Causes of blisters in the arch
The foot actually has three arches but only two really get affected by blisters, the inside of the foot has the largest arch which you will be more familiar with and then there is the one on the outside of the foot, which depending on your foot shape, you might not have even noticed? The function of the arch on the inside of the feet are to shock absorb the forces applied to the feet from the ground and provide a spring like push for propulsion of the next step whereas the arch on the outside of the foot receives the body weight and stabilises the foot. Both are really important for walking and running, so considering how much work the arches do it’s not surprising blisters can present on both.
Footwear- depending on whether you have” high or low” arches this may be affected by the footwear, low arches may get more pressure from the pre-existing arch in the footwear and high arches may not get enough support from the pre-formed arches in shoes?
Orthotics- You may have had some orthotics prescribed for you by a podiatrist and they may need modifying by an increase or decrease in the height of the arch, a change in orthotic material maybe required, or maybe an off the shelf orthotic that is not supporting enough? Speak to your podiatrist about these blister causes.
How to prevent blisters under the arch of your foot
Engo patches– are great for the reduction of friction on these areas, they can be put on the insole of the shoe or the orthotics.
Socks – darn tough socks have a very good cushioning on their sole which will help reduce the pressure on the arches
Armaskin sock liner– are brilliant at reducing friction to these arch areas
2toms blister powder– is another great friction reducing product
Orthotics- prescribed by a podiatrist for a biomechanical fault that may be causing these blisters, maybe from the dysfunction of the big toe joint or the foot type you have already. A podiatrist will be able to work that out for you.
What is a blister “hot spot”?
Hotspot – If you have recognised a hotspot on the skin in time before a blister has developed then a simple island dressing will be enough to reduce the shear on the skin and hence reduce the blister from forming further and if you have them, apply an engo patch on the insole as explained in the prevention of blisters. Deflective padding works really well here to reduce the pressure on the joints.
Treating Bubble blisters
Bubble Blister – If the roof is still on then treat it in a similar way to a hotspot on the skin, by applying a sterile island dressing, if the blister bursts (pops) when the dressing is on, then you know the dressing is already sterile and will prevent an infection from getting into the open sore. If you decide to pop the blister, then follow the instruction on “how to pop your blister” and treat it as a roof torn blister. Engo patch if you have them on you, applied to the insole with deflective padding applied to the feet.
Treating broken blisters
Roof torn blister – now this type needs its roof (skin) to stay in place, the roof maybe broken but your own skin is still important for healing, so use a sterile saline swab to clean the wound first, then apply the povidone iodine stick over the torn area as an antibacterial action and apply a sterile island dressing. A deflective pressure relieving padding as shown in the video to prevent any further pressure and friction. .
Treating “popped” blisters
Roof off blister – Hydrocolloid dressing is the only option for this stage of blister, swab the area with saline to make sure the wound is clean and dry before applying the hydrocolloid, add extra hyper fix tape to anchor it down and apply deflective padding if continuing an event or activity. Hydrocolloid dressings are great wound healers and Podiatrists have been using them for a long time in the management of ulcers, with great success. They are not used at any other stage of the blister treatment and can cause blisters if not applied at the correct stage. I like to use some fleecy foam padding over the dressing as it just gives a bit of cushioning to the blister area, which is always very painful.
Treating infected blisters
Infected blister this is the stage of blister that you need to recognise quickly, a bacterial infection has invaded the blister and it could look red, swollen, there may be yellow or green pus in the blister and it could smell? Extending into the skin around the blister might be red and hot with red lines tracking away from the blister. You may feel unwell in yourself and swing from having the chills or feeling quite feverish. This is the time to get medical help as the infection can easily travel into the blood stream causing the infection to move into the leg and cause sepsis.