Blister Prevention and Care

With nice weather right around the corner, people will be out in full force for some type of activity. New shoes can be a source of blisters, as well as excessive moisture between the foot, sock, and shoe leading to blister formation. Below is some information on the cause, treatment, and prevention of blisters.

Foot blisters are among the most common injuries in athletes. Over 6 million people suffer from blisters each year. Besides being, painful, blisters can alter gait, and lead to more serious injuries of the leg, knee, hip, or back.

Blisters are a result from frictional forces that mechanically separate skin cells. Hydrostatic pressure causes the area to fill with fluid. The higher the frictional forces, the more likely a blister is to form. Moist skin increases frictional forces, while very dry or very wet skin decreases friction. Other risk factors that lead to blister formation are ethnicity, flat feet, and structural prominences such as bunion, hammertoes, and “pump bumps.” In order to prevent blisters, friction has to be minimized.

TIPS ABOUT SHOES, INSOLES, AND SOCKS

  • Shoes should fit comfortably
  • Fit shoes in the afternoon or evening when the feet tend to be swollen
  • Check condition of insoles, and replace periodically
  • Check inside of footwear for prominent seams or rough areas
  • Spenco insoles are an excellent insole that reduces frictional forces
  • Socks that wick moisture, i.e. Drymax, Coolmax, are extremely advantageous

USE OF LUBRICANTS AND DRYING AGENTS

  • Areas prone to blisters can be covered with petroleum jelly, bag balm, or dry soap flakes
  • Reapply petroleum jelly every 10 miles during long walks or runs
  • Some people prefer nonpetroleum, anti-chafing lubricants (Body Glide, Runners Lube) in place of petroleum jelly
  • Massage feet with lanolin every night for a month prior to a big walk or run
  • Drying agents such as Drysol, Zeasorb, or Certain Dri will reduce moisture

PREVENTATIVE MEASURES

  • Toughening skin by soaking the feet in brewed tea (tannic acid)
  • Shielding areas of the foot with a high potential for blister formation. Areas include hammertoes, bunions, tailors bunions, and the back of the heel. Products such as Band-aid Blister Block, and Dr. Scholl’s Cushion Blister Treatment are available over-the-counter in various sizes
  • Moleskin or New Skin are available to prevent blisters

TREATMENT TIPS

  • Small blisters don’t need treatment
  • Drain larger blisters without removing the roof of the blister, and cover with a band-aid
  • Clean with soap and water or an anti-bacterial cleanser
  • Ring shaped pads to protect the areas

If you continue to suffer from blisters that won’t heal or are excessively painful, please make an appointment with our office: 303.659.5950.  The sooner your feet feel better, the sooner you can continue to enjoy Colorado’s cooler weather!

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