Blisters are a common occurrence for athletes and anyone who wears new shoes. They will occur in areas of friction but are classically located on the heel or the sides and tops of the toes. They may become severe and infected so proper blister care is important. When trying to avoid the pain of a blister, people may try stepping on a different part of the foot. This can lead to the foot and other structures becoming loaded in an unaccustomed way. This can lead to pain and inflammation. This is common in novice runners, especially when starting a running program.
Symptoms of blisters
Symptoms of blisters will be redness over the skin, usually at the back of the heel or on the toes.
Causes of blisters
The causes of blisters are categorised in two ways. The first is anything that increases contact pressure (rubbing) or area with the foot such as tight shoes, new shoes, and unusual footwear. The second is anything that increases friction or wear and this may include moisture, dirt, sand or grit.
Treatment of blisters
There are a few things that can be done to ease the pain of blisters and prevent them from occurring in the future.
- Protect the area with thicker socks, pads, bandaids
- Make a barrier with petroleum jelly (Vaseline – good for under the arms in wetsuits etc)
- Ensure feet are clean and dry
- Wear clean, dry socks
While most blisters will heal over time naturally, some may require popping. Our chiropractors and physiotherapists at Sydney Spine & Sports Centre (S3C) will refer you to a podiatrist if this is needed. We do not recommend doing this yourself as skin our protective layer to prevent infections. Performed incorrectly it may become infected and this will just keep you from running or playing sport for longer.