Blisters are fluid filled sacs that form in the outer layers of the skin. The most common form of blister is related to direct skin contact injuries, burns or friction. With that said, blisters can also form from a number of medical conditions that are more chronic and require medical attention for resolution. If you are unsure of the origin of your blister – consult with your podiatrist or a medical professional as soon as possible.
Friction related blisters form as a protective layer between the body and whatever surface is irritating the skin. These are generally not of concern unless they continue to get friction / irritation or burst. Bursting will cause pain as the fluid inside the blister usually allows the area to heal faster and generate new skin underneath. Secondarily it is much more likely to get infected and require professional attention.
Usually, blisters heal without any problems if the thing that caused the blister in the first place is removed and they are protected from bursting. Sometimes however the blister continues to cause pain and the pressure caused by the blister itself needs to be alleviated, for example if the blister is on the sole of the foot and making it painful to walk. A podiatrist can help with this.
It is important to know that new footwear, flexible soled footwear, footwear that is too large, footwear without socks or with unnatural fibre socks / hosiery, increases in exercise intensity, can all increase your chances of developing blisters.
Blood blisters are those that develop with impact injuries or pinching trauma. They are different to friction and burn blisters in that they usually have blood under the skin which gives a brown or deep red colour to the skin. They can be uncomfortable from the pressure building up of blood and sometimes need to be drained to relieve the pain and allow adequate healing.
Finally, are those blisters that form from infection direction. These will often be filled with pus, sometimes the above-mentioned blisters can form and then develop a secondary infection, or the blister can come from an infection in the first place. Either way these need to be managed with antibacterial dressings. If you are not trained or confident in managing infection it is probably a good idea to seek some advice from a professional like a podiatrist or your doctor.
If you have blisters you would like assessed give us a call (02 43239100) or book an appointment online today!