Blisters: Bubbling on the Skin
Even small injuries can be sharply painful in some cases. Healthy skin is highly sensitive to damage. This is vitally important, because it keeps you aware of potential problems and actual injuries, so you’re able to react accordingly. Problems like blisters are small, but painful enough to change the way you walk.
Superficial Skin Changes
Blisters are skin injuries that present as fluid-filled lesions that develop in the top layers of your skin. Typically they develop in response to friction and pressure, from shoes or walking long distances. Any part of your foot that frequently rubs against the ground or your shoes may be more prone to form blisters. Other skin irritants can cause the issue as well. Chemicals burns, extreme heat, and some illnesses cause these vesicles to develop just under the surface of the skin. Allergies to both medications and substances in the environment can cause them as well. The initial irritant damages the top layers of skin, which then separates from the lower layers.
The space between the layers fills up with fluid to provide a kind of cushion protecting the still-intact lower skin. Usually this fluid is clear, but it can also be filled with blood or pus, depending on the extent of the skin injury or if it becomes infected. The damaged spot on the skin look like a raised bump, may appear red and irritated, and is generally tender to the touch. Since the feet are frequently subject to pressure and friction from walking around and wearing shoes, it’s common for them to form on your lower limbs.
Treating Foot Blisters
Treating a blister starts with eliminating the cause of the excessive pressure that caused it to form. If the blister was caused by ill-fitting shoes, stop wearing them immediately. Always wear socks or stockings to cushion your feet when wearing shoes.
Blisters can be large or small and can form anywhere on the foot, the most prevalent area being the weight-bearing area’s of the foot. It’s important to allow a healthcare professional, like our doctors at Country Foot Care, to evaluate the cause and status of a blister as blisters can become infected and ulcerated if left untreated. High-risk patients like diabetics must be especially careful due to other risk factors associated with their disease.
If a blister is intact it is considered ‘sterile’ and should remain intact. Intact blisters should be protected and padded to allow a patient’s body to reabsorb the fluid inside. If a blister has broken and the fluid has drained, the area needs to be cleaned and dressed with a topical antibiotic and a protective dressing. In many cases, daily soaking in a diluted salt solution will help keep the area clean. Soaking should be done prior to dressing the area.
If this describes you, allow professionals like our podiatrists to address the sores and prevent them from becoming full-fledged ulcers. They can also examine your feet and stride to see what caused the problem to develop in the first place. You may need treatment for an underlying issue as well.
If you’re prone to these friction sores, you may need to make changes to your footwear or activities to prevent future damage. Taking care of blisters is not usually difficult, but it’s important in order to protect your skin from constant injury. Country Foot Care’s talented doctors and staff are dedicated to helping you reach optimal foot health. The first step is to make an appointment, which can be done online using our MAKE AN APPOINTMENT form via the button at the top of this page or by contacting either of our locations by phone.