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'Tis the season...for blisters!!

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

'Tis the season...for blisters!!

So, now that it is spring, we are all getting our claws out, getting pedicures, letting our tooties breathe, and rock sandals!  But, those cute (or super masculine) sandals can cause some discomfort and blisters until we "break them in".  What's better than knowing how to treat blisters?  Knowing how to prevent blisters and treat the ones that you may get anyway!!

What are blisters?
A small pocket of fluid that is created under the top couple layers of the epidermis (skin).  They are usually filled with a clear fluid (serum or plasma), but can be filled with blood, or pus (if infected).

How do Blisters occur?
Blisters are created through heat, sweat, and constant rubbing (friction).  So, in the heat of the spring/summer, with sweating and loss of electrolytes, we are at risk for those pesky blisters!  Plus with new shoes on, we are at a much higher risk from new straps rubbing against our feet.  The good news?  There are ways to prevent them and keep our feet happy and pretty!

How do I prevent blisters??
The best way to prevent is to try on your shoes, feel if any areas seem tight or uncomfortable, and use specific products to help prevent the formation. Band Aid brand has a Blister Block product, which is like a very thick second skin, that you can apply on top of toes, heels, ankles, really anywhere- you just need to apply the product to your skin, it is clear and slides on.  It creates a barrier between your skin and the strap/shoe and helps to prevent a blister from forming.  Spenco is a company that has the old tried and tested Second Skin product which is an adhesive product that sticks to your skin and creates a physical barrier over specific "hot spots" that you choose. But, my favorite that I apply when I wear ANY pair of new shoes? 3M No Sting Barrier Spray that you can just spray on your feet, or anywhere that chafing might occur, and it is a clear spray, that has a random but fresh scent, and it creates a thin film on your skin that helps to prevent blisters.  It is a little more expensive than the other products, but I think it is far superior!

What Happens if I get a Blister Anyway?
Despite the best plans, sometimes blisters still do occur, and I really need to urge people to try to NOT pop them!! I get the fever to pop anything and everything that pops out of my skin, but I suppress the urge with blisters because they heal best on their own!  I must say, if you are a diabetic, you should watch your blisters closely, and go to see your HCP if it looks infected or seems to be taking a long time to heal.
The best thing to do is keep the area clean and dry, and when you need to wear shoes that might rub the area, place some of the second skin or a light bandage over the area to prevent further rubbing (it is best to wear shoes that allow the area to be exposed and unaffected).
If the blister pops, then what do you do?  Wash your hands with antibacterial soap before touching the area. Leave the top layer of skin in place, and don't rip it off, it helps to protect the under layer that is technically an open wound; you are just leaving the bodies primary defense against bacteria in place as much as you can!  after washing your hands, as long as you have no allergies, apply a light layer of antibacterial ointment (like bacitracin) twice a day, and leave the area open to air as much as possible (like when hanging out at home watching TV or doing things around the house) but cover with a gauze or bandage (not too tight) when covering the area with a sock or putting the area at risk for more damage (like in a shoe).  Air helps to heal more than anything else; it allows the body to do its job and work like the well oiled machine that it is!
Assess the area a couple of times a day, and if there is heat, swelling around the area, if you notice redness around the blister site, or any pus (discolored) drainage, you should go see your HCP because it is most likely infected.  This is especially important for diabetics with poor glucose control, because you are at a much higher risk for infection. If you notice that you have a fever, swollen lymph nodes, or red streaks on your skin starting at the site and moving outwards, please go see and HCP immediately because you most likely have an infection that requires antibiotics or further treatment.

I hope that this helps you all keep happy, healthy, and pretty feet for the warm weather!  And use common sense with blisters, if something looks or feels wrong, go see your HCP.  But if all is well, treat yourself and go to a clean salon and get a pedi to make those tooties look beautiful!

Yours in Good Health


At May 6, 2011 at 8:49 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello, I have been reading this blog and I won't stop it because I think it's an important initiative.

At May 9, 2011 at 5:06 PM , Blogger Nurse Bridgid said...

thank you so much for your support! :)


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