Of course it’s fantastic to spend an entire day in shopping in your high heels, but sometimes a painful blister caused due to friction between the shoe and your foot can spoil all the fun. Friction is not the only reason of blisters. They can be caused by infections, allergies, skin diseases and medications. Before we move on to how to get rid of painful blisters, let us first understand what blisters are.
A blister is the bubble of fluid under the skin. It appears when the skin’s outer layer is injured. The fluid forms under the damaged skin and provides natural protection to the skin beneath it. The clear watery fluid inside the blister is called serum. Within 3 to 7 days, the fluid is reabsorbed by the body and the new skin grows.
Small sized blisters are called vesicles; whereas bullae refer to the blisters having size of more than an inch.
There are a number of causes that lead to the formation of a blister. This includes:
Irritation: Blisters are caused by skin irritation caused by physical factors, such as friction, irritating chemicals, exposure to extreme cold or heat. Ill-fitted shoes are one of the major causes of blisters on the feet. Some people having sensitive skin can get blisters from skin reactions to any chemical irritant.
Infections: Infections such as herpes, chicken pox, bullous impetigo and shingles are also associated with painful blisters on the body.
Skin diseases: Skin diseases like dermatitis herpetiformis, pemphigus and other blistering skin conditions can lead to the development of blisters.
Medications: Some people may develop blisters as a reaction to certain medications, such as nalidixic acid and furosemide.
Usually these lumps filled with fluid are painful and cause symptoms; but in a few cases, they may not cause any symptoms. The symptoms vary according to the cause. The most common symptoms associated with blisters are pain, redness, severe itching and formation of small round bubbles of fluid on the skin.
The treatment depends upon the cause. Most of them do not require any medical treatment and usually resolve within a week. Those caused by irritation to go away within a few days, whereas those triggered by infection may take weeks or months to completely disappear.
The best way to treat a blister caused due to physical irritation is to leave it intact. Do not burst it to release the fluid as the skin acts as a barrier against infection. You can also cover it with thick moleskin or bandage during the day or while at work; but once you come home, remove it and let it breathe. Make sure your feet are dry. Protect it from water, dirt and germs prevent any bacterial infection. Avoid wearing poorly fitted shoes and avoid repeated friction.
In case of blister formed secondary to any major illness (autoimmune disorder, skin disease), the treatment of the cause helps in eliminating it.
These fluid filled lumps of the skin caused due to herpes virus can come back periodically.
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