Friction blisters commonly occur on parts of the feet, including the heel, mainly due to wearing tight or ill-fitted shoes that irritate the heels for a very long time.
When such irritation continues, certain damages are caused to the upper layers of the skin, causing a build-up of fluid beneath the damaged layer.
Friction blisters on the heel can significantly affect your day-to-day activities, making it difficult to walk or perform simple tasks.
In this article, we’ll discuss the causes of friction blisters on your heels, how long they should last, and how you can treat them.
What Is A Friction Blister?
A friction blister is a pocket of fluid that builds up beneath a damaged layer of the skin due to friction of repeated rubbing on that area.
The friction blisters at the back of your heel are caused mainly by repeated friction on your feet.
The fluid fills up to protect the layer beneath from contamination and infection and help the wound heal faster.
Blisters on the heel are the most common types; they can be painful and sometimes take a more extended period to recover.
Friction blisters can occur in nearly all age ranges, including males and females.
Some factors like heat, prolonged or vigorous exercise, and tight and uncomfortable shoes can worsen the state of the friction blisters on your heel.
What Causes Friction Blister On The Heel?
Several factors can cause friction blisters on the heel, including continual rubbing for an extended period.
The following factors can make you more susceptible to having friction blisters on your heels:
Badly Fitted Shoes
Wearing poorly fitted shoes that rub against the heels of your feet during movement can cause damage to the skin in the area.
This damage, in turn, causes the skin to separate, giving room for blisters to form.
Exercising even after a blistered heel will mainly exacerbate your blisters and prolong your healing process.
Heavy weight lifting, strenuous activities, and anything that can put pressure on your heel or foot can give you blisters.
How Long Does Friction Blister On Heel Last?
Most friction blisters heal on their own within one to two weeks, including friction blisters, if you do not pop them.
The fluid formed underneath the skin will gradually help new skin form beneath the wound before it finally gets reabsorbed.
Your friction blister will heal in at most two weeks. However, if it does not, there might be a possibility that it is infected.
How To Prevent Friction Blister On The Heel From Popping
To keep your blisters from popping, there are several things you can do to give it that extra bit of protection:
Cover It Up
Cover your blisters with a loosely wrapped bandage or gauze to prevent exposing them to external contaminants.
You can make use of any regular adhesive application or a delicate piece of clothing.
Try not to wrap it too tightly because your blisters need a little bit of air for them to dry out.
Do Not Apply Pressure
Avoid applying pressure on your blisters. Too much friction or pressure on the area can make the blisters pop, causing infections.
Wear Comfortable And Well Better-Fitted Shoes
Tight shoes should not be forced on your blisters, and wearing properly fitted shoes should be the first line of defense.
Better still, you might want to consider wearing a slip-on until your blisters are completely healed.
How To Prevent Friction Blister On The Heel
The best way to prevent a friction blister on your heel is to address the underlying causes.
This involves avoiding anything that could cause friction and pressure on your heel.
Uncomfortable shoes should be avoided, and intense weight lifting exercises should bereduced.
Additionally, you might want to consider wearing an insole to provide extra padding and reduce friction.
What To Do When A Friction Blister On The Heel Pops
If your blister pops, you do not have to panic. Here’s what you should do:
- Wash your hands with soap and mildly warm water.
- Drain the fluid gently without removing the thin layer of skin above it.
- Clean the area and use an ointment(petroleum jelly)on it.
- Cover the blister with a bandage or gauze.
- Change the gauze occasionally till it heals.
How To Treat A Friction Blister On The Heel
Treating a friction blister on your heel requires you to care for the blister and leave it to heal.
Naturally, your blisters are meant to heal on their own within two weeks. Extra care can be given by:
- Using antibiotic ointments like Neosporin or polysporin to fasten the healing process.
- Cleaning the blisters to avoid contamination
- Covering the blisters with a band-aid occasionally
If your blisters still do not heal after giving them utmost care, pay a visit to your physician.
Blisters are common to a lot of people; having them should not make you panic.
You can take care of your blisters by leaving them to heal on their own and protecting them as much as you can.
Always remember to keep the area clean and cover it up till it’s completely healed.
Healthline: How to get rid of a friction blister
Healthline: Blisters on the feet
MedicalNewsToday: What to know about friction blisters