Blisters are pockets of fluid beneath your skin that form as a response to friction. They can occur when you wear shoes that don't fit your feet properly. For many people, blisters are just annoying, but when you have diabetes, blisters are a more serious problem. Here are four things diabetics need to know about blisters.
Why are blisters serious?
Blisters are a concern because even minor foot problems can lead to serious complications in people with diabetes. This is because diabetes can damage both your nerves and your blood vessels in your feet.
Nerve damage makes it harder for you to feel pain, so you can develop a blister without realizing it. Blood vessel damage impairs the circulation to your feet, and when your feet don't get enough blood flow, they don't heal as quickly and are more likely to get infected. This means that a little blister can fail to heal and turn into an ulcer. This ulcer can then become infected, and if it's not treated, you may end up needing a foot amputation.
Can you treat blisters at home?
As a diabetic, you should never treat a blister at home. Blisters may be a minor problem for other people, but when you have diabetes, the risk is just too great. If you notice a blister on your foot, you need to make an appointment with your podiatrist right away.
How do podiatrists treat blisters?
Podiatrists can drain your blister to relieve any discomfort that you're feeling. Don't try to do this at home; your podiatrist has the training and equipment required to pop a blister without causing an infection.
After your blister has been drained, a dressing will be applied to hold the blister roof firmly against your skin. This will help it heal. Your podiatrist may also give you an antibiotic cream to apply to your blister to keep the wound from getting infected. You and your podiatrist will need to carefully monitor the blister for signs of infection, like redness and swelling.
How can you prevent blisters?
You can prevent blisters by choosing well-fitting shoes that don't rub against any part of your feet. You also need to choose appropriate socks; soft socks that wick moisture away from your feet can help you avoid blisters.
Blisters can be a serious problem for diabetics, so try your best to avoid them. If you develop a blister, see a professional podiatrist, likeDr. Maurice Levy, right away instead of trying to treat it yourself.