Sports Medicine Moment: Common Foot Injuries – Blisters
Written By: Tristen Robinson
Tristen Robinson, M.S., ATC, LAT is a BUZZ Gear Up Blogger and an instructor at Andrew Jackson High School, for the sports medicine magnet program. Checkout the program’s Facebook page at Andrew Jackson High School Sports Medicine. https://www.Facebook.com/Jacksonsportsmed/
Ohhhh the almighty blister. If you’ve ever been physically active for a time period, you have had one. On your hands or on your feet. Essentially, blisters can occur anywhere. They are unsightly, painful, little boogers that occur when there is excessive friction to a particular area of skin. *Side note: blisters can also occur from other causes such as skin burns*. Without being too technical, blisters arise with the body responds with fluid formations due to separation of the skin layers, caused by friction. The fluid then creates pressure on nerve endings which causes the painful sensation.
Blisters are an easy diagnosis. They basically diagnose themselves based on appearance. However, prevention of a blister could be possible because before the actual blister is formed, the area in which the friction is occurring will appear red and tender to touch. If prevention is possible, it is best to protect the area with foam pad cutout to shape like a donut. The open area of the created donut should be positioned directly over the friction area. The donut should alleviate some of the pain, pressure, and friction over the area.
If prevention is not possible and the formation of a blister has occurred already, it is important not to open or “pop” the blister. This will cause an open wound and allow for the possibility of germs and bacteria to enter the body. An open blister should be treated as any open wound; cleaned with antibacterial soap and water, dry, place antibiotic cream on the open area, and cover with a Band-Aid. Signs of an infection include red or warm skin around blister and pus.
Blisters can be debilitating and if left untreated or treated improperly, can cause shift from a minor injury to a major issue. Being proactive is the best way to prevent blisters if possible. Making sure socks and shoes are the appropriate size can help eliminate the blister issue. Also, wearing two pairs of socks (with one pair inside out) can help reduce foot movement inside the show, thereby reducing friction has worked for me personally and for athletes I’ve treated in the past. Thank me later.
This has been your sports medicine moment…