What’s smaller than a penny, can be contracted anytime, anywhere and be painful enough to prevent you from being able to walk? A blister. At Superior Foot & Ankle Center, we acknowledge that a blister may not have the long term impact on your exercise program that a stress fracture or Achilles tendonitis would for our Douglas Park/Los Angeles County area patients, but it can make it difficult to carry on for a several days or even weeks if you don’t correct the underlying cause.
Blisters occur when one layer of skin rubs against another and a fluid-filled raised bubble forms as a result. Friction and pressure are the primary causes for the formation of a blister. Knowing this, there are several ways to prevent a blister from forming.
Keep Feet Dry
Sweat and moisture increase friction, which increases the chances of a blister forming. Your goal is to keep your feet as dry as possible. If your sock of choice is 100% cotton, it’s time to make a change. While cotton is great at absorbing sweat, it holds it in the sock and remains damp against your foot. Instead, choose a synthetic blend of materials such as polyester, nylon, spandex or merino wool that wick the moisture away from your skin and through the sock. You may even want to consider wearing two pairs of socks. Dusting your feet with powder before putting on socks will also aid in keeping them dry.
Be Sure the Shoe Fits
Shoes that are too tight will rub and exert pressure on several parts of the foot and can easily result in blisters once you get moving. Even shoes that feel fine when you first lace them up may feel tight as your walk, run or day goes on. The longer you’re on your feet the more they swell. For this reason, it’s best to shop for shoes at the end of the day when your foot is at its largest. Get your foot professionally measured at a sport shoes store and try out new shoes at home for several hours before taking them on the road.
Take an Ounce of Prevention
You can easily slip a piece of moleskin into a pack or your pocket. As soon as you feel a sore spot developing, stop and apply the moleskin to prevent a blister from forming. If you’re on a hike, an extra pair of socks, water bottle and some bandages are other items you might want to have on hand to ward off blisters.
If you notice pus or a foul smell coming from a blister, it may be infected. Make an appointment at our Long Beach office by calling: (562) 420-9800 so our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria M. Foley and Dr. Constance Ornelas, can examine and treat your blister promptly.