of Foot Blisters

Causes of Foot Blisters Causes of Foot Blisters Causes of Foot Blisters

A bubble containing fluid beneath the outer layer of skin is called a blister, or vesicle. Blisters may be caused by disease conditions, injuries or contact dermatitis such as poison ivy. If blisters on the foot are painful and interfere with walking, they may be punctured and drained, using sterile technique. It is advisable to leave the top layer of skin intact to protect the wound until healing occurs.

Tinea Pedis

Also known as athlete's foot, this fungal infection thrives in warm, moist environments such as sweaty shoes and shower floors. Symptoms include odor, redness, itching and blisters, most often between the toes and on the bottoms of the feet. Blisters may rupture and peel, leaving extremely tender open areas. Remedies that dry the skin and creams that inhibit the growth of fungal organisms are most effective when coupled with ventilation and careful foot hygiene. Other treatments include oral medications that must be prescribed by a doctor. To prevent reinfection, disinfect showers at home and avoid going barefoot in wet public areas.

Friction and Pressure

Shoes that don't fit properly can cause blisters where they rub. Pressure may also develop between the toes, resulting in reddened areas. If pressure is not relieved, the top layer of skin fills with fluid, forming a blister. Walking long distances without shoes may cause the bottoms of the feet to become blistered from wear, rough surfaces or extreme temperatures.


Second-degree burns are characterized by redness, blistering, and acute pain. Burns on the feet are more common in children and may result from scalds, stepping on lit fireworks or cigarettes, or stepping in hot ashes that appear cool on the surface. First aid for second degree burns includes soaking the affected part in cool water for at least 15 minutes, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. A burn larger than two inches needs to be evaluated by a healthcare professional; tetanus boosters should also be kept up to date.


Consistently high blood sugars, as in poorly controlled diabetes, may cause the eruption of blisters on the feet and toes. Blisters can also occur on the backs of the hands and fingers or on legs and forearms. Though large, they are painless and self-limiting, healing without treatment in about three weeks, according to the American Diabetes Association.


Hand, foot and mouth disease, or HFMD, is a common childhood illness. In the United States, the majority of cases are caused by the coxsackie virus. The disease is characterized by a non-itchy rash on the soles of the feet and palms of the hand, sometimes with blisters, fever, and mouth sores. HFMD symptoms generally affect children under the age of 10; infected adults may not show any signs of being sick. The rash and other symptoms clear up without treatment in seven to 10 days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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