What to do with my recurrent foot blisters?
Summer days are coming with endless opportunities to do outdoor activities like going for a walk, hiking, jogging, and running. But what to do when every time you do these activities you get a blister on your foot and it hurts! Well, I am here to explain to you why foot blisters occur, what to do about them and how to prevent them from happening again to you.
What is a foot blister?
A foot blister is a small bubble filled with fluid, usually clear under the top of the skin or your nails. Foot blisters occur in high friction areas such as the Achilles tendon; under the ball of the foot; under the little toes. Sometimes there can be blood or pus inside the blister if it becomes infected.
How does foot blister form?
The misconception is that people think foot blister forms due to skin rubbing against shoes and socks. This is not always the case. Foot blister form due to multiple reasons:
Skin and bones move out of synch when you walk and run. As the bones move with each step, your skin does not immediately follow. This causes the skin to stretch and distort, forming tears within the skin's layers and later forming blisters.
Consistent foot moisture and humidity increase traction (high friction) and can easily lead to blister formation.
Incorrect footwear that doesn't fit properly for a long period can result in a blister.
The biomechanics of your feet such as high arch feet with prominent metatarsal areas, claw digits, and bumps on the back of your Achilles (Hugland's deformity) can increase the risk of blisters.
Tinea pedis can cause very small blisters under the arch of your feet or in between the toes. This is different from friction blisters. You will need appropriate anti-fungal treatment for tinea pedis to get rid of the blisters.
What are the best treatments for blisters?
DO NOT pop your blisters: Popping your blisters will increase the risk of infection as pathogens gain access to the soft skin underneath the blister. If you have a blister, cover it with a dressing and see your podiatrist or GP for treatment options.
Wear proper fitting shoes, not too big or small. Some people think bigger shoes will stop the pressure or friction, but this can increase the friction because your feet will move more in the shoes. Always get your feet measured properly.
Bring more than 2 pairs of socks if you think your feet sweat a lot.
Lacing techniques to reduce pressure points also help to minimise blisters.
Talk to your podiatrist about taping; strapping or padding techniques to prevent blisters. We can also do toe props and toe separators if you have claw toes or hammer toes that cause blisters.
Custom-made orthotics to correct your foot posture and redistribute the pressure away from blistered areas.
Always keep your feet dry as possible