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With a change in season, inevitably, comes a change in footwear. New shoes can be one of the greatest joys for the fashionistas among us. But for many, new shoes can also come with a painful side-effect – blisters.

Blisters are the most common foot ailment, affecting both children and adults. Most blisters, although painful, will heal themselves within a week, but here’s our guide on how to avoid them in the first place.

What Is a Blister?

Blisters are pockets of serum (the liquid part of blood) that form between the top layers of skin when they’re separated due to repeated pressure or friction.

Blisters are our body’s way of trying to heal the affected skin, as the serum contains protective antibodies, which protect the underlying skin. Nevertheless, they can be painful, extreme, and can affect daily life.

How to Avoid Blisters

Blisters can be caused by a range of issues to do with your footwear and activity. By following these five general rules, you can minimise your risk of developing blisters.

1. Wear shoes that fit

Go shoe shopping in the afternoon, when your feet may be slightly larger than in the morning, to avoid choosing a size too small. Consider the natural shape of your foot while choosing your new shoes – some fashionable styles can be quite narrow, which will inevitably end in blisters for those with wider feet.

2. Choose footwear that won’t rub

When buying shoes, look for leather uppers that are flexible and will mould to the shape of your foot better than synthetic fibres. Leather is also breathable, which helps avoid excessive sweating. Strappy summer sandals can dig in to hot, swollen feet, so choose styles with wider straps and adjustable fastenings to allow for some flexibility.

3. Wear the right type of socks

Blisters can form due to folds in socks irritating the skin, so make sure your socks are the right size and are suitable for your activity. Sports socks will often cushion vulnerable parts of your feet and wick away sweat from your skin. Sometimes, wearing two pairs of light socks can be better than one pair of thick socks when hiking or on a long walk.

4. Avoid letting your feet stay wet

Having sweaty or damp feet inside your shoes will increase the risk of developing blisters. If you’re going on a long walk, take a towel to periodically dry your feet, and change socks. If it’s a very warm day, try to avoid heavy, enclosed shoes that will encourage sweating.

5. Padding

Some of the above advice might not be helpful if you have to wear a certain style of footwear as part of a uniform. In this case, protecting vulnerable areas with padding patches to cushion the skin can help reduce friction even in the most uncomfortable footwear and help prevent blisters.

What If You Get a Blister?

If you are one of the unfortunate ones who develops a blister, remember to protect it using blister plasters to avoid infection. Try to avoid wearing the same, uncomfortable footwear that will worsen the problem, and keep the area clean and dry.

If you regularly get blisters or you have blisters that are red, painful and don’t heal themselves, visit a podiatrist for a foot health check to identify any underlying problems and get suitable treatment. Contact Feet By Pody’s friendly London-based team today to book your foot check-up.