Blisters, calluses, corns in sports

Synonyms in a broader sense

Mechanical skin damage, clavus, callus, bladder, callus, corn


The bladder is a raised, fluid-filled cavity that lies directly under the cornea or in deeper layers of the skin.

Various skin irritations can lead to the formation of blisters:
Skin allergies, sunburn, burns, herpes infections, insect bites, pemphigus diseases (autoimmune diseases).

Pressure, rubbing or rubbing causes blisters to form in sports. A distinction is made between march bubbles, pressure bubbles and rub bubbles. Repeated mechanical damage leads to the formation of calluses (so-called callus) with the formation of a central keratotic (horn) plug, = corn (so-called. Klavus), which resembles a foreign body and presses painfully on the surface with a thorn reaching into the subcutaneous tissue.

Read more about blisters on the finger here

Causes and symptoms

Blisters on the foot

Blisters on the foot are usually caused by tight-fitting shoes, especially new sports shoes or hiking boots often cause problems. Through friction and pressure, the body reacts with a bubble to cushion the affected area. The ankle, toe, heel, places where socks are wrinkled and the area around plantar warts are predisposed. A warm, humid climate promotes blisters on the foot. Long, unfamiliar (e.g. sporting) exertion can often result in blisters.
At first, the area becomes sore, painful and appears red. Then later, fluid-filled bubbles appear. Open wounds that can bleed are particularly uncomfortable. Infections often occur here. They should be covered and padded, preferably with special blister plasters. If the bubbles threaten to burst on their own, piercing them can be considered. In the further course, the wound then scabs to slowly heal. To prevent blisters on the foot, it is important to wear correctly fitting shoes and not wear new shoes for too long. You should also take care to keep your feet dry and to prevent pressure points with tape or plaster.

Read more on the topic: Heel pain

Pointed stress on the toenails can lead to repeated bruises (so-called tennis toe) or even to a bloody nail solution (see: bruise under the nail).

Read our article about this Blisters on the foot!

Blisters on the hand

Blisters on the hand can have a number of causes. Also belong here mechanical loads in addition, e.g. Heavy gardening, which is often associated with tools, instruments or sports equipment (e.g. when tennis, Golf etc.).
In addition, bubbles can also be a reaction to chemical allergy substances. The vesicles are rather small, the hands are very red and the vesicles itch and wet. One speaks here of one allergic contact eczema or dyshidrosis.
People who already suffer from other allergies are particularly affected. These so-called atopics also have an allergic reaction to otherwise harmless substances. Many different substances trigger contact eczema, such as nickel and substances in creams and ointments. For professional reasons, hairdressers, painters and cleaning staff are often affected. Contact with the allergenic substances should be avoided at all costs. Some medications can also cause eczema as a side effect. After the blisters heal, the skin heals flaky. If the blisters are caused by mechanical irritation, gloves should be worn whenever possible for future work. Pricking the blisters is painful, and the sores can often become infected. If possible, the bladder should be covered.

Blisters in other places

Blisters and painful calluses can of course also appear in other places with unusual or increased stress, e.g. behind the ears or on the bridge of the nose by pressure from glasses (so-called granuloma fisuratum).


The diagnosis results from the patient survey and the typical appearance.


The best therapy is prophylaxis. This includes wearing work or sports gloves. Jewelry, e.g. Rings should be at Sports generally be filed.
Suitable, comfortable footwear including stockings made of skin-friendly and breathable material that should not be too tight and leave enough space for the toes. The feet should be kept dry. If you have a strong tendency to sweat, we recommend using powder or creams. Can also prevent blisters, calluses and corns Deer tallow on the skin be applied. Deer tallow makes the skin more elastic and therefore more resistant.
Calluses or corns should be softened, preferably with special tinctures or ointments (salicylic acid, e.g. Verrucid®, Verrumal®) and removed with a pumice stone.

In principle, patients should not undertake self-treatment Diabetes mellitus (Diabetes) or poor circulation in the legs. These patients should consult a doctor or podiatrist (medical podiatrist) if they have blisters, calluses, or corns.

All others who suffer from blisters, calluses and corns should see a doctor if they have inflammation or open areas with the emergence of yellowish, purulent secretions and severe pain. Even if self-treatment does not improve after a week and corns that are larger than 5mm, the doctor should be consulted.

Should you puncture bubbles?

Blisters are the body's reaction to unusual pressure or friction on the skin. Blisters are painful and can restrict movement. They often occur when putting in new shoes or on unusually long walks. Warm and humid climates favor the formation of bubbles. In addition, blisters often develop after heat, for example from sunburn or burn injuries. Here the injury often extends beyond the superficial level of the skin and you should definitely refrain from piercing or opening the blisters because of the risk of infection! Germs can very easily penetrate the open wound and become infect.
Smaller bubbles you should not prick either, because the intact skin (the roof of the bladder) protects the sensitive area underneath from infections. You can get through it Blister plaster cover additionally.
Blisters that have already opened can be treated with a disinfecting ointment. Then it is essential to avoid further pressure. In pharmacies there are specially padded plasters (e.g. Guttaplast ® or Compeed ®). With these patches it is sometimes possible to continue the sport with an already existing bladder. These plasters are also very suitable as prophylaxis for areas known to be at risk.
Superficial large blistersYou can also pierce those that tighten. There are some precautionary measures to be observed so that the sensitive area does not become infected. Use only clean, previously disinfected, thin needles to pierce the bladder. There are different techniques. Particularly large bubbles can be relieved through two holes at the respective pole. The liquid should now drain. After drying, the affected area must be masked with a plaster. The skin over the bladder should not be removed as a protection against infection. The patch can be removed overnight to speed up the healing process. Of course, friction and pressure should still be avoided.
In general, blisters do not necessarily need to be treated by a doctor. However, the emergence of yellowish fluid and very slow healing are warning signs and should be clarified. Especially diabetic minor injuries to the feet should definitely be shown to the attending physician: Due to poor wound healing, they are dependent on thorough foot care.

Course and prognosis

Usually blisters, calluses or corns heal after 4-7 days with appropriate treatment, otherwise a doctor should be consulted.

If blisters, calluses, corns appear again and again in the same places and despite the above prophylactic measures cannot be prevented, a toe misalignment, e.g. a Hammer toe, the cause and should be corrected surgically.