Whether from wearing uncomfortable shoes, running a little too long, or repeating the same movement over and over, blisters on your feet can form and, when they do, they can be painful! They can also interfere with your activities – and sometimes even stop you from being active at all! Just why do these troublesome bubbles develop and what can you do about them? McDowell Orthopedics & Podiatry Group can help!
The Beginnings of a Blister
Blisters form most often when friction against your skin triggers your body to protect itself by producing a fluid-filled bubble at the point of aggravation. Unfortunately, this natural protective barrier, though it means well, can end up causing a lot of pain!
While the main culprit is footwear rubbing you the wrong way, a reaction to a bug bite, burns, certain skin conditions such as athlete’s foot, and deformities like bunions (which force toes to rub against each other) can all cause blisters as well.
Breaking the Bubble
If blisters are small, you can typically cover them with a bandage and they’ll eventually heal on their own. However, treating blisters that are large may take some extra steps and additional care at home (unless you have diabetes).
Use a sterilized needle to “pop” the blister, creating a small hole at its edge, then drain the liquid out by gently pushing on the bubble. It’s important to keep the outer layer of the blister intact to protect the vulnerable layers of skin beneath it from infection. Apply antibacterial cream and cover with a bandage. If this is difficult for you—or you have diabetes (which makes you vulnerable to dangerous infections)—contact us and we will help to ensure your blister is treated properly and heals safely.
Preventing Blister Pain
The best way to steer clear of bubble trouble is to take preventative measures so you can stop blisters on your feet before they even start! If certain parts of your feet are prone to blisters, cover them with bandages or mole skin before you put on those running shoes or pumps. Sometimes even a little petroleum jelly rubbed on the area can help. Make sure your shoes fit well, too, so they don’t place pressure on your heels or toes – where blisters most often develop.
Because dampness adds to the probability of blister formation, wear moisture-wicking socks to keep skin on your feet dry and less susceptible to irritation. Powder can be beneficial in keeping feet dry as well.
Finally, it’s a good idea to take breaks from repetitive activities. Cross-train with low impact options such as swimming or yoga instead of running every day. Sit down occasionally if you stand for long periods of time. Whether you’re dancing, gardening, shopping, or exercising, stop what you’re doing if you feel like your skin is being irritated. Preventing blisters from forming in the first place will help you return to these activities sooner than if you just ignore the pain!
For more tips on keeping the skin on your feet safe and healthy, or if you need help with blister care or other foot conditions, just give us a call! You can contact our Carmichael, CA office by dialing (916) 961-3434, or by using our online contact form. We’re here for you and always happy to help!