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Blisters on Legs

Athletes are bothered by frequent outbreak of leg blisters but it can affect non athletes too. Get more information on blisters on legs and feet from this article.
Bidisha Mukherjee
Last Updated: Apr 23, 2018
Blisters on feet or legs are eruptions on the skin surface that are filled up with watery fluid. The size of these bumps may vary from tiny to large. Some of these blisters can be quite painful while some of them can be absolutely painless. You can find them anywhere in between the knees and the feet. They are formed when there is a lot of friction on the skin repeatedly due to rubbing of shoes or clothes. It can happen due to some underlying health condition as well.
What Causes Water Blisters on Legs?
Leg blisters are a common occurrence when an athlete wears a new pair of shoes or a walker participates in a marathon or long hill walks. We all have got blisters on feet after wearing new slippers. These blisters appear in those areas where the foot or leg is rubbed against the surface of the footwear every time you take a step for walking or running. As a result, the outer part of the skin get detached from the inner part and the space in between these two layers is filled up with lymph fluid. This is a harmless condition, and is a protection mechanism of the body to prevent any kind of tissue damage.
Itchy blisters can develop on the legs because of some allergies. This allergic reaction is triggered after the skin comes in direct contact with any particular fabric or chemicals, or some other allergens. If the legs are exposed to extremely high temperature when you are out on a beach or woods, then there is a possibility of outbreak of leg blisters.
Poor blood circulation in the legs can lead to blister formation. Arterial problems is a major cause that prevents the proper flow of blood in the lower part of the body. If the flow of blood is not normal in the legs, then the skin becomes undernourished. For this reason, any open sores on the skin surface takes a lot of time to heal and water blisters develop on the legs. Diabetic patients are prone to circulation problem and get diabetic ulcers on legs. Problems like varicose veins, swelling of veins in the legs, etc., can lead to inflammation of the skin near the affected vein and thus blisters may form.
Water retention in the legs can be responsible for these blisters. The fluids that get trapped under the skin surface tend to take the form of blisters. Excess intake of salty foods, hormonal changes, premenstrual syndrome, pregnancy, side effects of some medicines; are some of the main causes of water retention in the body.
How to Heal Water Blisters?
When the size of the blister is small, there is nothing to worry about and it will heal up on its own. Just keep the area clean and dry, and the watery fluid will be absorbed into the body gradually. Till then, you can put a bandage around the blister to prevent any unwanted friction. In case, the blister is large and painful, then the fluid inside it has to be drained out. For this, take a sterilized needle and then prick an end of the blister after cleansing the area thoroughly. Press the broken blister with a gentle hand to facilitate proper drainage. Then apply an antibiotic cream on the treated area and cover it up with bandage. Change the bandage at least once a day, or as and when required.
Consult your doctor if the leg blisters show signs of infection; or you have a medical history of circulation problem, or diabetes, or water retention. The doctor would prescribe medicines to treat infected blisters. Vitamin supplements can also be given to the patient to improve circulation that ensures faster healing. If the blisters are caused due to circulation problem, then resting the legs in an elevated condition will be helpful. Doctors may recommend low intake of salt in order to check water retention.
The best way to prevent the formation of blisters on legs is by reducing the friction of the skin. This can be achieved by covering up the legs with extra long socks. It is also important to keep the skin in a dry condition. This is because blisters tend to develop on moist skin surface more easily. To keep the skin dry, you should change your socks more frequently and use foot powder.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.