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Arthritis and Foot Pain
Athlete’s Foot
Blisters
Bunions
Corns and Calluses
Creams
Diabetes
Emollients
Hammer Toes
Heel and Arch Pain
Nail Problems
Neuroma
Pes Planus
Poor Circulation
Severs Disease
Toe Devices
Warts

 
Blisters
A blister may form when the skin has been damaged by friction or rubbing, heat, cold or chemical exposure. Fluid collects between the epidermis—the upper layer of the skin--and the layers below. This fluid cushions the tissue underneath, protecting it from further damage and allowing it to heal.

Intense rubbing can cause a blister, as can any friction on the skin if continued long enough. This kind of blister is most common after walking long distances or wearing a poorly-tuned new pair of shoes. Blisters are most common on the hands and feet, as these extremities are susceptible while walking, running, or performing repetitive motions. Blisters form more easily on moist skin than on dry or soaked skin, and are more common in warm conditions. Less aggressive rubbing over long periods of time may cause calluses to form rather than a blister. Both blisters and calluses can lead to more serious complications, such as foot ulceration and infection, particularly when sensation or circulation is impaired, as in the case of diabetes, neuropathy or peripheral artery disease (PAD).

Friction blisters, caused by rubbing against the skin, can be prevented by reducing the friction to a level where blisters will not form. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways.

Blisters on the feet can be prevented by wearing comfortable, well-fitting shoes and clean socks. Inherently ill-fitting or stiffer shoes, such as high heels and dress shoes, present a larger risk of blistering. Blisters are more likely to develop on skin that is moist, so socks that manage moisture or frequent sock changes will aid those with particularly sweaty feet. While exercising or playing sports, special sports socks can help keep feet drier and reduce the chance of blisters. Before going for a long walk, it is also important to ensure that shoes or hiking boots have been properly broken in.

Even before a "hot" or irritated area on the foot is felt, taping a protective layer of padding or a friction-reducing interface between the affected area and the footwear can prevent the formation of a blister. Bandages, moleskin and tapes generally must be applied to the foot daily, and most have a very high coefficient of friction (COF), but a friction management patch applied to the shoe will remain in place much longer, throughout many changes of socks and insoles. This type of intervention may be used with footwear that is worn daily, with specialty shoes and boots like hockey skates, ice skates, inline skates, ski boots and cleats, or even with orthotic braces and splints.

To avoid friction blisters on the hands, gloves should be worn when using tools such as a shovel or pickaxe, doing manual work such as gardening, or using sports equipment like golf clubs or baseball bats. To further reduce the occurrence one can tape the hands, and there are also a number of products on the market that claim to reduce the occurrence of blisters. Many of these are found in off-road power sports. These are all intended to be worn as a liner underneath a glove. The majority of these offerings simply adds padding and creates a layer that reduces the coefficient of friction between the skin and the glove.

A lubricant, typically talcum powder, can be used to reduce friction between skin and apparel in the short term. People put talcum powder inside gloves or shoes for this purpose, although this type of lubricant will increase the friction in the long term, as it absorbs moisture. Increased friction makes blisters more likely.