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How to Prevent and Treat Blisters Caused by Summer Shoes

Sandals are a summer staple when it comes to footwear, but sometimes your favorite pairs don’t seem to love you as much as you love them. From unsupportive flip flops to cheap loafers and strappy heels, summer shoes tend to cause as many blisters as they get compliments from your friends.

Photo credit: Fashionby He via Flickr

To help you balance function, fashion, and good foot health, here are some prevention and treatment tips for blisters.

Why Blisters Form

A blister is a fluid-filled pocket of skin that occurs when the top layer of skin is pulled away from the other layers. The fluid can be a mixture of plasma, blood, and pus, and its purpose is to keep the deeper layers of skin from being damaged and promote healing. On the feet, blisters are usually caused by excess friction when shoes rub in uncomfortable places.

Preventing Future Blisters

There are many things that you can do to prevent blisters from forming in the first place. To start, keep your feet cool and dry as well as you can since blisters often form in a moist environment. When you buy new shoes, it’s important to break them in slowly by wearing them around the house for a while to make sure they fit. There are millions of shoes in the world, so don’t settle for a pair that hurts!

If you know your feet are prone to blisters in certain places, such as at the back of the heel or on the outside edge of the little toe, there are specialized products available to add a little more cushioning. For example, a silicon pad or piece of moleskin can help add a protective barrier between your foot and the shoe. Flip flops and high heels are notorious for causing blisters, so invest in some sensible sandals with arch support to keep your feet healthy for many years to come.

Photo credit: Yaniv Yaakubovich via Flickr

Natural Treatments for Blisters

However, blisters can’t always be avoided, and you very well may develop some on your feet this summer. The first thing to remember when you get a blister is not to pop it! Popping a blister makes your body more susceptible to infection, especially on a body part like your foot that comes in contact with so many unclean surfaces. Blisters are actually a positive natural reaction to protect injured skin, so let nature do its work.

Instead, cover up your blister with a piece of gauze and a bandage to allow it to pop naturally in its own time. After that, you may want to add a dab of ointment or homeopathic spray onto it to speed up the healing process. For example, Olive Leaf Cut and Wound Remedy is an all-natural treatment that can be used on a variety of skin eruptions and skin injuries.

Foot blisters that are too large or painful to walk on can be drained if done properly and hygienically. This requires having clean hands, sterilizing a needle with a flame, puncturing the blister, draining the fluid, and applying a bandage with ointment. Home remedies for blister healing include soaking the blister in green tea, which has anti-inflammatory properties, as well as applying aloe vera gel, witch hazel, or castor oil.

When to Seek Professional Help

Although certainly painful, most blisters go away on their own with a little home care and some natural remedies. However, a blister with cloudy pus or that has a distinct odor is likely infected. Other symptoms of infection due to a blister include swelling, fever, worsening pain, and nausea. If you experience these symptoms or if your blister isn’t healing on its own, it may be time to call your doctor for a professional opinion.

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