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Summertime, the warm weather and new shoes are all very attractive for blisters. We have all had one at some point and are aware of how uncomfortable and sore they can get. Here is some information regarding blisters and how they can be prevented. 

What are blisters?

Blisters are small pockets of clear fluid, usually underneath the skin. You can also get blood blisters; opposite to clear fluid, these are filled with blood. They can generally be found on any area of the foot or leg. 

What is the cause of a blister?

How long your blister will last largely depends on the cause. They can stay with you anywhere from a couple of days, to a few weeks or even months. 

  • Allergies- This is usually through touching something poisonous, such as poison ivy. It is known as allergic contact dermatitis. 
  • Infections- Depending on the infection, blisters can spread over the entire body, not just the feet and legs. Viruses such as chickenpox or shingles can cause this.
  • Irritations- It is important to put plenty of SPF on your feet and legs as intense temperatures lead to sunburn, therefore, leading to blisters. Also, blisters can be caused by the friction of shoes rubbing against your foot. 
  • Skin conditions- dermatitis and less common skin conditions, such as epidermolysis bullosa cause blistering on the skin, which can often be extremely discomforting. 

How can blisters be prevented?

There are numerous ways of preventing blisters. Below are some tips on how to avoid blisters. 

  • Apply a generous amount of talc on your feet to help reduce and absorb moisture levels. 
  • Avoid direct sunlight. You may take medication which can cause photosensitivity. By avoiding sunlight, your chances of blistering in the heat will be decreased. 
  • Make sure you wear well-fitted shoes that are comfortable to avert friction on the foot. 
  • To further reduce friction, wear socks that will absorb sweat. 

How can blisters be treated?

It is wise to leave blisters as they are, do not attempt to pop them. Blisters assist in protecting the underlying skin; therefore, breaking the skin is an open invitation to infection. 

It would be ideal to cover your blisters with a dressing or plaster and wait for them to heal completely. You can purchase blister plasters, however, you must be extremely careful as if they are removed too early it can result in pulling the skin away with the plaster. If your blister does burst you should clean it with a saline solution and dress as above. 

Finally, if your blister is particularly large and painful, it is always best to consult with a podiatrist. We are able to lance and drain it properly and provide further aftercare advice. If you need any assistance with a stubborn blister, contact us today.

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