How to treat foot blisters
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Foot Blisters - How Do I Treat Them?
Foot blisters are small fluid-filled pockets that develop in the outermost layer of skin. They vary in size and can contain clear or bloody fluid. Blisters commonly occur at places where the outermost skin layer is very thick, i.e., the foot and the hand. You can get blisters for several reasons, such as a skin burn, infection, insect bite, or trauma.
On the one hand, blisters provide a cushion to a damaged skin area and prevent further harm; on the other, they can be very disabling, painful, and hard to treat. However, no matter how tempting, do not pop a blister and let it heal on its own.
What causes blisters?
While you can get blisters anywhere on your body, they most commonly occur in your feet. The underlying cause of a blister is friction against another body part, clothing, or shoes. Certain conditions, such as prolonged walking, standing, running or mountain climbing can increase the risk of getting a blister. In addition, poorly fitted shoes, whether too tight or too loose, can also lead to blisters.
Besides friction, blisters can also occur due to excessive moisture and sweat, especially among athletes during warm seasons. However, you can get blisters for many other reasons, including:
- Allergic reaction
- Fungal or bacterial infection
- Freezing (frostbite)
- Chemical exposure
Furthermore, certain medical conditions, such as contact dermatitis and diabetes, may cause blisters.
How do I treat blisters?
Getting a blister can be a disabling experience, anyone will want to get rid of it as soon as possible. However, you should NEVER burst a blister as you risk getting an infection so the best you can do is to let it heal by itself. The blister will eventually harden and go away in one to two weeks approximately. However, there are a couple of things that you can do if you want to speed up the process:
First, avoid putting pressure on the blister, provide padding to the pressure areas if your blister is on your foot. To do so, cut a donut-shaped padding with a hole in the middle and palace it around the blister. Similarly, if the blister is on the sole, you can use a shoe insole with a hole in it for the blister.
In addition, covering the blister with a bandage to prevent it from bursting and getting infected is also essential. Applying ice, removing ill-fitting shoes and socks, and keeping the area around the blister clean and dry can also prove helpful. However, if your blister is huge and painful, safely draining the blister provides relief.
Here are the steps to do so:
Wash your hands and the blister with warm water and soap
- Clean the blister with iodine or another antiseptic
- Sterilize a sharp needle with rubbing alcohol
- Prick the blister on the side and let it drain. You can prick on additional spots if necessary.
- Apply antibiotic cream or ointment, such as petroleum jelly, to the blister
- Cover the blister with gauze or bandage.
As the blister heals, keep the area around it clean and apply antibiotic regularly. To avoid discomfort while walking or standing, wear a pad or a shoe insole that takes the pressure off the blister. You can find a shoe insole online, over the counter or get a customized insole with your foot impression.