It sounds like different ways of saying the same thing. So, what’s the difference between blister first aid and blister treatment?


Blister First Aid

When a blister appears, most people put a bandaid on it. They might even apply a bit of antiseptic like Betadine (or antibiotic cream).

This is blister first aid. It’s an important step. It amounts to protecting the skin from the immediate environment and preventing infection.

In many situations, this is enough:

  • If the blister is small
  • When it’s not particularly painful
  • And when you don’t have to be on your feet that much

You’ll probably get all the relief you need from blister first aid.


When Blister First Aid Isn’t Enough

However, if your blister is large, if it’s painful, and if you don’t have the chance to keep weightbearing activity to a minimum, you’re not going to get the relief you need from blister first aid.

Perhaps you’re:

  • In the middle of a race
  • Hiking and need to reach camp by nightfall
  • Training and can’t afford to deviate from your plan

Then you need thorough and effective blister treatment. So you can carry on with a minimum of pain, if any. And so your blister can start healing in spite of the ongoing insults you’re subjecting it to.


The Blister Treatment Equation

Protecting Injured Skin
(ie: blister first aid)
Blister Prevention
Blister Treatment


The thing you need to know about effective blister treatment is that it includes blister prevention, not just first aid.

Blister treatment = Protecting the injured skin from the immediate environment + Implementing the best prevention you can find to stop the blister-causing forces.

Blister prevention strategies are the things you do to stop the blister causing forces – the things that are actually injuring your skin.

If you don’t stop the blister causing forces, your blister will:

  • Not heal
  • Remain painful
  • Recur if you’ve already treated it


What’s The Best Prevention?

Well, that depends.

It depends on where your blister is on your foot.

The best thing to do is type your blister location into this box and I’ll take you to an article that shows you what works best.


Or, if you want to know more about the strategies individually, go to this page about preventing blisters on feet and follow the links to learn about the pros and cons of each prevention.


Wrapping Up Blister First Aid vs Blister Treatment

I hope you can see that blister first aid is only a small (albeit important) part of the blister treatment equation.