Blisters are usually tiny fluid bags that form on the topmost layer of our skin.
These might pop up for a number of reasons.
They are usually your body’s reaction to damage done to your skin. if not properly taken care of, they might lead to wounds that might take a while to heal. They can be painful and cause great discomfort.
What causes blisters?
First, you need to understand that blisters do not only form on your feet. They could pop out on other parts of your body.
There are different causes of blisters. They can be caused by sun burns, allergies, frostbite, diseases like eczema, and infections such as herpes or chicken pox.
The most common cause for blisters however, is friction. That is, when two parts of your body rubs against each other, or when you rub something against your skin.
For blisters on the feet, it might be caused by walking, standing or running. When you stand or walk for a long period of time in a day, it affects the soles, heels and toes of your feet.
If you have a job that demands you stand or walk for hours at a stretch, then it is normal that you experience blisters on your feet.
However, it is not every time you stand or walk for a long period of time that blisters are formed. They are usually triggered when you wear shoes that do not fit properly. If your shoes are too tight, or too loose, it can cause your skin to rub against the insides of your shoes.
Also, sweating or too much moisture, especially in sunny seasons can lead to blisters. This is because, the excessive moisture causes your skin pores to get clogged. Runners or athletes are commonly affected by this.
However, there is no reason to worry. Blisters can be easily treated. Before I delve into the treatments, I want to quickly answer the question:
Can blisters be prevented?
Yes! they totally can be. There are different preventive measures to be taken when it comes to blisters. They include:
Keep your feet protected
Put on socks, especially if you are wearing shoes. If your skin is so fragile, that wearing one pair of socks still causes friction, you can put on two pairs of socks. Just make sure the socks are made from moisture-wicking fabric so your feet can stay dry and fresh.
Avoid skincare products that irritate your skin.
This is very necessary because such skincare products can trigger blisters on your feet. So, be careful of the skin products you use. Immediately you notice an allergic reaction, stop using them immediately.
We have established the fact that friction can be a major cause of blisters. This is why you need to make sure that you do not wear shoes that do not fit properly. Always buy the right size.
Also, get an insole for your shoe. It gives extra padding to your feet and reduces the friction between your feet and the insides of your shoe.
You can as well, consider applying powder or petroleum jelly to your feet to reduce friction.
How can I treat these blisters?
The first and most important thing you need to know is that blisters come and go on their own, especially if they are not caused by a disease or an infection.
A blister naturally heals up within a week or two except for chronic situations. It is advisable that you let the blisters be as much as you can.
While you do so, here are four things you can do to speed up the process of healing.
Do not pop the blister
Like I said earlier, leave it alone. When it is ready to pop, it will do so itself.
If you pop your blister, you might create an open wound on your skin.
When it finally pops, you can apply an ointment to it, preferably antibacterial, and cover it loosely with a bandage.
Drain the fluid
If you insist you can’t let the blister be, especially when it becomes very uncomfortable or painful, you can drain the fluid. To do so, you need to:
- Wash your hands first, with an antibacterial soap
- Then, wash the area around the blister.
- Puncture a hole with a sterilized needle. You can sterilize the needle with alcohol.
- Gently, let the fluid drain.
- Wash the area again but do not peel off the skin flap.
- Apply an anti-bacteria cream or ointment on the blister.
- Cover the area with a bandage. Make sure it is not tight.
- Ensure that you change the bandage daily.
Protect the blister from friction
The goal is to avoid friction around the area of the blister. This might be very hard to do, but you need to make conscious efforts to ensure that this is achieved.
Do not leave the blister bare. Cover it loosely with a bandage. Remember, it doesn’t need pressure.
There are cushion adhesive bandages made specially for blisters. You can get one from online stores, like Amazon.
Reduce the time you spend walking or standing to the barest minimum.
Also, do not wear shoes. They are one of the reasons for the friction in the first place. Your feet should be dry at all times so that the blister heals faster.
See a doctor
This might not be necessary, but in extreme conditions, it is advisable you visit your doctor. You know you need to see the doctor if:
- the blister contains green or yellow fluid
- the blisters occur in places that are unusual. For example, your eyes or mouth
- the blisters keep re-occurring
- it becomes more painful instead of getting better
- the blister is hot when you touch it or it gets inflamed
Getting a blister can be quite painful and uncomfortable, but it can get better with every passing day if you follow the tips in this article.
To avoid feet blisters in the first place, you need to keep your feet protected at all times.
Then if you end up having one, remember to let the blister be. It heals up on its own. However, if the pain worsens, then you need to go visit a doctor.
If you can try out these tips, then your blister is sure to disappear in no time.
Now over to you; how do you handle blisters when you have them? Let’s continue the discussion in the comments section.