When shoes rub you the wrong way: How to prevent/treat blisters
April 22, 2013
By Vivian Gomez
The warm weather is finally here, and you can’t resist the temptation to wear your new pair of shoes without breaking them in first. After walking for a good eight blocks, the back of your ankle burns and it feels like your shoe is suddenly an unforgiving razor-sharp edge, slicing into the back of your heel. Friction caused by ill-fitting shoes and moisture are the perfect storm in which blisters form.
Knowing how to prevent blisters does you little good now. It’s there, it hurts and it’s popped already. Clean the affected area with soap and water. Dirt can cause an infection, which you definitely don’t want.
Blisters make you feel like you never want to wear any shoes other than flip-flops again. Especially if those bubbles pop, the pain is intense and leaves the affected skin red, raw and angry. Disinfecting with an antiseptic such as iodine, though recommended, is very likely going to sting. Consider instead an antibiotic ointment, which will feel far more soothing.
Unfortunately, while you can avoid wearing the shoes that got you into this painful mess in the first place, you can’t avoid footwear altogether. It is therefore important to cover the blister with a gauze bandage after you apply antibiotic ointment, so it can heal and not suffer further damage. As soon as you can take off those shoes, though, remove the bandage, clean the area and let it breathe.
After a few days, your blister will look much better but may still feel a bit tender regardless of what shoes you wear. Cover the area with moleskin to protect it from friction. If the skin is no longer broken, another great trick is to apply antiperspirant to the affected area. It repels moisture and protects the area from friction.