Blisters are painful and can stop you in your tracks! People of all ages and activities can get them.
Blisters are caused by excessive moisture and friction. Usually this means your feet have become too sweaty or have come in contact with water. Moist skin is much more vulnerable to the pressures of walking and running.
Moist skin, combined with activity and footwear that doesn’t fit well is a recipe for blistering! A blister is when the top layers of the skin separate from the ones below and fill up with fluid.
Prevention is always better than cure. To prevent blisters consider the following:
Thick socks are best – they absorb more moisture. If there is room in your shoe try 2 pairs of socks; one thin and one thicker pair.
Moisture wicking socks help keep your feet dry by taking the moisture from the skin surface to the outside of the sock where it can evaporate through the mesh of your shoes. Brands include Thorlos, WrightSock, Darntough and Lightfeet. You can buy these at Rebel Sport, good footwear stores or online.
If you have unusually sweaty feet then a product such as No More Sweat can be used. This product will temporarily constrict the sweat duct and can be purchased online or from your pharmacy. Some people also find that wiping feet with alcohol wipes in the days leading up to a big walk/run can be helpful.
Consider Gortex or waterproof footwear if you will be exposed to rain or other sources of water during your activity. Some people do, however, find waterproof shoes a lot warmer and thus their feet can become sweatier. It might be better in many cases to just change your socks if your feet become wet in your shoes. Have your shoes fitted and choose the right shoe for the activity you are doing.
Callouses and Toenails
Callouses and corns can add to the pressure on skin and be hot spots for blisters; use a pumice Stone/Foot File to remove them at home. If you have deep corns or thick callouses, it is advisable to have them reduced by your podiatrist before you head out for a big walk or away travelling.
Long or curved toenails can also be a source of toe blisters; keep them short (not too short!) and don’t cut down the edges of your nails as this can cause ingrown nails. Consult your podiatrist if you need assistance.
Hypoallergenic tapes such as Hypafix/Mefix/Fixomull are fantastic when layered on potential blister sites; any friction that occurs will be on the tape, not on your skin.
For persistent blistering, orthotics and/or in-shoe padding can be beneficial to redistribute pressure.
A personalised blister management plan can be made by your Podiatrist. The experienced Podiatrists at Bellevue Podiatry will give you a comprehensive treatment, specific management techniques and education for your needs. Please give us a call on (03) 9457 2336 to make an appointment.