Deroofed Blisters On Feet: Cause, Preventions & Treatment
You know the feeling...
You've got a blister but there's nothing you can do about it.
So you carry on, scrunching your toes, tilting your foot, limping a little, anything to take the pressure off it.
But it gets worse and worse and when you finally take your shoe off... ouch... deroofed blister!
Small deroofed blister on back of heel
Or maybe even this... eeewww!
Nasty deroofed blisters on back of heel
What causes a deroofed blister?
Quite simply, unabated blister-causing forces.
If you keep walking or running as a blister is forming, and you do nothing to reduce pressure of reduce friction levels or the amount your bones are moving within your foot, your blister is going to deroof. You'll be left with a raw blister blase.
3 Ways to stop your blister from deroofing
1) Add a protective layer
This will serve as protection from anything rubbing on your raw blister.
Don't put tape over your blister. While you'll stop your blister from deroofing initially, when you come to take that tape off, it's going to take the blister roof off with it, leaving you with the very problem you're trying to avoid.
Use an island dressing instead, like a bandaid. The adhesive part sticks to the surrounding intact skin to keep it in place, but not the blister roof itself because there's an island of non-adherent absorbing material in the middle.
Learn more about island dressings.
2) Eliminate pressure
The best way to prevent your blister from deroofing is by eliminating all pressure. By wearing shoes that don't touch the blister (eg: thongs or scuffs for blisters on the toes or back of the heel). This will allow the blister to resolve in its own time. In reality, this is not always possible, like if you are in a race situation or miles from support. Or if your blister is under the ball of your foot or between your toes.
Alternatively, you can try and reduce pressure. For example, donut pads. By cutting a hole in a piece of thick orthopedic felt / moleskin and adhering it over the area so the blister is in the cavity, pressure and movement against the skin can be avoided or at least minimised. This will keep the blister roof intact.
3) Lower the friction level (ENGO patch / lubricant / powder)
Reduce the friction level between your shoe and sock. This is blister prevention (and deroofing prevention) GOLD. Why? Because you allow the sock and skin to move as a single unit so the sock actually protects the skin. Watch this video to see what I mean. Or you can reduce the friction level between your foot and the sock (lubricants, powders, moisture-wicking socks). It's not quite as effective but better than not addressing the friction level at all.
Learn more about reducing friction levels.
Treating a deroofed blister
In a word ... hydrocolloid blister plasters! Watch this video below for more information. You can pick up hydrocolloid plasters at pharmacies. Just make sure they’re sterile. This is important, considering they are treating raw weepy wounds that could easily get infected.
Learn more about hydrocolloid blisters plasters.
Is it ever a good idea to deroof a blister?
I don't think so. Not unless there is so much dirt or infective material under the torn blister roof that you can't remove with a good flushing with water or saline (salt water).
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