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Posts for category: Blisters

By Dr. Michael Stein
November 05, 2014
Category: Blisters

Proper Blister CareBlisters are common among world-class athletes—Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum was limited by one on his finger through parts of last season, and tennis star Kei Nishikori dealt with one on his foot en route to making the U.S. Open final in September. However, they can happen to anyone. If you’re out and about—say at Pleasanton’s downtown farmer’s market on Saturday mornings—the last thing you need is a foot blister slowing you down. Fortunately, a little blister care can help keep you on your feet.

How you care for your blister will depend on whether it has popped or not. Popping and even careful draining increases the risk of infection, so if the bump is still intact, the goal is to keep it that way.

For an un-popped blister, you just want to try to protect it. If it’s in a high-pressure, weight-bearing area, try a donut-shaped moleskin. Otherwise, cover with an adhesive bandage (if it’s small enough) or breathable gauze.

If the blister has already popped, you need to take some additional steps to try to prevent infection. Clean the area with just gentle soap and water—no alcohol, iodine, or hydrogen peroxide. After that, smooth the skin flap (you want to leave it as intact as possible), apply an antibiotic ointment, then cover with gauze or a sterile bandage.

You should consider draining the blister only when it is simply too painful to deal with—due to size or location. After washing both your hands and the affected area with soap and water, take a sterilized needle (use rubbing alcohol) and carefully puncture it near its edge. Press gently on the bump to drain the fluid. Once that’s done, follow the steps above for a popped blister.

If you have diabetes or any other condition that increases your risk of infection, or if you notice any signs of infection—white or yellow pus, for example—call Foot Doctor of the East Bay. We are the Bay Area’s foot and ankle experts, and we’ll help you with any blister care you may require. We can even help you with shoe recommendations or custom orthotics that can relieve the pressure causing your blisters in the first place. Give us a call at (510) 483-3390 to set up an appointment at our San Leandro, Pleasanton, or Los Gatos office and see what we can do for you.

By Dr. Michael Stein
September 24, 2014
Category: Blisters

How to Treat BlistersBlisters can happen to anyone, even world-class athletes with the best training and equipment. At the U.S. Open tennis championships a few weeks ago, eventual runner-up Kei Nishikori had to overcome a quarter-sized blister on the ball of his foot during his quarterfinal victory over Australian Open champ Stanislas Wawrinka. Nishikori was only allowed a few minutes to tape up his injury before continuing the match. Your blister treatment probably won’t be so high-stakes, though that doesn’t make it any more pleasant.

If the blister is intact, isn’t preventing you from walking, and isn’t in too much pain, do your best to avoid breaking it. Popping it exposes you to bacteria and infection. If you can leave it uncovered or only very loosely bandaged, all the better. Adhesive bandages work best for small blisters, while a more porous and breathable material is better for larger pockets.

If it does break, wash the entire area as soon as possible with just warm water and a gentle soap—no hydrogen peroxide, iodine, or the like. Carefully pat dry, smooth down the skin flap, and apply an antibiotic ointment, then cover with a loose bandage. This will help minimize the risk of infection.

Sometimes, a blister limits movement or is too large and painful and must be drained. If this is the case for you, you’ll want to wash the area first, then use a sterilized needle to poke a small hole at the edge of the blister and carefully drain the fluid. After that, wash the affected area one more time and follow the same steps as above for a blister that breaks naturally.

Once the blister has been drained—either by choice or by accident—you need to take good care of the site until it heals. Change your bandage at least once per day, more often if it gets dirty or wet. Stay off your feet if possible, and wear extra-thick socks when you need to get around—they help cushion the force of your steps.

Hopefully your at-home blister treatment will head off any serious complications, but if you notice any problems, be sure to contact Dr. Michael Stein and Zeindelin Ahmad, DPM of Foot Doctor of the East Bay. We have three convenient locations to serve all of your foot care needs. Dial (510) 483-3390 for San Leandro, (925) 425-9684 for Pleasanton, or (408) 356-6767 for Los Gatos.

Photo Credit: Artur84 via FreeDigitalPhotos.net



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