Too much Friction
Sandpaper is a great tool. It allows you to use friction to smooth rough surfaces. Friction is a surprisingly powerful force. It stops your car when you hit the brakes and warms your palms when you rub them together. Sometimes, however, friction causes damage. This is especially true when friction is applied to your skin—a force that can give rise to painful problems like blisters.
Blisters are small, fluid-filled sores that develop in the skin when one area is subjected to high friction and pressure for a short period of time. The stress from the rubbing damages the top layers of skin. These then separate from the lower layers. The space in between the damaged and healthy layers of skin fills with a clear fluid, creating a pocket or bubble called a blister.
These little bumps can appear anywhere under pressure on your feet and in a fairly short amount of time. Rubbing on the tops or sides of the feet from shoes is the usual culprit. Occasionally other issues can give rise to them as well, like illnesses, allergic reactions, or burns. The raised bumps tend to be highly sensitive to touch and cause sharp discomfort when pressed. They can become infected if they aren’t taken care of, too. This is a particularly high risk if you have a condition like diabetes, which impairs your immune system and makes it more likely these sores will deteriorate into something worse.
Healing the Skin
In most cases, blisters can be left intact to heal. You don’t need to pop them. You will, however, need to take care of your skin. Clean the sore with soap and warm water to help prevent infections. Then cover the bump with a bandage. A soft pad over the spot reduces the friction and pressure on the sensitive skin. As the little bubble heals, your body will naturally reabsorb the clear fluid in the little pocket. If the bump is particularly sensitive, icing it may help the pain by reducing inflammation and irritation in the skin.
If blister has already burst, you still need to wash and cover the sore. Don’t pick at any loose skin. Cushion the area to help protect it. You may want to change shoes or activities, at least temporarily, to avoid continuing to aggravate the blistering skin. Watch for signs of infection and seek help right away if something changes. If you have diabetes, of course, even something as small as a blister can develop life-threatening complications. Let Pequest Foot and Ankle Specialists help you immediately.
Preventing Sore Spots
The best way to deal with blisters is simply to prevent them. Wearing the right shoes and socks is truly the best protection. Wear roomy footwear that doesn’t squeeze your feet or put abnormal pressure on any area of your lower limbs. Choose fitted socks that wick moisture away from your feet. You might need custom orthotics to correct abnormal biomechanics that put pressure on the wrong places of your foot. Take steps to minimize foot perspiration, too.
You don’t have to suffer with blister pain whenever you try to enjoy your activities. Protecting your feet can prevent the problem, and the right treatment can help heal your skin. Let Pequest Foot and Ankle Specialists help you give your feet the best care. If you’re in the Belvidere, Sparta Township, Washington Township, or the surrounding areas, give us a call at (908) 475-8750 to make an appointment today. You can also use our web request form.