How to Treat and Prevent Foot Blisters

A problem athletes commonly have is the formation of blisters on their feet.  These blisters arise in areas with repetitive friction.  In addition, heat and moisture soften the outer layer of skin increasing the risk of blister formation.  These factors are all present during activities such as running.  While foot blisters typically are a painful nuisance, they may develop into an infection if not properly cared for.

Most blisters will resolve if left alone, but if the blister is painful, it may be drained.  Using rubbing alcohol, sterilize a needle and the skin over the blister.  Carefully lance the blister and drain the fluid.  Apply an antibiotic ointment and cover with a bandage.  Watch for any signs of infection over the next few days as the blister heals.

If you develop recurrent foot blisters, you may treat them after they form; however, a better solution is to prevent their formation.

There are numerous products available that can decrease friction.  These products (such as petroleum jelly) act as a lubricant when applied to the skin.

If your feet sweat a lot, your skin will soften over time increasing the likelihood of a blister.  Foot powders can absorb excess moisture and help keep your skin dry and intact.  Spraying your feet with an antiperspirant is another easy option.

The next step in prevention is wearing proper socks which should be made from a moisture-wicking fabric.  Consider double-layered socks as they reduce friction against your skin.  If you tend to develop blisters between your toes, a toesock provides extra protection.

And finally, the most common cause of foot blister formation is improperly fitting shoes.  You should try to buy shoes at the end of the day, because your feet are more swollen at that time.  Make sure your shoes fit properly around your heel and that there is plenty of room around your toes.  Shoes that are too long or wide can allow your heel to slide.  Shoes that are too short or narrow increase the friction upon your toes.

The best treatment of blisters is pro-active prevention.  By following these suggestions, foot blisters do not have to be a part of your activities.

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