THE FACTS ON FOOT BLISTERS:
WHAT ARE BLISTERS?
Blisters are round, fluid-filled bubbles that form between layers of skin. Blisters may consist of clear fluid, or they may contain blood. They can be painful and sore to the touch, especially when pressure is applied. They may also be red, irritated and itchy.
Although blisters can occur anywhere on the body, they’re most common on the hands and feet. Foot blisters can be especially problematic because the feet often withstand a great deal of pressure throughout the day.
WHAT CAUSES BLISTERS?
Friction and pressure are the most common causes of blisters on the feet. If there are areas of the skin that rub against a sock or a shoe, a blister may form. Friction can occur if your shoes don’t fit properly or if you wear a new pair of shoes for an extended period without breaking them in first. Excess moisture from sweating can also increase the risk of blisters.
Less commonly, blisters can occur due to an allergic reaction, a burn or an infection such as athlete’s foot.
The body produces blisters as a natural defense response in order to prevent further skin damage. Blisters help protect and cushion the underlying skin, allowing it to heal.
HOW TO HELP PREVENT BLISTERS FROM FORMING?
You can reduce the risk of foot blisters by minimizing friction and pressure on the skin. The following tips can help:
- Wear well-fitted shoes and always break in new shoes before wearing them all day. If you notice your feet slipping or sliding in your shoes, consider using insoles or heel liners to improve the fit. Dr. Scholl’s® Stylish Step® Gel Heel Linersare designed specifically for women. The liners help prevent rubbing and slipping along the heel where blisters are common.
- If there are specific areas of the feet that are rubbing against your shoes, apply Dr. Scholl’s® Moleskin to reduce friction. Dr. Scholl’s® Molefoam® Padding Strips can be cut to the desired size and applied directly to the skin in order to reduce rubbing and pressure that could lead to a blister. For thinner cushioning, consider Dr. Scholl’s® Moleskin Plus Padding Roll. The thin, flexible padding is designed to fit any shoe.
- Use sweat-absorbing powder on the feet in order to eliminate moisture that can contribute to friction. Dr. Scholl’s® Ultra Sweat-Absorbing Foot Powder absorbs wetness on the feet to help keep skin dry and fresh.
- Wear moisture-wicking socks to reduce shoe rubbing and excess wetness.
HOW TO CARE FOR BLISTERS?
When caring for a blister that hasn’t broken:
- It’s important to protect the blister and allow it to heal. Most blisters will heal on their own if they’re not disturbed. Resist the urge to pop blisters as this could lead to infection.
- Avoid wearing shoes or socks that caused the blister in the first place. If friction to the area continues, the blister could break.
- Use blister cushions to protect skin and speed healing. Dr. Scholl’s® Blister Treatment Cushions with DURAGEL® technology are specifically designed for blisters. The cushions help speed healing while reducing friction that could lead to additional blisters.
If your blister has broken or popped, follow these steps:
- Wash the entire area thoroughly using warm water and soap.
- Apply an antibiotic ointment or disinfectant after cleansing to reduce the risk of infection.
- Apply a sterile bandage or blister cushion over the blister. Continue to cover the blister until it has healed completely.
Be sure to avoid further friction to the area so that the skin can recover properly. See your doctor if your blister isn’t healing or if there are signs of infection such as redness, swelling and pus.