One more parking space, half a space, and now you can see the car! After a long day of shopping and teetering around on hard concrete in those high heels, your blisters are begging for rest. As you sit in the car buckling off those cute summer sandals, surrounded by your bags of purchases, the only regret you have is wearing the most irresponsible shoe choice to the mall.
What Are These Bumps?
Blisters are fluid-filled bumps that form after a brief, intense period of friction on the surface of your skin. Your body reacts to the irritation and produces more fluid underneath the skin to protect the underlying layer from further damage and allow it to heal. The only problem? That protection is quite painful.
Inside the blister, a liquid called serum fills the small, clear bubble. Serum is a part of the blood that doesn’t include red blood cells or clotting agents. Blood or pus can also be present if there’s inflammation or infection.
Where Did They Come From?
The problem is typically caused by footwear, especially new shoes; running a faster pace; foot deformities like bunions, hammertoes, bunionettes, and heel spurs; and other foot deformities. Any type of intense rubbing on your feet, coupled with heat and moisture, will create a blister.
You can also get them from burns, spider bites, pinching the skin, allergic reactions, and other infections. If you have a hunch that your blister’s been caused by something other than simple friction and rubbing, you should contact a doctor as soon as possible. Most friction blisters can be treated with home care, but a doctor should be contacted if there’s an infection, the condition is very painful, or if it keeps coming back.
How Can I Help Them Out?
If the blister is small, you should leave it alone and put a bandage on it. For a little more protection, you can always use moleskin pads. Just cut a piece the size of your blister and slip it on over the area.
If the blister is large and painful, you can drain it. Use a needle, sterilized with rubbing alcohol, to make a small hole in the bubble. Gently push out the serum with your fingers, apply an antibiotic cream, and put a bandage on it. Wait a few days for the skin to dry over the area before you peel the skin off.
How Can I Prevent Future Pain?
Invest in good socks. Stick to synthetic pairs with moisture-wicking properties. A reinforced heel and toe area will also help prevent slipping and friction. Avoid cotton socks as they hold excess moisture. You also need good shoes! Wear a pair that’s been broken in gradually and doesn’t crush your toes together.
You can break in a new pair of shoes by wearing them around the house in short increments. Try going about your daily activities, like walking up the stairs, taking out the garbage, sitting down to watch TV, and cooking a meal in the kitchen. If you’re afraid of getting blisters, wear some thick socks with the new shoes. This should help you prevent the painful condition while also stretching the shoe out a little.
Want some more advice? Give us a call! We can provide expert treatment for this painful problem at the McDowell Podiatry Group in Carmichael, CA. Call Dr. McDowell or Dr. Gavin P. Ripp at (916) 961-3434 to make an appointment. We’re also on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest!
Photo Credit: Ariesa66