Blisters are painful, fluid-filled lesions produced by friction and pressure. They can be caused by the following:
Blisters can become a more serious concern if you have diabetes as they may not heal so easily. Please see your podiatrist for further advice.
It is important to act immediately if you feel any friction or discomfort as blisters can form very quickly. Stop walking or running and examine your feet and if nothing has developed, consider applying some material or padding to cushion the area or even a breathable waterproof plaster.
If a blister does occur, do not pop it. Cut a hole in a piece of foam or felt to form a doughnut over the blister. Tape the foam or felt in place or cover with a soft gel-type dressing. Treat an open blister with mild soap and water, apply an antiseptic ointment and cover with a protective soft gel dressing to prevent infection and speed up the healing process.
Most foot blisters last between three and seven days and will normally clear up if further excessive friction is avoided.
As blisters are the result of friction, there are a number of simple techniques that can prevent your walking, running or social activity being ruined by a blister:
When buying socks, choose socks made of fibres with good ‘wicking’ properties. Alternatively, look for special ‘dual layer’ socks where the inner layer moves with the foot, and the outer layer with the shoe - these help eliminate friction at the skin surface.
If you have any foot health concerns and think this may potentially lead to a complication then please consider discussing a podiatry referral with your GP.
If your foot becomes red, hot or swollen, with new pain, with or without a wound please ask your GP to refer you to Podiatry.