Nothing can stop you in your tracks quite like a blister on your foot. Although they may be small, blisters can ruin a special occasion, a vacation, a gym class or even just a day of running errands. Blisters can happen to everyone and can take several days to heal, but there are things you can do to prevent them, to ease the pain and to speed recovery.
- Friction blisters usually form when footwear doesn’t fit well or your feet get wet
- While prevention is the best route to follow, you can treat friction blisters
- Bandages can help reduce the pain and and keep the natural healing process moving
In this article:
- How do friction blisters form?
- How to prevent blisters
- How to Treat a Blister
How do Friction Blisters Form?
The most common type of foot blister is the friction blister. They’re those pesky pockets of fluid that form on your foot in the upper layers of skin after too much stress and friction with your shoes. As the top layer of skin tears away from the tissues below, a plasma-like fluid leaks from the cells and begins to fill the gap, cushioning the tissue from further damage.
How to Prevent Blisters
The first way you can help prevent friction blisters is by wearing comfortable, well-fitted shoes. But if you know you’re going to have a long day on your feet, or if you’re wearing new shoes, it’s wise to have a blister bandage on hand. Whenever you feel a blister coming on, use a blister bandage on the spot to prevent further friction from occurring.
There are lots of myths around blisters; for example, many people recommend wearing cotton socks. But cotton can keep moisture on the skin, which increases the friction, so we suggest specialist synthetic socks with breathable fabric.
Another myth is to use foot powder on your feet to keep them dry and blister free. While foot powder does help absorb a lot of perspiration, it’s good to remember that it can also clump together and cause more friction in the area.
How to Treat a Blister
If you do get a blister, proper care is the key to a quick recovery. Cover with a specialist blister bandage to keep it clean, dry and protected from further friction and stress. Resist the urge to pop a blister. If the blister bursts on its own, don’t peel off the dead skin. Once it’s popped, gently wash the area with soap and water and cover it with a specialist blister bandage to keep it clean.
A common mistake people make is to take the bandage off at night to let air to the blister. Blisters heal faster in a moist healing environment, i.e. when covered with a Compeed® Advanced Blister Care cushion. The Compeed cushion should be left on until it starts to peel away.
See your doctor if you experience common symptoms of an infection such as pain, swelling, redness or warmth, red streaks leading away from your blister, or pus coming from it.