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Foot Blisters

What are Foot Blisters?

Blisters are small swelling of the skin that contains watery fluid. They are caused by friction. The body responds to the friction by producing fluid. The fluid builds up beneath the part of the skin being rubbed, causing pressure and pain.

Blisters occur when feet get hot, sweaty and socks stick to the feet. The sock and foot then rub against each other and the inside of the shoe. Fluid fills up a space between layers of skin to protect the area, like a small balloon. That's how a blister forms. People with diabetes may not be able recognize the painful event due to a condition called neuropathy. A doctor should attend to their blisters and burns.

Blisters are a common problem with athletes wearing in new shoes. They are also a common problem for athletes, runners and walkers who participate in exceptionally long events such as marathons or long hill walks.

If a blister is red, leaking yellow fluid or has red lines near the blister, visit a doctor immediately. Redness and leaking yellow fluid are symptoms of infection.

What Causes Foot Blisters?

There are many different causes of foot blisters. Some of the most common causes of foot blisters are:

  • Heat, moisture and friction.
  • Friction forces caused by inappropriate shoes or socks.
  • Fungal infections of the skin.
  • Allergic reactions or burns.
  • Excessive foot perspiration.

How do Foot Blisters form?

Blisters occur when a foot gets hot and sweaty. When a foot is hot and sweaty, the sock sticks to the foot. The sock and foot then rub against each other and the inside of the shoe. Fluid fills up a space between layers of skin to protect the area, like a small balloon. The fluid that forms between the layers of skin is called a blister.

People with diabetes who have neuropathy may not be able recognize when a foot blister is forming.

How Can Foot Blisters be Prevented?

Some ways to prevent blisters are:

  • Wear shoes that fit properly.
  • Keep feet as dry as possible.
    • Wearing wet shoes, boots and socks will increase your chance of developing blisters.
  • Change socks regularly.
  • Use foot powder to help keep your feet dry.

Treatments for Foot Blisters

If the blister has not "popped," leave it alone. Most of the time, the blister will reabsorb and heal on its own.

 

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