Most blisters are tender and painful, some more than others, but there are a few signs to look for to see if the wound is infected. Before treating your blister, wash your hands with warm water and soap to avoid introducing any bacteria to the wound. Inspect the area around the blister for signs of warmth, swelling, foul smells, pus, pain, holes or peeling skin. Seek medical attention if you feel your blister is badly infected (for example, if you see some pus in your blister).
While the right hiking boots can go a long way to preventing blisters in the first place, it’s best to have specialist blister bandages, absorbent material like gauze, and disinfectant on hand to treat them if they do develop. In most cases it is best not to pop a blister, but when hiking, most hikers prefer to pop and drain it themselves under controlled conditions, rather than risk it bursting inside their sweaty, dirty socks.