A common skin issue, blisters can appear anywhere on the body but tend to most often form on the hands and feet. A person of any age or gender is at risk of developing blisters.
When a blister forms, it looks like a circular-shaped bubble, and it’s filled with fluid. The liquid filling the blister can be clear or dark; if the blister is dark and contains blood, it can be referred to as a blood blister.
Because of their easily identifiable features, a doctor can often diagnose blisters just by looking at them. Blisters can be painful and, if located in an inconvenient spot on your feet (such as the bottom of your foot), prone to further friction and irritation. For most people, though, blisters tend to heal on their own in time and without causing any further complications.
What Causes Blisters on Feet?
There are a variety of reasons why one or more blisters have formed on your feet, including:
If you purchase a pair of shoes that don’t fit you well, you risk developing blisters, especially on your heel and/or on the side of your pinky toe. These blisters are forming as the result of friction.
Remember, your shoes should not feel too tight or too loose. Instead, allow adequate room in the toe box so your toes can move freely, but make sure that your feet aren’t sliding around in the shoes.
The physical activities you engage in for exercise may be causing blisters. Hiking long distances on rough terrain, for example, can place a lot of added pressure on your feet. This issue can be exacerbated by wearing the wrong type of shoes (in this example: flats rather than cushioned hiking boots) or if you’ve just purchased a new pair of shoes and you’re breaking them in.
While it can feel nice to walk around barefoot at home, you can do yourself a huge favor regarding blister prevention by wearing socks. Socks do a great job of wicking moisture away and keeping your feet dry. When shopping for socks, avoid buying thin socks or socks made only of cotton; these socks do not provide the barrier you need between skin and shoe.
Diabetes and Other Medical Conditions
If you have been diagnosed with a certain medical condition, such as diabetes, it’s important to be aware that you’re more susceptible to developing blisters. A disease like diabetes causes nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy) in the lower legs, making it difficult to feel when a blister has developed. Additionally, poor circulation can prolong the healing process.