The hands and the feet are exposed to friction and heat more often than most parts of the body during activities like running, walking, or different types of manual labor. Unfortunately, friction and heat are the two main ingredients needed to form a painful, unsightly blister. Blisters are fluid-filled bubbles on the skin, and although most are filled with a benign, clear fluid, some are filled with blood and pus and may require further attention.
Understandably, the most natural reaction we have when we are faced with an annoying blister is to pop it and release the fluid. Most people think that this will relieve their symptoms! However, a blister is our body’s natural way of protecting our broken skin and making way for a new layer. Popping the blister gives a way for germs and bacteria to enter the body and could actually lead to infection.
Ideally, blisters should be left intact as they heal, and they can be covered with a loose bandage or light adhesive for protection. However, if one should pop, care for it in the following ways:
- Wash it out with soap and water only—other solutions like hydrogen peroxide will damage the skin
- Do not tear off the remaining skin, because doing so could lead to infection
- Apply an antibiotic ointment and cover it with a bandage to keep it clean and sterile
- Monitor it for white or yellow fluid or pus, as this may be a sign of infection that requires the attention of a doctor
Common causes for blisters on the feet include bunched up socks, footwear that does not fit properly, and problems breaking in new shoes. If you feel a blister beginning to form, do your best to alleviate the source of the friction and try applying petroleum jelly or a bandage for protection. If you are from Central New York, then board-certified podiatrist Dr. Ryan L. D’Amico is your go-to doctor for all of your foot and ankle ailments. At Syracuse Podiatry, Dr. D’Amico can treat blisters and other skin problems like calluses, ulcers, and warts. Contact us at our Fayetteville office at (315) 446-3668 with any questions or to schedule an appointment!