With the triple digit heat and minuscule rain, we hope you have been keeping yourself well hydrated. Dehydration can affect all the systems of your body, but especially your skin. Your skin will lose some of its elastic properties in the early stages but may become hard and cracked in severe states of dehydration. Because the skin on your feet is so far from your heart and supplied through very small blood vessels, it is more likely to take the brunt of poor hydration. What a second? Didn’t we mention blister treatments and prevention in the title, yet we’re talking about staying well hydrated? Well, dry skin is more likely to result in blister formation, amongst other problems, than supple, healthy, hydrated skin. Previous blogs have talked about taking special care of your feet with moisturizers and lotions, but the best way to hydrate your skin is from the inside out.
Dry skin increases the ‘shearing’ forces that lead to blister formation. As you walk, the skin of your foot shifts against your sock or shoe and the bones beneath it. The forces can be kept low with proper fitting shoes, inserts, socks, and healthy skin. When there is a deficit in any of these areas, the forces are increased. Increased forces and repeated motion can separate the upper layers of skin from the lower ones and subsequently fill with fluid, a blister.
It is important that you do not ‘pop’ your blister as it creates an open wound that is susceptible to infection, not to mention extremely painful. By leaving the blister intact you can reduce pain and prevent infection. Make an appointment with your Austin podiatrist if the blister is too large or painful and requires intervention. Using sterile instruments, he can drain the blister by puncturing the base. This leaves the top of the blister intact to protect the area from infection and reduce pain. A visit to Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists will also help you keep the blister from happening again. We can fit you for inserts to decrease frictional forces or recommend footwear and orthotics to address issues with your foot structure that may be contributing to your problem.
Until next time, keep those feet happy and healthy Austin!