Blisters – causes, prevention and treatment
What causes blisters?
Blisters are caused by shearing stress of the skin and can be painful or even dangerous so should not be ignored.
How to prevent them
If you know you are prone to blistering in a certain area of your foot you should at least tape the area to help reduce shearing forces and prevent blistering before it starts.
What to look for
A sign that a blister is about to form is sometimes referred to as a ‘hot spot’ and immediate action should be taken to prevent it developing into a blister. Strategies that offload the painful area will help prevent any deterioration and include felt ‘donut pads’, gel toe caps and even offloading materials added to your trainers.
Don’t pop a blister
When a blister has already formed “popping” should be avoided as once the seal is broken bacteria can get in and cause infection. Even if the blister has “popped” the roof should be left in place. Ideally the area should be cleaned with antiseptic and a sterile dressing applied with offloading and taped in place.
Where the roof of the blister has come away hydrocolloid dressings such as Compeed should be used.
Signs of infection and what to do if you spot them
Always look out for signs of infection i.e. increased pain, Redness, heat (local to blister or spreading) and swelling. If you have some or all of these see a healthcare professional for advice.
If you have any concerns about your feet contact us on 0118 930 3535 to make an appointment with one of our podiatrists.