Protect Your Feet From Blisters
As July is just around the corner and holiday season is near by we can, by ignoring the ominous clouds that British weather provides this time of year to shield us from complacency, begin to at least imagine the coming summer. The warm sun means we can finally shed our thick winter socks and tights and begin to pull from the back of our wardrobe our long-forgotten summer outfits. As our winter coats are finally hung up for the next few months we mus t also begin to accessorise our thinner clothes with approprioate seasonal footwear.
Whilst many of us can’t wait to replace our traditional shoes with the more casual and comfortable sandals many of us also forget the problems that putting on new shoes can entail. The worry with sandals is that, like any barely worn shoe, they can cause the foot a number of problems but with the added worry that, due to their openness, these problems can all be found on display for the world to see. Amongst the potential problems with sandals are the blisters they can cause and the painful rubbing that would ensue. Due to this it is worth thinking about ways in which we can best prepare our feet so as to not traumatize them with a sudden shift in footwear style.
Blisters are perhaps the most obvious concern for those wishing to wear sandals. These are caused primarily through friction which causes the skin’s most upper layers to rupture which ultimately fill with liquid; the summer is the perfect time to get blisters too as they are more easily formed on moist skin and in hot temperatures. As such the solution to this has to be to make sure that your feet are kept dry and that all new shoes or sandals that are worn have been tried on before to make sure they are a good fit – whilst all new shoes are harder at first, blisters are more likely to occur in shoes that are too small as the rubbing will heighten the friction. To make sure the shoes are not too tight make sure that there is a 1cm gap between the end of your new shoes and your longest toe. Similarly make sure that the shoes are not too big as this could also cause rubbing.
Due to the heat it is advisable, for both comfort and to avoid any potential feet problems, to make sure that the new shoes “breathe well”. This means chosing shoes which combine a number of materials rather just being made from solid leather or a nother heavy material; leather shoes which also feature a large degree of fabric or mesh are advised.
Further tips to ensuring the shoes do not cause any problems is to check them, expecially if they are an old or well worn pair, for seams or similair areas that will, by their nature, cause additional friction. Supplements such as talcum powder can also prevent friction as can wearing the correct sock. An unusual way to help prevent blisters is to stay hydrated – by drinking lots of water, an indiviudal will be able to perspire freely; when perspiration stops, sweat will begin to create salt crystals which increase body friction. As such making sure to stay on top of drinking water can help your feet stay healthier!
In the event a blister does occur don’t panic and also do not break the skin! Blisters are there to provide broken skin with a barrier from infection so should be left to heal by themselves. The most sensible solution to confronting a blister is to place a plaster on the heel, or whever the blister has formed, as this will pretect the blister from bursting and will also keep away ony dirt or bacteria which could cause infection. As most blisters heal by themselves no medical attention is required but a little bit of TLC is advised; open blisters should be cleaned with soap and water and then covered with antiseptic ointment. Blisters heal as new skin grows and the fluid they hold is taken back by the body; at the end of the 3-7 day process the skin on top will begin to peel off.
To avoid any of these treatements make sure that preventitive measures are taken by buying the right, and healthiest, choice of shoe. Factors that can help this are making sure that the foot has firm support; the shoe’s heel should properly fit the contour of the foot and a fastening device over the foots instep should be used to prevent the foot slipping forward whilst being worn. Footwear that does not necessarily offer these, such as sandals or ballet pumps, will, of course, not cause huge amounts of harm when worn for short periods but keeping them on for any length of time, particularly when engaging in sport or physical activity, is not advisable. The common sense answer would be to change footwear as appropriate and if one pair of shoes is causing particular aches and pains then an alternative should be found for at least a small while.