Foot blisters are a painful condition that can be caused by foot fungus. They are caused by friction, almost always related to rubbing from a shoe during an activity. Most people don't realize that conditions like athlete's foot, eczema, burns and over-moist conditions can also contribute to the formation of blisters.
When a blister forms, friction causes the outer layer of skin to be rubbed off. Fluid fills the raw area in to protect the delicate skin. Unfortunately, some blisters will fill with puss or even blood instead of clear fluid. They can also hurt!
Safe to Self Treat?
It's possible to safely treat blisters at home, but there are a few big IF's:
- IF your blister is on the top of your toes, this can be an indication that you are developing hammertoes. Try changing your shoes and if the blister forms again, it’s wise to get it checked out by a podiatrist.
- IF you get lots of blisters or they keep returning, even after you’ve changed your shoes, or if the blisters itch or appear scaly, it’s possible you have some type of fungal infection. You’ll need to see a podiatrist to get that treated.
- IF you are diabetic, have circulation issues or any major health problem, it’s best to just call our office to handle the blister. Health issues can raise certain complications and it’s best to not try to self-treat blisters. Remember, it’s important to wear special moisture-wicking diabetic socks!
But, if you’re a perfectly healthy person it should be fine to treat a blister at home.
We recommend gently piercing the blister with a clean needle that has been sanitized with rubbing alcohol, and lightly press on the blister to drain the fluid.
It’s very important to keep the skin covering the blister in place, as it will protect the blister from infection and keep the raw skin clean.
You might need to repeat this if the fluid returns in a day. Once the blister dries out and the raw skin heels, it’s ok to trim away the dead skin.
And, of course, try to avoid the shoes and activity that caused the blister for a few days to allow the skin to heal.
There are many over-the-counter products designed to heal blisters. For more severe blisters, try a skin protection bandage or blister prevention patches.
If the blister continues to hurt, turns red or fills with puss, call our office for an appointment. That probably means it has become infected and it will need additional care.
- Make sure your shoes fit properly and aren’t too tight.
- Never purchase shoes that need to be “broken in.” If they’re not comfortable in the store, don’t buy them.
- Check to see if there is anything inside your shoe that is causing unnecessary friction, such as a tag, overlapping material or stitching.
- Keep your feet and socks dry when working out.
- Wear two pairs of thin socks with powder on your feet and in between the two layers of socks to reduce friction and moisture.
Lexington Podiatry offers a large selection of products in our office that decrease sweating and friction to prevent blisters.