Foot Blisters: Causes and Treatments
Blisters are like small boils that can appear on any part of your body, especially the hands, feet and sometimes even your face. They contain a fluid-like substance which is often mistaken for water. The possible causes of blisters include over stress on your body, sweating, wearing new shoes, and constant friction during physical activity.There is no difference between the blisters you get on your hands and feet. They are a result of gap between the innermost skin layer and the exterior skin layer.
Types of Blisters
Blisters can be categorized into three different groups:
Fever blisters, which usually occur on the face.
Blood blisters, which are usually accidental. Let’s say for example, your upper skin layer gets tucked into or pinched by some object by mistake which lifts the upper layer and creates a gap.
Friction blisters, which can be caused due to heat, open air or working in water without gloves.
Foot blisters can be caused by a number of things, they are:
- Moisture is the biggest cause leading to the formation of foot blisters.
- Through continuous rubbing of skin with the shoes. This applies pressure on the skin and therefore the formation.
- A condition called athlete’s foot can also cause foot blisters. Theskin becomes itchy and then crack open. It is the result of a fungal infection.
- Another cause of foot blisters can be Dyshidrotic eczema. Very common in women, this condition causes blisters on the bottom of the feet and palms of hands. They last around 3 weeks and occur in people who are more prone to allergies.
- Contact dermatitis can also lead to smallblisters.
- Over-Exposure to various chemicals, dyes, fragrances, medicines can also cause blisters.
- Poison-ivy is another irritant that can cause foot blisters.
In most cases, a littlefirst aid treatment should be sufficient to treat the blister, other times, you may require antibiotics or other treatments.
For the first aid treatment:
- Take a needle and wipe it clean with alcohol;
- Pinch the blister with the needle;
- Press the fluid out towards the punctured area;
- Cover the area with gauze;
- Wait for it to heal.
Some precautions while administering first aid:
- If you see any signs of infection, i.e. yellow pus draining out, etc., then you should see a doctor.
- Do notdrain out the blister if you are a diabetes, HIV, cancer or heart patient as these are contagious.
- Use a doughnut shaped moleskin pad for the affected area. Make sure not to cover the foot blister itself. This will prevent it from exploding on its own and causing a mess.
Another medical treatment for foot blisters is to use Vitamin E pills. For this, you can just pop open the pill and apply the liquid directly on your blister. This is because Vitamin E has amazing skin healing properties and will also prevent scarring. Lastly, if you aren’t up to date on your tetanus shots, then get one to avoid further complications.
Home Remedies for Foot Blisters
Treating blisters is an important part of feet hygiene, according to the FDA. Foot blisters are common symptoms of HFMD as per the CDC. Certain home remedies, if followed properly, can help cure blisters within a day or two. They are tried and tested remedies and can be very helpful.
Home remedies for foot blisters can include the use or application of apple cider vinegar, castor oil, antibacterial ointment, pads, warm water, Vaseline or any petroleum gel, Aloe Vera gel and Epsom salt. These home remedies are very simple to use and assist in making you more comfortable if you have foot or hand blisters.
Castor Oil: This is one of the simplest forms of home remedies available to treat foot blisters. Simply smear some castor oil on the affected part of the blister and leave it overnight. In the morning, you will notice that the blister has dried up completely. However, make sure not to peel off the upper layer of the skin, allow it to detach naturally, or the blister may reform.
Warm Water: Soak your feet in lukewarm water once a day at any time for about 15 minutes. This will help the upper layer on the blister to become soft, thus removing the fluid inside the blister and helping to cure it faster.
Antibiotic Ointment: Apply any antibiotic ointment on the blister; it will help to cure the blister to a great extent. One can also make use of the antibiotic ointment in lukewarm water and soak the feet in this water for about 15-20 minutes. This will also help cure blisters.
Pads: Padding the blister will also help to a certain extent. One can make use of cotton while padding, leave the blister exposed, while the surrounding parts should be padded in a donut shape. This will help prevent bacteria from infecting the blister once it is broken. This remedy is very helpful, if you get these blisters on the bottom of your feet.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar can be very effective and simple to use. Take the paste of a smashed onion, mix a spoonful of apple cider vinegar into it and apply the mixture on the blisters. This will help the blister to dry up very quickly.
Vaseline or Gel: Vaseline or any other petroleum gel can also help cure blisters. Apply it to the blister before going to bed to see a notable improvement by morning.
Salt Water: You can also use this remedy, as it has proven to be very useful, especially for burn blisters. Add some salt to the ice cold water, soak a clean cloth in this water and rest the cloth on the blister. It will help the blister to compress and heal.
Aloe Vera: Aloe Vera is considered to be very effective and has been used since ancient times. Apply Aloe Vera gel on to the blister and it will lessen the pain and will help in drying the skin.
Some of the points to be kept in mind for preventing foot blisters are:
- Always wear socks with new shoes
- Keep your hands and feet clean all the time
- Do not stress your body excessively
- Avoid repetitive movements on one area which can pull up or irritate the skin
- Apply paper tape or moleskin as soon as you see any signs of a blister formation like redness, burning, etc.
- You can also use anti-perspirants, powders and astringents to avoid perspiration on your skin.
Although painful and difficult to tackle, foot blisters are not much to worry about, that is, if they are not infected, and are free of any other symptoms. You can see a doctor if you find any abnormalities in the texture, smell or feel of the blister.
References: FDA and CDC