It happened again. You decided to slip on your sneakers and hit the pavement for a while. Unfortunately, you got a little too ambitious and walked longer than you expected in newer shoes, and you can start to feel a blister coming on. What should you do? We’ve got all the answers to help you deal with those painful blisters (and how you can prevent them in the future). Read all about it below!
What are Blisters?
If we had to describe blisters in three words, we would say they are: small, uncomfortable, and inconvenient. These pockets of fluid form on areas of your feet that have been subjected to repetitive friction (like your heel and toes). Heat builds up and causes painful swelling, and you may or may not notice fluid being present within the resulting blisters.
What Causes Blisters to Form?
Friction is the main culprit; however, sometimes coming into contact with irritants and even certain autoimmune diseases can trigger blisters to form! Much of the time, you can chalk it up to tight or ill-fitting shoes rubbing up against your feet, especially after you’ve walked for a long period of time.
Should I Pop Blisters?
We know what you’re thinking, and the answer is no, you shouldn’t pop blisters. Why? You run the risk of causing an infection, especially if you have diabetes, poor circulation, or a compromised immunity. Blisters usually contain harmless watery fluid, which isn’t a cause for concern. Larger blisters – especially those that are very painful – could be filled with blood or pus and should be examined by a professional.
Well, Then How Should I Treat Blisters?
Here’s the great news about blisters – they don’t require much attention because they take care of themselves. If you get a blister, know that it will drain naturally and the swelling will go down. If your blister is painful or bothering you in any way, however, you can help yourself feel more comfortable by putting a bandage or padded tape over it. Oh, and try to wear shoes that don’t rub against the blister either!
What Can I Do to Prevent Blisters?
Blisters are a mundane frustration that everyone will more than likely encounter at least once. Fortunately, following a few smart tips can help you avoid getting blisters:
- Lessen friction by applying foot powders, creams, or even petroleum jelly to the skin.
- Try using foot powders if your feet tend to sweat a lot. The powder will absorb excess moisture and help keep your feet dry.
- Wear moisture-wicking socks to prevent excess moisture. Change them often to keep your feet clean and dry.
- Buy new shoes at the end of the day when your feet are more swollen. This will help you find the right shoe size you need.
- Always choose comfortable, properly fitting shoes that don’t have a restrictive toe box or rub against the heel.
- If you notice a red spot developing, consider it a warning sign and cover the affected area with a bandage to help prevent a blister from forming.
- Replace worn shoes frequently. We suggest at least every 6 months!
- Consider using custom orthotics in your shoes.
- Break in new shoes before wearing them for extended periods of time.
Should I See My Podiatrist for Blisters?
Typically, blisters are minor and resolve on their own. However, if they interfere with your daily activities, are very large and painful, or if you have diabetes, you should consult your podiatrist. The doctors at The Foot & Ankle Center are well-versed in handling blisters and can give you a proper diagnosis and treatment plan! From blisters to bunions and everything in between, you can count on the knowledgeable doctors at The Foot & Ankle Center to get you back on your feet again. Call us today at (314) 487-9300 or request your appointment with us online!