Okay, blisters are not the most serious foot problem that we at Long Island Foot & Ankle Group, PC treat but they can be annoying, painful and a potential cause of infection if not properly treated. We always tell patients never to pop a blister—this opens the door to bacteria-causing infection. Instead, simply cover the blister with a bandage (and of course, stop wearing the shoes that caused the irritation in the first place). Your body will naturally re-absorb the fluid. Better than treating a blister is avoiding getting one altogether. Below are some tips to help you avoid this common foot concern:
1. Keep feet dry—friction is what causes blisters to form and when your feet are sweaty, socks and shoes are more likely to rub back and forth on your skin. This friction can rapidly cause a blister to form. You should always change your socks as soon as you feel that they are damp. You can also try wearing socks that draw moisture away from your skin. A good foot powder applied each morning can also help keep feet dry.
2. Pack a spare pair of shoes—when going on vacation, be sure to have more than one pair of shoes. A sore, red spot one day can easily turn into a blister if you wear the same shoes again the next day. It’s also a good idea to bring some moleskin with you so that you can cover any irritated areas on your foot and prevent shoes from rubbing on them.
3. Wear shoes that fit well—improperly fitting shoes are the cause of most blisters. Your feet will swell in the heat and the longer that you are standing or walking the bigger your feet will get. For this reason it’s best to shop for shoes at the end of the day when your feet are at their largest. Only buy shoes that fit well in the store. There’s no such thing as a “breaking in” period for shoes. Be sure to run your hand around the inside of any pair of shoes your are considering to be sure there is no rough stitching or parts that may cause skin irritation.
If you do notice any signs of infection: drainage or pus coming from the blister, red streaks, foul odor and fever, contact our Valley Stream or Lake Success office right away and let one of our foot doctors, Dr. Russell Caprioli, Dr. Mary Ann Bilotti, Dr. John Haight and Dr. Marzana Mleczko, check your foot.