How to prevent and treat blisters
Blisters aren’t exactly pleasant, and they can be pretty painful. When you get a blister on your foot, it can make it difficult to walk. If you’re a frequent walker, blisters might be a common occurrence, but they don’t need to be. They shouldn’t stop you from enjoying your favourite activities or from getting around. When you know how to treat them and how to stop them from forming in the first place, you can continue to do the things you love without blisters getting in your way. Preventing blisters is the best course of action, but treating them properly when they do occur is important too.
What Is a Blister?
A blister is a fluid-filled pocket under the top layers of the skin. They usually occur due to rubbing or sometimes because of a burn or other type of irritation. They can range from tiny things to larger and more obvious wounds. For most people, the feet are the most likely place to get a blister. You might get one from a new pair of shoes or from a long day spent hiking. You could also get blisters in other places, such as on your hands if you do a hard day’s gardening without gloves. While blisters can be painful and don’t look very pleasant, they usually don’t take too long to heal.
Why Do We Get Blisters?
Most people have had a blister at some point, most often on their feet and specifically their heels. We’ve all struggled with a new pair of shoes that need to be “broken in” or perhaps not worn the right shoes for a long walk. Blisters on the feet usually occur because our shoes and socks are rubbing. The blister forms in response to friction and heat, and can be a result of excess moisture too – although dryness can also lead to blisters.
Preventing blisters is the best thing to do if you’re a frequent walker, runner or someone else who does a lot of physical activity. There are several strategies that you can use to stop blisters forming and keep your feet healthy.
Firstly, make sure that you’re wearing shoes that fit. Ideally, you shouldn’t have to break in your shoes. They should feel comfortable right away, and they shouldn’t squeeze, pinch or leave too much space. Shoes that are too big can be just as bad as shoes that are too small for causing blisters. It’s a good idea to only wear new shoes for short periods to begin with, to get used to them.
The next thing you should do is make sure that you protect your feet to prevent friction from your shoes. Start by wearing the right socks. Synthetic socks are especially good if you’re getting active because they can help to keep your feet dry. Sometimes, wearing two pairs of socks can be helpful, and it’s also a good idea to experiment with the thickness of your socks. While keeping your feet dry is helpful, it can also help to lubricate the areas where your shoes might rub using petroleum jelly (Vaseline) or something similar.
Covering up problem areas can prevent blisters too. You can use foot blister plasters to provide padding or zinc oxide tape to help prevent blisters from forming.
Unfortunately, you can still end up with blisters, even if you try to prevent them. Blisters tend to heal fairly quickly, but you can still help them along. There are a couple of things you can do for safe and successful foot blister treatment.
Should You Pop a Blister?
One thing that you should keep in mind is that popping blisters is not a good idea. The fluid inside them is there to help them heal, and a popped blister could get infected. Choosing to burst a blister means you’re creating an open wound, which you want to avoid.
Blister plasters help to protect a blister while it’s healing, offering comfort and even helping it to heal faster. The cushioned plaster takes the pressure off the blister and prevents further rubbing, creating an ideal environment for it to heal. You can view our range of blister plasters here.
If you do have a burst blister, you should take steps to prevent infection and help it heal. For open blister treatment, use an antibiotic ointment or antiseptic spray. You should then cover the blister with a plaster, bandage or gauze and keep the area clean and protected until it has healed. After your blister has healed, try to protect the area because it can be prone to developing another blister soon after.
If you haven’t managed to prevent blisters forming, use the right treatments to treat them and help them heal faster instead