Podiatry

Blisters

Blisters

With the change of seasons and activities means a change of footwear into netball or football boots for example. This change increases the number cases of blisters. A blister caused by continued rubbing basically separates the top layer of skin (epidermis) from the lower level (dermis). This separation then fills up with a clear fluid. This process while due to friction forces is actually a defensive mechanism of the body so is a natural response.

Should I pop a blister?

In most cases it is better to leave the blister, as it will heal itself. The fluid is reabsorbed into the body

When should I pop a blister?

There are some blisters that may need to be popped, but this must be done with extreme caution and seek professional advice. The reason is once a blister is popped the clear fluid is drains out which happens to be sterile, and if the top layer skin is removed, it actually leaves a entry for micro organisms to enter our system, increasing infection risk.

Preventing blisters

Make sure the shoe fits, this is obvious. When you get any new footwear home wear them for a short period to see if you can feel any danger points, where a blister may form. If you feel it is rubbing then slowly break in the footwear and apply a second skin to the areas that are at risk. A second skin can be a plaster but I prefer sports tape. You can also apply a petroleum jelly to help the material to glide over the skin. One caution to note is to make sure you have no allergy to tape adhesive.