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Dealing With Foot Blisters

Updated on February 13, 2011

Blisters are, hands down, the most common foot issue people experience in their lives.  While usually not brutally painful, blisters are still a nuisance.  And if left untreated, they could cause more serious issues down the road.  In this article, we'll take a detailed look at these sores. 

What exactly are they?  How can they be prevented?  And how should we get rid of them?

A blister is essentially a fluid-filled sac that exists between two layers of skin.  It comes to be through friction.  More often than not, it's the friction between part of your shoe and the skin of your foot that creates these painful little bubbles.

Preventing Blisters On Your Feet

Getting rid of blisters is difficult and time consuming.  We're much better off taking a few precautions in order to prevent our feet from developing these sores in the first place. 

As is the case with many common foot ailments, the shoes are often key.  In order to prevent blisters, it's imperative that you wear appropriate footwear.  Shoes that are too small or narrow often cause blisters.  When you select a pair of shoes or sandals, make sure that the toes have enough room to move up front.  You also want to consider the width of your shoes.  Some manufacturers, like New Balance, actually make the same type of shoes in various widths.  This is great for wide-footed folks like myself.

Another thing you can do to prevent blisters involves strengthening your skin.  You see, men and women with soft skin tend to be more susceptible to blisters.  There are a number of simple ways to make the skin on your feet just a little bit tougher.  The first thing you need to do is consider what areas of your feet are most likely to develop blisters.  This is usually pretty straightforward.  Put on your shoes and walk for a bit.  Where do you feel friction?  It will almost always be the heel or part of the toes.  Now - Let's make that skin tougher!  You can do this in one of two ways.

New Skin:  This product has been around forever.  It's essentially a watery version of the classic Band Aid.  I see that's it's available now in both spray and liquid versions.  Regardless of which type you choose, using this stuff is simple and painless.  Simply apply a bit of New Skin to the blister-prone areas of your foot.  On top of being tough as nails, this added shield is also antiseptic and waterproof.  In the past, New Skin was used exclusively by hikers and athletes prior to exercise.  Now men and women in all walks of life are finding it useful for preventing blisters.  Women who wear high heels, in particular, are big fans of this stuff.

Moleskin:  Another way to stop blisters before they start is to apply moleskin to the sensitive areas.  Moleskin is kind of like a Band Aid, only softer.  It's made out of sheep wool cloth and has an adhesive on one side.  Using it provides a buffer between skin and shoe - preventing friction and subsequent blisters.

Getting Rid Of Blisters

We're not always able to prevent blisters. Sometimes for example, the breaking-in period for a new set of shoes comes with a few painful sores. If you're in this boat, consider the advice below.

The quickest way to get rid of a blister is to leave it unopened. This is usually pretty easy if the sore isn't that painful. Simply cover it up with the moleskin discussed above and let nature deal with the blister. As long as the shoes you're wearing aren't rubbing the sore too much, the blister should take care of itself.

If the blister is painful, though, you should probably take a different approach. Sterilize a pair of tweezers or a needle with some rubbing alcohol. Now pop the blister and clean the wound. Apply a bit of polysporin to the affected and area and cover loosely with a Band Aid.

Any blister tips of your own? Let us know!


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