These are very common blisters and ones that we see in clinic a lot of the time, they are mainly due to a biomechanical/ dysfunctional issue, where the function of the big toe has been compromised and there is an increased amount of pressure on that area of the toe causing increased shear and blisters.
How to help prevent these blisters
- Engo patches on the insole of your shoes under where the blister is on the toe, if you are unsure where the toe is relation to a the insole, then put a fabric plaster on the toe that is affected by the blister, mark it with a permanent marker pen and put your foot back in the shoe, the black marker pen should rub off on to the insole. Accurately marking the area of pressure on the insole, you can put the engo patch on the marked area on the insole.
- Poron insoles for the whole shoe, poron allows the big knuckle (MPJ) to work harder and therefore will require less demand of function of the (ipj) smaller joint under the big toe to do the work, when walking. This really is the mechanics of the foot anatomy, which podiatrists know very well, that if one joint doesn’t work very well, the body will ask the nearest joints to it, to work harder, otherwise we wouldn’t be able to walk at all!
- Silicone gel big toe sleeves. The sleeves are put over the whole toe, either with the end or not and they decrease the amount of shear applied to under the big toe.
- Armaskin socks- again will decrease the shear on that area of the big toe.
- Hoka oneone – running shoes and boots are designed with a large shock absorbing sole and a slight rocker in that sole. What this means from a functioning point of view is the big toe joint (MPJ) can drop into the shock absorbing sole without the jamming from a hard floor surface , allowing it to increase its workload therefore in turn, asking for less movement at the (IPJ) which is the area that is blistering. Less pressure- less shear- no blister formation. This is Biomechanics of the lower limb and with abnormal compensation, causing pain and issues with the feet and ankles.
- A Biomechanical Assessment would be recommended by a Podiatrist if all the measures above have failed to resolve the blisters on the big toe. They will be able to establish why the joint is experiencing an increase of pressure to cause the blister in the first place, the podiatrist may be able to make a simple insole or a prescription orthotic to solve the Biomechanical cause of the blister. You maybe also experiencing ankle, knee, lower back and sometimes neck pain which could very well be caused by the big joint dysfunction. I know this sounds very odd but this is a perfectly normal presentation of symptoms for a podiatrist to see.