6 Reasons You Should Never Stick Tape Over Your Already-Formed Foot Blister

Avoid these blister fails to make your foot blister hurt less and heal quicker

Not all blisters are created equally.

We classify blisters by the integrity of that piece of skin that forms the blister roof. Think about the blisters you’ve had …

  • Some were fluid-filled (roof intact)

  • Some were flaps of loose skin (torn roof)

  • And others were raw weepy sores (deroofed)

 
 Three types of blisters

Three types of blisters

 

Now you’ve got that down, here are the 5 reasons you should NOT stick tape over your blister:

1.    It will rip the roof off

It does not make sense to apply anything adhesive to a blister with an intact roof. Because when the time comes to remove the tape, it will rip that skin off. Take a look at this photo!

2.    It will open your blister up to infection

The blister roof skin stops germs from getting into your blister. If you fall for mistake number one, you need to realise you’ve taken a sterile blister and opened it up to the chance of infection. FAIL!

3.    It will slow healing

If you put tape on a torn blister, it will remove what’s left of that loose flap of blister roof skin. What you should be doing is leaving that piece of skin over the raw blister base. It actually accelerates healing.

4.    It will remove fragile healing skin

A deroofed blister takes at least a few days to heal. In fact, it can take a week or more, depending on its depth, location and how you look after it. So if you put tape over a deroofed blister, each time you remove the tape to replace it, you’ll be removing valuable healing skin cells. The more you do this, the longer your deroofed blister will take to heal. 

5.    It won’t absorb any blister fluid

What’s one feature common to a torn and deroofed blister? They weep. So anything you put over your blister needs to absorb that weepiness. Tape does not do this – dressings do. There’s a particular type of dressing you’ll be familiar with called an island dressing. The non-adherent and absorbent “island” of material within an “ocean” of adhesive tape is what you should be putting on every blister. 

Note: There is one exception to this rule and it applies to the use of hydrocolloid blister dressings on deroofed blisters.

6.    It may cause a sensitivity reaction

Have you ever read the warning on packaging that says something like: “Do not apply to open wounds”? Anything placed directly onto an open wound is more likely to cause a local sensitivity (or allergic) reaction and/or be absorbed systemically. A deroofed blister is an open wound. And the adhesive used in tapes can cause sensitivity reactions even on intact skin! Never place tape directly over an intact blister. Only ever use a sterile island dressing. 

Note: There is one exception to this rule and it applies to the use of hydrocolloid blister dressings on deroofed blisters.

Makes sense, doesn’t it.

So that’s what not to do. Want to know what you should be doing?

There are 5 things you need to treat ANY foot blister properly ... so it hurts less and heals quicker?

The FREE Blister Treatment Blueprint will guide you through this 5-step process 

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Rebecca Rushton

Rebecca is an Australian podiatrist with over 20 years experience. She has spent a lifetime dealing with her own blister prone feet in her sporting and everyday life. Rebecca specialises in helping athletes and sports medicine professionals figure out how to manage foot blisters with ease. And for kicks, she enjoys providing blister care at multiday ultramarathon events. Rebecca is the founder of Blister Prevention and author of both "The Blister Prone Athlete's Guide To Preventing Foot Blisters" and "The Advanced Guide to Blister Prevention".