Blisters & Chafing
Chafing is usually caused by any activity that requires skin to repeatedly rub against another area of skin or article of clothing. Moisture can worsen chafing. The most common symptom of chafing is a painful stinging or burning sensation.
Causes of Blisters & Chafing
Blisters are caused by friction (rubbing), pressure or a burn. Your body responds to the friction by producing lymph fluid. As your outer layer of skin separates from the inner layers the space between them fills with fluid and the fluid builds up beneath the part of the skin being rubbed, causing pressure and pain. A single blister is often caused by:
- Friction: Blisters can develop when a surface rubs against unprotected skin. This includes:
- new or poor-fitting shoes or gloves
- changes in the fit of your shoes or gloves due to heat, moisture, friction or the way you walk
- increased pressure on your hands from using tools without gloves
- Burns: Blisters can develop when your skin is exposed to open flames, steam, or contact with a hot surface or excessive exposure to the sun (sunburn).
Other causes of blisters include contact with irritants (chemicals, plants or toxins); drug reactions, autoimmune diseases and infection. If you have multiple blisters or severe burning you should see your doctor immediately.
How to Prevent Blisters & Chafing
- Preventing Blisters: The first line of defense against blisters is to understand how your daily activities can result in a blister and take the necessary precautions to prevent blisters from happening. Identify the potential "hot spots" and protect them. If “hot spots” aren’t protected it’s important to cover the "hot spot" at the first sign of redness to prevent further friction.
- Your Hands: Be sure to start your activity wearing the right kind of gloves or protective gear. Examples include: well-fitting and moisture proof gloves for gardening or working with tools, or physical activities such as cycling, golf, baseball, or gymnastics.
- Your Feet: When buying shoes, make sure they fit properly. Make sure that there are no seams or other shoe parts that might rub. A little bit of rubbing or a small pinch in the store could add up to large blisters later. Remember, feet swell during the day so go shoe shopping late in the day for the most accurate fit. Keep your feet as dry as possible and change socks regularly to help prevent rubbing and ultimately blistering.
Treatment for Blisters & Chafing
- Blisters: You can treat minor blisters at home by protecting the blistered skin from further irritation or rubbing, keeping the skin hydrated, and guarding the skin against sweat and other irritants. This is important as "de-roofing" (taking the top part of the blister off) increases your risk of infection and can increase pain. While your blister heals, try to avoid rubbing or putting pressure on the area.
- Chafing: Mild chafing can often be treated by keeping the area properly hydrated (with appropriate lubricants) and protected from sweat or other irritating moisture.
- Skin-on-Skin-In both 1" squares and 3" circles- Skin-on-Skin uses an advanced formula to protect your skin as well as helping in the soothing and heeling of blisters and other skin issues such as bites and stings.
- 2 Toms® Blister Shield® - An innovative blister protection product for your hand and feet, 2Toms Blister Shield creates a frictionless surface on the hand or foot that reduces heat build-up, moisture and blister formation. It repels moisture to keep skin dry and blister-free, while also reducing discomfort..
- 2 Toms® Sports Shield® - Provides unsurpassed resistance to chafing and blisters, staying on skin for maximum protection. SportShield’s sweatproof formula can be used during the most vigorous of activities without coming off. This silicone-based product stops the chafing of thighs, nipples, underarms, and other areas.