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What To Do With Small Water Blisters on Feet

Medically reviewed by Martha Juco, MD · Aesthetics

Written by Fiel Tugade · Updated Jul 26, 2022

    What To Do With Small Water Blisters on Feet

    Without doubt, many who have blisters have the same questions in mind: Do I pop it? Or do I just let it naturally subside? And while this may be a tricky situation as blisters can be uncomfortable, it is also important to ask, “What do these small water blisters on feet mean?” Read on to find out the answers to these questions and more.

    Dyshidrosis, Defined

    Dyshidrosis refers to a skin condition that causes small water blisters on feet, palms of the hands, and the sides of the fingers. These blisters are especially common on the foot because of friction from ill-fitting shoes. This causes skin damage, and a blister develops to protect the region as the skin undergoes the healing process. Sometimes, this condition mimics the rash or blisters of certain viral and bacterial infections (e.g. herpetic whitlow).

    Dyshidrosis is a chronic type of eczema that causes a person to experience burning and itching sensations for a few weeks. In some cases, blisters reoccur before the skin can heal completely from previous blisters. 

    Other names for this skin inflammation are dyshidrotic eczema, pompholyx eczema, cheiropompholyx, pedopompholyx, acral vesicular dermatitis, and chronic hand dermatitis.

    It is most likely to appear to those who are between the ages of 20 and 40.

    What Causes Small Water Blisters on Feet?

    The root cause of this skin concern is still unknown. However, some risk factors may trigger the development of dyshidrosis. Some of these are:

    • History of atopic dermatitis
    • Sensitive skin
    • Stress
    • Exposure to certain metals (such as chromium, cobalt, or nickel) and cement
    • Allergies (such as hay fever)
    • Overactive sweat glands (hands are often in contact with water or moist
    • Smoking
    • Exposure to UV radiation treatments 
    • Weather (very warm/cold, or very dry/humid air)

    According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, people who suffer from dyshidrotic eczema appear to be hypersensitive to some triggers. You can avoid the flare-ups by reducing your exposure to such sensitivities; however, it may be difficult to determine what is causing your hypersensitivity

    Does Dyshidrosis Come With Any Complications?

    Dyshidrosis is only an itchy irritation for most people with small water blisters on feet. But, there are others who may be unable to work with their hands or feet due to pain and itching. Intense scratching can also raise the risk of bacterial infection, such as Staphylococcus, in the afflicted area. 

    How Do You Treat These Small Water Blisters on Feet?

    The good thing about dyshidrosis is that it has the potential to subside and heal on its own. The goal of treatment is to relieve symptoms like itching and prevent the further occurrence of blisters. Your doctor or dermatologist may recommend some self-care methods you can do at home. This will not only ease the sensations but may also help with the discomfort. 

    Some topical treatments you may consider are:

    • Moisturizing lotion or cream, on a daily basis to prevent skin drying
    • Steroid ointments and calcineurin creams to decrease skin inflammation

    In addition to these treatments, you may also opt to apply a cold compress 2 to 4 times a day for 15 minutes in order to alleviate itching and discomfort. Other medications, whether they be in shots or in capsules, may be prescribed by your doctor for more severe symptoms.

    Key Takeaway

    Many individuals respond rapidly to a course of topical corticosteroids combined with a cool compress applied to affected regions several times a day. These home remedies can help to dry out small water blisters on feet without needing to pop them. 

    Furthermore, it may also help to start good skincare habits that protect the skin. Regular washing of hands and feet with mild soap and lukewarm water, together with regular moisturizing, are some easy practices you may want to start with.

    Learn more about Dermatitis here.


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Martha Juco, MD


    Written by Fiel Tugade · Updated Jul 26, 2022

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