What causes blisters?

Blisters occur due to shear stresses within the skins layers. Increased friction forces stop the skin moving whilst the skeletal structures underneath continue to move. This out-of-sync-motion increases the stresses which, damages the cellular layers causing a splitting between the top skin layers. Within this split fluid fills creating the bubble like appearance.




Friction is caused when the skin is in contact with an object such as socks, insoles, rough/long toe nails, corns, callus, shoes and grit/dirt/sand, etc. Increased pressures on the skin e.g. tight fitting shoes can increase the friction which can lead to more blister formation



Moisture - Moisture will increase friction between the skin surface and whatever it is in contact with, usually socks. Any excess moisture on the surface of the feet or in the socks will increase your chances of blisters


Heat - Skin temperature will also affect blister formation. Normal movement of the foot within the confines of the shoe will increase the temperature of the skin - the greater the friction the more heat produced. A rise of 4ºC speeds up the rate of blister formation by 50%.


blister prevention


The aim is to condition your skin to become strong and stretchy prior to any event or increased activity:


Toughen up

Over time our skin can adapt to increase our ability to withstand 'shearing'.

  1. Spend time on your feet, progressively increasing the main activity you are training for.
  2. Rub the foot and areas susceptible to blistering with:
    • Zinc sulphates
    • Potassium permanganate footbaths
    • Surgical spirit

It can take between 6 months and 6 weeks to toughen feet up.


Increase Suppleness

When toughening up we do not want so sacrifice suppleness, so it is important to use creams which increase the elasticity of the skin but without increasing the moisture (moisture is BAD)! Preparations to Increase suppleness include:

  1. Nok (Shea butter) cream
  2. Coco butter etc


book appointment at profeet

867-869 Fulham Road
London SW6 5HP

call 020 7736 0046

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