As a runner, you probably know the pain and discomfort commonly associated with blisters. It might sound like a silly issue at first, and most people make the mistake of “soldiering” through the pain, and ignore blisters.
However, this approach could actually lead to some issues and it might make the situation worse, because blisters could quickly turn into something more painful and potentially dangerous, particularly in certain situations.
Blister are mainly caused by frictions against your feet, which will cause the outer layers of your skin to stretch out and fill with fluid, resulting in inconvenient bumps and bubbles, which can break easily and pop as you keep running.
For instance, if you are a runner intent on performing an endurance race, a blister left untreated might develop into something more serious. Particularly when running for long periods of time in a very hot environment, where bacteria and germs are plentiful, your blister might end up bleeding and your cut might become infected.
Thankfully, there are many things runners can do in order to prevent, avoid or treat blisters. The first thing to do is pay particular attention to your running gear, such as the shoes and socks you are using.
There is no universal standard when it comes to finding the right socks. It is extremely important for you to find the best socks for your needs, as they act as the first barrier to prevent blisters and minimize friction between your feet and your shoes. Socks can also help you stabilize your feet and provide additional support. In addition to that, socks can also help prevent blisters because their texture can actually insulate your feel and prevent moisture, which is usually an additional cause of friction and blisters.
It might seem like an overkill suggestion, but if you have experimented with all sorts of socks and still having problems with blisters, it might not be such a bad idea to actually try wearing two layers of socks. Doubling up could minimize the friction even further and essentially double the advantages of wearing socks. This might not be the most optimal solution on a hot summer run, but hot feet might still be better than painful blisters anyway!
If you notice that your feet have areas and spots that are particularly vulnerable to blisters, you may also consider using bandages and tapes in those particular areas, in order to further shelter your feet and prevent inconvenient blisters. Using bandages as well as socks, will provide an even more focused barrier to prevent friction and shelter some specific areas that seem to be more susceptible to blisters. Many major manufacturers also provide specific products aimed to prevent or treat blisters. For instance, there are many powders or lotions that can be applied to your feet in order to further minimize friction. Lubricants, such as vaseline (or vaseline-based production).
Arguably, choosing the right shoes is equally as important. Shoes are perhaps the most important thing any runner should worry about, as they aren’t just there to prevent blisters. Wearing the right shoes can also help prevent other issues, such as spine and bone problems (minimizing the way each step hits on your spine with proper cushioning) as well as minimizing fatigue levels.
What should you do if you do have a blister? The best thing to do is probably to avoid breaking it, in order to prevent any risks of infections. Blisters could even go away if you avoid subjecting them to further friction. The most ideal solution would be to protect the blister with sticker band-aids or adhesive bandages with a porous and large surface. Such bandages would allow your blister to be exposed to air and breath, while providing a protective layer, which would hopefully further minimize any additional friction.
In some cases, you might find that a blister is pretty painful to just leave it alone, or that perhaps is already pretty battered down. If popping them and breaking them seems like the best solution, make sure you do so in the safest possible way. If you have disinfectants such as alcohol or other solutions, you can rub it on a clean piece of cloth or fabric, and proceed to pop your blister with it. Once you broke the blister, it is a great idea to further disinfect it, and cover it up with band aids, to prevent infection and shelter your exposed wound.