Updated: Jun 21
Everyone has experienced a blister. These fluid-filled, raised areas are so common that you hardly think of them as an injury. But blisters on your feet, if you’re a senior or diabetic, can be dangerous.
Blisters, while they can be the result of infection or other conditions, are usually the result of friction. The rubbing of your feet against shoes, even through good socks, irritates. That irritation can eventually cause the body to respond with separated skin layers filled with fluid. A blister.
Ill-fitting shoes are more likely to cause blisters, but spending a long time on your feet in any shoes can result in too much rubbing and the appearance of a blister. As a senior or someone with diabetes, you need to take extra care to both avoid blisters and treat them properly if they occur.
Diseases related to aging, including heart, liver, kidney, and lung disease, can all cause edema. Edema is swelling and decreases the health of your skin. If you have edema and develop a blister, your body may have a hard time healing.
If you have diabetes you may have nerve damage resulting in a loss of sensation in your feet. Reduced sensation makes you less likely to notice friction and irritation that causes blisters. Once a blister forms, diabetes makes it more difficult for your body to heal even minor injuries.
Any condition in which the blood flow to your feet is restricted turns a blister into a hazard.
A wound, even something minor like a blister, which your body isn’t able to swiftly heal has the potential to become infected. Once a blister becomes infected, it’s even harder for it to heal and the infection can spread.
Infections need prompt treatment to avoid losing toes or feet to amputation.
The best way to deal with a blister is to avoid it altogether. Checking your feet daily for signs of irritation, keeping them clean and moisturized, and getting regular foot care can all help you avoid blisters. Wearing shoes that fit well, and socks, also reduces the chance of irritation.
Treat Your Feet
Blisters can be scary if you have reduced circulation in your feet. They can quickly go from minor irritation to major infection. Regular visits to the podiatrist can keep your feet healthy and give you peace of mind.
If, despite your precautions, you do end up with a blister on your foot, consult your podiatrist. Receiving good, early treatment increases the likelihood that your blister can heal without complications.
Your podiatrist is an excellent resource for dealing with the hazards blisters pose to your feet. They can examine your feet for signs of irritation and help you formulate individualized plans for maintaining all aspects of foot health.
Blisters don’t have to be a scary part of your life. You can avoid them with careful foot maintenance and treat them at the first sign of irritation with help from your podiatrist. Even if you’re a senior or have diabetes, you can beat the blister!