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Prevention and treatment of blisters

The warm weather and the green landscapes of spring make you want to take off your socks and go outdoors. However, as our sensitive winter feet are exposed to sandals, strappy sandals, running shoes, and hiking boots, many of us suffer from a painful consequence: blisters.

Foot blisters can occur for several reasons, such as: Fungal infections and insect bites Most are due to simple friction caused by repeated movements (walking, running, chasing a toddler in a park) while wearing shoes.

And although they are often associated with elegant footwear (stiff men's low shoes, pointy toes), bubbles can raise their swollen heads while you're dressed in Nikes or New Balances. "There's not a single shoe that never bubbles," says Betsy Fisher, owner of the same-named D.C. boutique, which has been selling comfortable women's work shoes since the 1

980s. "You could wear them too long, your feet could swell and rub that day where they were comfortable before. It is a guessing game. "

Learn what blisters are, how to prevent them, and how to treat them.

Understanding blisters

A blister is a build-up of fluid under the top layer of your skin." Bring it back to school biology "You have two layers of skin, the epidermis and the dermis, and blisters are caused by the friction between those layers," says podiatrist Sheldon Laps, assistant professor of surgery at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health. "Your body simply produces fluid, to protect yourself from persistent trauma. "

In most cases, these small fluid pockets (usually clear plasma, but sometimes blood) are merely irritating and may interfere with training or clothing, leading to three-mile walks and out three-inch heels, but if you're diabetic or one that bursts, not properly disinfected small bubbles can lead to serious health problems. "The danger is that a bladder will burst, bleed, and you will get an infection that reaches to the leg," says Laps. In rare cases, sepsis may occur and even lead to death: In 1924, Calvin Jr.'s 16-year-old son died of tennis-related penicillin, a blood poisoning that was caused by a blistering on the toes.

Preventing Blisters

The best strategy to protect yourself is, of course, to avoid blisters. This requires the minimization of friction or irritation caused by shoes. Tie up lace-up shoes to prevent toes, heels, and bows from slipping around and being irritated. Reduce sweat and other moisture by using talcum powder before putting on shoes and buying moisture-regulating socks. "Dry skin will not leave bubbles, and a sock made of wool or a mixture of nylon and spandex will keep you from sweating and keep moisture out of your feet," says Stuart Lytle, sales director at Mega REI's Northeastern Washington store. Here you can buy many high-tech socks. "Cotton socks breathe, but they do not suck so they hold moisture on the skin."

Another way to create a blister barrier is to cover areas that are prone to scuffing with simple, inexpensive surgical paper tape in drugstores. According to a 2016 study in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, this can reduce the incidence of blisters by 40 percent. Since the tape is only slightly sticky, the roof (also referred to as the upper skin) does not tear off any bubbles that may occur. "Most people find they always get blisters in the same place," says lead author of the study, Grant Lipman, clinical professor of emergency medicine at Stanford University. "If you throw tape over these areas or wear shoes that irritate your feet, reduce the friction." Or you could provide your shoes with insoles or insoles. These "can spread the weight over the pressure points if your foot does not fit well with the shoe, reducing pressure points, friction, which can lead to a hot spot and subsequent blistering," says Lipman.

[After taking a painful tumble, this doctor and runner is learning the best way to fall]

Lipman also suggests this Keep your feet hydrated and supple; softer skin bends more than dry, calloused feet. "If someone wants to run a lot or do endurance sports, I urge them to do a really good pedicure that eliminates the cornea and makes the skin as soft as possible," says Lipman. "Pedicure can cut off calluses, avoid blisters under the callus, and cut nails to minimize blisters on the nail base – all of that is good." If your toes often rub against each other in closed shoes, try preventive toe sleeves (small gel or tissue tubes) or toes socks that tiptoeed into the sports market via brands like the Californian Injinji.

The choice of shoe – and how long you wear it – plays an enormous role. Yeah, this guy at Nordstrom was right: you should try these pumps or pumas later in the afternoon, when your feet are swollen the most. Shoes with pointed toes can be a nightmare that causes blisters and corn. As for the shoe material, leather gives way more and tends to be more breathable and comfortable than canvas or leather. Soft leather, especially in areas that touch the heels and toes, can significantly reduce the frequency of blisters and other hot spots. And every shoe, from a narrow heel to a comfortable hiking boot, should be smoother when entering. "Do you know that lacquered or boxed leather – like Bass Weejun's – take a little longer to soften?" Fischer says. Sometimes a little stretching can help to keep a leather shoe less trapped. You can do this on a shoeshine or with a shoe-stretching mold and spray it (available from Amazon). With running shoes or hiking boots, they should feel "like a breath of fresh air in the store wonderful," says Laps.

If all else fails, some people can recover from frequent heel blisters by sticking to them mules or flip-flops, if possible. "I've tried so many types of shoes to relieve my constant heel blisters," says author Vancouver, British Columbia author Johanna Read. "Finally I found the backless crocs in the summer and the blundstone boots in the winter. I wear ugly, comfortable shoes and I'm fine.

Treating Blisters

If you still get a bladder despite precautions and a better selection of shoes, it's best to act immediately if you feel rubbed or burning do not place a bladder unless it's so painful that you can not walk. "Sit down, take off your boots or shoes and socks and let it all out!" Lytle says, "Then you create a barrier between the irritated skin and what rubs." Many serious hikers wear blister kits with moleskin (for the shoe), tape and ultra-thin blister bandages that last longer and resist moisture. Covered, most blisters should heal in a few days or a week, only look for signs of infection.

If this uncomfortable feeling of burning and pressure makes it impossible to wear shoes? " I recommend bleeding blisters that really get painful, "says Lipman. "Take an alcohol-soaked pad and a safety pin, clean the blister pack with one side and clean the needle on the other side, pop the blister pack out, empty it, and cover it with a bandage." Roof of the bladder intact, and do not peel off the dead skin; It still offers some protection against infections. Cover the blister pack with a bandage for the first few days and keep it clean. The whole thing should heal in three to seven days if you do not put the offending shoes back on. "Of course, the easiest way to stop the pain is to stop any physical activity," adds Lipman. "But we have a busy life and you may just have to start training."

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