Most of us have experienced our fair share of blisters on our toes and feet over the course of our lives. Whenever you buy a new pair of shoes, or overexert yourself on a hike or run, you may remove your shoes to see the telltale bubble of fluid on the back of your heel.
Often, blisters will go away fairly quickly with little more than an annoying day or two of pain. As your feet develop calluses or your shoes begin to break in, eventually you can enjoy pain-free feet once again (until the next pair of new shoes, of course).
For some, however, a blister can turn into a lingering problem, becoming infected. Other blisters may be the cause of another problem entirely, spreading across the feet and wreaking havoc on skin. For these individuals, an adhesive bandage simply will not help the problem. What may help, however, is a visit to the podiatrists at Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona. Keep reading to learn more about the causes of and treatments for problematic blisters.
What Causes Blisters, and What Should I Do About Them?
Blisters are generally your skin’s way of protecting deeper layers of skin from further damage caused by pressure or friction. Your skin builds a protective bubble of fluid to cushion an irritated area from additional pressure. Usually, these blisters are filled with a clear fluid, but if the area is infected the fluid may become yellow or white. Blisters caused by more serious trauma may even be filled with blood.
Blisters are a normal response to tight shoes or high levels of activity, but sometimes blisters can point to a more serious underlying problem. Common causes of blisters may include:
Tight or poorly-fitting shoes
Friction caused by wet socks
Sunburn and other burns
Typically, blisters heal quickly on their own. Chronic blisters, infected blisters, and blisters caused by athlete’s foot infections should be treated by a doctor as soon as possible. These blisters may require antibiotics or even draining, but this should only be performed by a trained professional to prevent further infection or damage.
If you are suffering from blisters that are not infected, you may be able to treat them yourself using easy at-home methods. Some good rules to go by when you have a blister are as follows:
Don’t pop blisters—ever. As tempting as it may be, popping a blister allows contaminants to enter the area of skin that your body was trying to protect in the first place.
Protect the area with a clean bandage, and change your footwear to alleviate pressure. Covering the blister loosely with a clean bandage can protect the area from further damage or friction. Switch up your footwear to shoes that do not exert pressure on the affected area.
Once the blister pops or drains on its own, keep it clean and leave it alone. Many people who pick at newly popped blisters invite infection to the exposed skin underneath. Keep the area clean and bandaged to eliminate the temptation to pick at the skin.
If the blister becomes infected, seek medical care. Infections are serious (especially if you're a diabetic), and you’re always better off receiving quick treatment.
Suffering From Recurring or Infected Blisters? Come See Us in Gilbert or Chandler!
Recurring blisters may point to a deeper problem within your foot that an experienced podiatrist can help you solve. At Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona, we offer patients a variety of care and treatments for painful or infected blisters. If you have reached the end of your patience dealing with foot blisters, schedule an appointment with either our Chandler (480) 963-9000 or Gilbert (480-981-1800) location today!