Diabetic blisters on feet: diagnosis and management

If you have diabetes and are not able to manage it properly, the risk of developing diabetic blisters on your feet is quite high. However, it’s not a severe problem. Diabetic blisters heal on their own. However, in some cases, you may need to drain the fluid and remove the dead tissue to prevent its symptoms or infection. To prevent infection, doctors recommend taking antibiotics medications, and proper care of the wound because infection can spread to other parts and can be fatal. So, managing your blister until it heals is important.


Diabetes blisters usually develop in people when they are not able to manage their diabetes properly over the years. However, some people may develop them as the first symptom of diabetes or prediabetes. These blisters cause clear bumps and appear usually on the legs, feet, toes, arms, hands, and fingers. You may notice:

  • Having an irregularly shaped swelling
  • Filled with clear fluid
  • Causing an itching sensation
  • It can be up to 6 inches across
  • In Clusters or occur as a single lesion

While the skin around blisters may look healthy if it turns red and swollen you should visit your doctor immediately.


For diagnosis, the doctor examines your foot and looks for the signs of infection such as redness, swelling, warmth, discoloration, or discharge. To get an image of the skin, the doctor may order imaging tests such as X-rays or MRIs. To check for the infection, the doctor takes a sample of the skin and the fluid discharge from the blister to test for infection.


For treatment, you should visit a doctor who specializes in foot care treatment called a podiatrist. Usually, diabetic blisters heal on their own in two to five weeks without any medical intervention. The fluid inside the blister is germ-free so draining the fluid does not cause any infection. However, you shouldn’t puncture your blister yourself especially when it is big, so ask your doctor to drain the fluid. This also helps to cover the wound, which often ruptures accidentally.

When doctors rupture the blister and drain the fluid they also remove the dead or infected tissue. After that doctor applies special bandages and ointments to absorb extra fluid to protect the wound and let it heal. They might also prescribe skin creams that are antiseptic and also prevent itching. You can also be prescribed a wheelchair and crutches to avoid putting weight on the affected foot. In case of infection, the doctor may prescribe oral and IV antibiotics to prevent or eliminate the infection.

If your infection is severe, the doctor may hospitalize you to prevent the infection from spreading to other parts of the body. Besides foot treatment, managing your blood sugar levels is also important to prevent and speed up their healing if you have diabetic blisters.


Diabetes blisters are preventable and the first step is to manage your blood sugar properly with medication and lifestyle changes. Other steps include:

  • Ensure that you check your feet every day for redness, swelling, cuts, sores, blisters, corns, calluses, or any other change to your skin or nails. Use a mirror if you can’t examine your feet properly or ask your family member to check them for you.
  • Wash your feet regularly with warm water. However, do not soak your feet, and after washing dry your feet completely and apply lotion to the top and bottom, but not between your toes because it can lead to infection.
  • Avoid walking barefoot, wear shoes with socks or slippers/sandals/flip flops to avoid injury. Check the ground if there are any pebbles or other objects inside your shoes that may irritate your foot.
  • Trim your toenails properly and smooth their edges with a nail file.
  • Only wear those shoes that fit you properly. Always wear socks with your shoes.
  • Don’t remove corns and calluses yourself, because it can increase the risk of infection. And don’t apply over-the-counter products to remove them because they can burn your skin.
  • Get your feet checked when you visit any healthcare professional or once a year get your foot examined by a foot specialist particularly when you have nerve damage. They check your foot for sensation and blood flow in your feet.
  • Maintain the blood flow in your legs and feet. If you are sitting, ensure you wiggle your toes a few times throughout the day to keep the blood circulation going.
  • Perform foot-friendly activities such as walking, riding a bike, or swimming. You can also check the activity with your doctor to know which one is best for you and which one you should avoid.

Besides these steps, you can also ask the doctor what else you can add to your routine to keep your feet healthy.

Doral Health & Wellness employs Podiatrists with extensive education and expertise. Trauma to the tendons, muscles, and bones of the foot is quite common. It’s not a good idea to put off seeing a Foot Doctor Brooklyn until you’re in a lot of pain. A Podiatrist should be consulted immediately in the event of foot or ankle damage. Our address is 1797 Pitkin Avenue, New York, NY 11212. To make an appointment, please call +1-347-384-5690 or send an email to info@podiatristsbrooklyn.com.