Banishing Blisters: Tips for Prevention and Effective Treatment
Whether it’s a new pair of shoes, a long day of being on your feet, or poorly fitting shoes, blisters are painful and can interfere with your mobility. Blisters, which are fluid-filled bumps on the skin, can form quickly and often make every step painful.
If you have blisters, seeking proper treatment is essential to avoid worsening pain and discomfort and to help minimize complications.
How to Prevent Blisters
Blisters can occur for various reasons, but in most cases, they are due to the friction of your shoe or another surface rubbing against the skin. To prevent them, consider these strategies:
- Ensure your skin remains dry. Blisters are more likely to form if you have skin that’s already moist or sweaty.
- Consider using a talcum powder or other type of moisture-wicking product to help pull off some of that moisture. This is critical for those involved in athletics or with feet that sweat easily.
- Always wear socks with your shoes. Doing so helps to keep moisture off of your feet while also providing a layer of protection between the skin and the shoe, minimizing some of that intense friction.
- Don’t wear a new pair of shoes heavily the first time. Instead, break them in by wearing them for a few hours at a time. This allows the shoe to better stretch and accommodate your foot while also helping to give you a warning of the onset of blisters. If the shoes hurt, avoid wearing them.
- Make sure you are wearing the right-sized shoes. Even a slightly too-large or too-small shoe can cause blisters.
If you notice areas of pain developing on your skin, consider why this may be happening. For example, it could be that the skin is being irritated by something on your shoe. Adjust the shoe or, if necessary, stop wearing that shoe. Allow your foot to heal if there are damaged areas.
How to Treat Blisters on Your Feet Properly
Blisters can be troublesome to treat in various situations. The key here is to ensure you avoid being overly aggressive with care. If the blister does not hurt, avoid trying to break it open. Doing so will only make the skin worse.
While the sac of fluid on the exterior of the skin is unsightly and uncomfortable, your body is working to heal the skin under it. That fluid works as a slight barrier to the new skin that’s growing and developing under it and helps to provide necessary protection. You are likely to see the fluid absorb into the skin in a day or so as that new skin comes in.
In situations where the blister is painful to you, due to the size or location, it is possible to burst it. However, if this can be avoided, do so. If you need to break it, use a sharp, sterilized needle to prick the surface just slightly. Then, clean the area with rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.
If the skin breaks open, it’s best to clean the area well and allow it to dry. The key here is to minimize any bacteria getting into this area, as that can increase the risk of an infection occurring.
Keep the area clean by washing it with warm soap and water often. It’s also a good idea to use an over-the-counter treatment, like topical antibiotic products, on the skin.
If the blister is bothered by the shoe you’re wearing, it’s necessary to take additional measures to help it heal. That includes placing a bandage on the area and keeping it clean with daily changing. Any time the bandage becomes discolored, change it.
Watch for infection risks, too. You should seek out a doctor’s help immediately if you have any of the following complications from blisters on your feet:
- Yellow or milk-colored fluid coming from the blister
- Intensifying pain
- A burning sensation
- A wound that does not seem to heal within a few days
In addition to this, if you have diabetes or other health complications, it may take more time to heal. Pay close attention to any changing conditions or increasing pain.
Let Your Foot Specialist Help You
If you have blisters that occur often or don’t fully heal as you would expect, it’s best to visit a foot doctor who can help determine what the concern is and offer more advanced therapy options.
Doing so can help ensure that you don’t have to continue to deal with the pain and discomfort that comes with blisters.
Schedule an Appointment to Speak to Our Team Today
At Sweeney Foot & Ankle, we take blisters seriously. If you are having any type of foot pain, blistering, or other discomfort, contact us for an appointment today. Let our foot specialists provide you with better insight into your options for improving your mobility.