After a full summer of wearing sandals, it is now the time to break in those new running or hiking shoes. With so many pools and exercise facilities still closed because of the Covid-19 pandemic, taking long walks may be the primary way for many to stay lean and fit. However, this can also mean more blisters, from breaking in new shoes, especially if you had to order them online without trying them on first.
Blisters on the feet are mainly caused by friction, but they can also be caused by an allergic reaction say to the latex in the shoe or frostbite.
How Do You Know It’s a Blister?
Blisters usually appear as a slightly elevated balloon-like swelling on the surface of your skin. Most are tender to pressure. Some are filled with pus and some are filled with blood. Those filled with blood are known as blood blisters.
A blister usually heals itself within seven to ten days. The body reabsorbs the pus or blood and the skin on top of it dries out and peels.
If the pus in the blister is yellow or green it means it is infected. These types of blisters are hot and painful to the touch. Never ignore an infected blister as it can lead to a blood infection. Type 2 diabetics and other people with lowered immunity should also take care not to ignore an infected blister.
Never Burst a Blister
You should not try to burst a blister, no matter how painful it is. Resist the temptation to “pop” it with a needle or your fingers. The unbroken bubble of transparent skin over the blister is what is preventing bacteria from getting in and causing infection.
The best immediate care for a blister is to cover it with a bandage. Cover small blisters with small adhesive bandages and large ones with porous gauze pads. Of course, you should also refrain from wearing the same shoes or socks that caused the blister to form in the first place.
How to Prevent Blisters In the First Place
To prevent a blister forming in the first place, try to buy shoes that fit. Trying on shoes in person is almost always preferable to ordering them online. However, if this is not possible for you then consider ordering an identical pair to the one you just wore out
To prevent foot blisters due to friction, use gloves, socks, a bandage, or similar protective covering over the area being rubbed. Special athletic socks are available that have extra padding to prevent blistering on areas where blisters are most likely to occur such as the heel or side of the foot.
You might also try attaching moleskin to the inside of your shoe where it might rub, such as at the heel.
Wearing shoes that are made from a synthetic blend can also help. You can also reduce them by applying petroleum jelly and talcum powder to the areas of your foot that might be affected by friction.
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