Treat That Blister, Mister!

Or sister, as it were.  This is an equal opportunity blog.  It’s just that for some undoubtedly Mendelian reason, I seem to see more male feet with blisters in my NYC podiatry practice than female.  Who knows, perhaps it’s a Y chromosome linked trait.  And let’s not even talk about the genotypically ambiguous types.

Anyway, it’s summer here in NYC, and today it was hot.  According to the weatherman, it was at least 130°, before calculating the Gore factor of air conditioner exhaust.

Ok, enough science already, let’s talk podiatry.

It’s a good time to get outside running, biking, walking, playing sports, and occasionally just being lazy.  And as my NYC podiatry patients become more active the feet get hot.  And as we all know, that means more sweat.  As the moisture evaporates from the skin, the surface temperature decreases, which, in a nutshell is the entire thermoregulation system of the human body.  Fairly ingenious to be sure.  However, the activity and heat generate a considerable amount of friction on the skin, which is exacerbated by the sweat.  This leads to a breakdown of the skin tissue, not unlike a burn, which manifests as a blister, seen commonly in runners and other meshugenah athletes.

So what to do now?

Well, don’t panic.  Blisters are very common and happen to even the best athletes, as witnessed by the preponderance of podiatrists wrapping blistered feet at the finish line medical tent at any number of elite, and not so elite races.  Try not to pop that blister, if possible.  As it stands, a blister is a sterile cover, and the chance of an intact blister becoming infected is very low.  Within a few days the blister will dry out.   If the blister appears tense, or it seems to be in danger of bursting, then use a sterile sharp instrument to pop the blister and remove all tissue and cover with a sterile bandage and antibiotic ointment.  And of course, have the area checked out by your friendly neighborhood NYC podiatrist.

See you in the office.

Dr. Ernest L. Isaacson