Do you have an event that you’re going to this weekend?
Can’t find a comfy pair of heels to match that gorgeous red dress?
Do you always get blisters when wearing your favorite pair of peep toes?
Firstly, what is a blister?
A blister is a small pocket of fluid (pus)that develops on the top layers of the skin, which most of the time is clear in colour, but at other times may contain blood (also known as a “blood blister”).
Secondly, let’s a quick look at a few common causes of blisters:
- FrictionFriction is the most common cause of blisters occurring on the feet. Friction blisters tend to develop when walking or running long distances or when wearing new or ill-fitting shoes (too tight or too loose) which rubs on the skin. Most of the time friction blisters are a one-off occurrence when something has changed (i.e. new exercise regimen or different shoes). When a blister develops at the site of friction, this is the bodies’ natural attempt to protect itself from further damage, fluid collects under the injured skin to provide cushioning and allow healing.
Blisters can develop as a physiological response to intense forms of heat (e.g. burns or sunburns).
Blisters can develop as a physiological response to intense forms of cold (e.g. frostbites)
- Contact with chemicals, solvents, detergents or cosmetics
- Medical Conditions
So, we can conclude that in terms of wearing your flashy pair of heels, your blisters are caused by excessive amounts of friction that your feet aren’t quite used to.
Well, here are 5 tips and tricks that you can do in order to prevent blisters from occurring when you’re in your favorite pair of Jimmy Choos:
- Make sure your shoes fit.
When buying new shoes, it is best to try them on at the end of the day when the feet are at their warmest and the natural swelling has taken place. Always by the size that fits your bigger foot. After purchasing your new heels, wear them in at home and if they are not comfortable even at home, they most likely won’t be at a party.
If you have bunions or other bony prominences; buy shoes with extra width and depth. More so, you can take your shoes to a cobbler to get them stretched out professionally before you wear them.
Remember your feet may change size with age, pregnancy or weight gain.
- Shoe inserts and additions
When trying on your heels, try and mark the spots that feel the most “under-pressure”, and at these areas on your shoes, try applying gel-cushion pads and on your feet apply a band-aid or form of padding. Applying a band-aid or moleskin acts like a second layer of skin to absorb the friction before your skin does.
When searching for which band-aids to buy, try and get band-aids or bandages with the most padding. You can also ask your podiatrist for cushioned padding supplies (that are made to your foot size).
- Lubricate your feet
Lubricating your feet (around the back and the sides- where the straps hold onto your feet) will help reduce friction when wearing heels. You can use things such as Vaseline or a good moisturizing cream at the “hot spot” areas.
- Try not to go for 15 inch heels
If you don’t need the heels to give you a height boost, then don’t buy them. Experts recommend a 3-inch heel or lower. This height allows for better weight distribution and doesn’t pitch your foot in a way that shoves it forward in the shoe. Also, look for shoes with straps, laces or ties. You can adjust the fit of the shoe throughout the day — tighter in the morning, looser in the evening.
- Keep your feet dry
Moisture is also a culprit in the formation of blisters, so keeping your feet dry with a foot deodorizing spray or powder is a smart idea.
If all these fail and you do get a blister, your safest option is to visit a podiatrist to get it de-roofed in a safe, sterile manner to avoid any risk of infection.
Dr Jessica Shehata (Podiatrist)