Blisters on your feet are not fun. They’re throbbing packets of pain that are usually located behind your heels. However, they do not have to ban your feet from sandals—you can get rid of them with ease and speed.
What is it?
Because calluses, corns, and blisters all appear as protrusions on the skin, it may sometimes be difficult to determine what exact ailment you have. One way to tell is by location. Corns love your toes, while calluses’ prime real estate is on the soles of your feet. Blisters prefer to stick to the back of your heels or beneath your toenails. While each of these can form anywhere, they usually like to stay on their own turf.
One common trait blisters do share with other lumps and bumps is how they’re formed: friction. When your feet rub against shoes or rough surfaces, the skin separates. Fluid or air then fills in the little pockets between them. This is how blisters are made.
How You Get Them
The most common way that you can get a blister is if you run regularly. However, any activity that causes excess friction on your feet can lead to a blister as well. As you run, walk, and move around, your feet come in contact with your shoe and hard surfaces. The skin is rubbed roughly and can become irritated or liable to injury.
If you suffer from other medical conditions, you may be at an increased risk. For example, those with bunions or heel spurs are more prone to developing blisters. Additionally, those with diabetes are likely to have such foot problems as well.
Prevention is Key
The best way to treat a blister, as with other injuries, is to consciously work to prevent them. Before and after you run you stretch to prevent damaging muscles. Take the same level of precaution with your feet.
Make sure your shoe size is correct, particularly if you’re an athlete and will be running in them. Have your feet measured in-store. This is a free and fast service that can save you time and pain in the long run. Wearing shoes that are too large can cause your feet to slide, causing friction, while footwear that is too tight leads to pressure on your toes, which can give you blisters beneath your nails.
Never run or jog without socks either. If you plan on participating in a lengthy race, consider wearing two pairs instead of one. Spring for socks that are made of natural materials like cotton. This will help your skin breathe better, and will offer an additional barrier between the foot and the hard material of the shoe.
The good news is that you can eradicate blisters at home. There are several methods, depending on the size of your abrasion.
If your blister is small and does not contain a large amount of fluid, do not drain it. This will only leave your skin open to bacteria, and likely to bleed. Simply avoid activities and footwear that will worsen the condition, and allow your feet to heal on their own. Your body’s skin will be a natural barrier against the bacteria of the world.
However, if your blister is large and painful, lancing it may be the only option. To do so, sterilize a needle with rubbing alcohol. This will kill any infection-causing germs. With clean hands, gently prick the dead skin of the blister with the needle. Gently use your fingers to coax the fluid out. Then, clean with antibacterial ointment and apply a bandage. Clean and re-wrap your wound regularly.
If you’d like more information on treating and preventing have a blisters or have any other questions regarding the health of your feet, contact Dr. Victoria Melhuish of Sierra Foot and Ankle, Our offices are located in Carson City and Gardnerville. Call 888-608-8406 today!
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