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Those Bothersome Blisters!

blisters image
blisters

Blisters can actually be prevented.

There isn’t a walker, hiker or runner in the world who hasn’t experienced painful blisters on their feet that have thrown a “monkey wrench” into their sports, exercise or fitness routine. Not only do they cause pain at the blister site, compensating for the pain can lead to unbalanced walking or running, which can result in back pain or other secondary injury!

Many sports and exercise enthusiasts just look at them as an inevitable result of participation in their normal routines… so they just deal with them. But what causes blisters in the first place? Friction, generally from shoes rubbing against the skin. This friction causes separation of the two top layers of your skin and then fluid forms between the layers to protect the area from the effects of further friction.

But there are ways to avoid painful blisters in the first place and things you can do to care for them that minimize pain and infection if (when!) you do get them!

Avoiding Blisters

There are a number of steps you can take to prevent blisters from occurring at all:

  • Make sure your feet are completely dry before you put on your socks! Use powder, if necessary, to ensure this.
  • Use thick dry socks that “wick away” moisture from your feet. Don’t skimp:  your socks can actually be more important than your shoes when it comes to blister prevention!
  • Tape troublesome areas, like heels, that are blister prone to prevent friction. Some athletes even use “duct tape” because its shiny back allows socks to “slide,” preventing friction. Petroleum jelly, although a bit messier, works as well. However, it wears off quickly – so beware!
  • Make sure your shoes fit properly! Sounds simple enough but you’d be surprised at the number of people who wear ill-fitting shoes. Make sure you wear the socks you will use when purchasing athletic shoes. Remember too that your feet swell during the day, so shoes will fit a bit snugger at night.

Treating Blisters Once You Have Them

Sometimes, no matter how you try to avoid it, you will still get a blister. The small ones basically don’t require any treatment and they will heal on their own. The actual blister is its own best protection against infection.

Larger blisters tend to be more problematic because they can get infected. You can drain these by sterilizing a needle and poking a small hole on the edge of the blister. Squeeze out the fluid and cover it with gauze or a band aid to keep it clean and germ free. Repeat as needed, to keep the area clean.

Prevention is the key! Take the suggested steps outlined above to avoid blisters in the first place and keep your feet blister-free!

 

Related posts:

  1. Fitness and Foot Problems
  2. Faster Than the Speed of Light
  3. Check Your Alignment!
  4. Is the Glamour of High Heels Worth the Pain?

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