A guide to blister prevention and maintenance

Keep your feet healthy and happy with these blister prevention and maitenence tips  Credit: Allsport
Blisters count. They qualify as "real" injuries too, just like sprains, strains, and shin splints.

Aside from being painful, blisters can alter your running form and lead to even more "real" injuries hip and leg problems due to irregular .biomechanics

The trick is to prevent blisters from ever occurring. Take these measures before you develop a pesky bubble or two:

Wear the proper shoes
Make sure your shoes are the right size and shape for your feet. Consult a sales person at your local running store if you're not sure what shoe is best for you. Break your shoes in well before you attempt speedwork or a long run.

Wear the right socks
Socks made from synthetic blends are best. Try 100 percent nylon or polypropylene. Avoid all-cotton socks. Cotton and wool absorb moisture, which causes friction between your foot and the sock.

Reduce friction between your feet and your shoes
Apply petroleum jelly to sore areas, or rub your foot with talcum powder or dry soap flakes before you slip on your socks. If a sore area becomes so painful during a run that your form is affected, stop. Walk home if necessary. Resume running only when you can run unaffected by the blister.

How to lance a blister
Follow podiatrist and veteran marathoner Ken Meisler's advice for maximum safety and minimum discomfort.

  • Sterilize a needle by heating it in a flame or boiling water.
  • Swab the area with a disinfectant such as alcohol or Betadine.
  • Prick the blister in several spots. Do not remove the loose skin.
  • Press lightly on the blister with sterile gauze to remove any excess fluid.
  • Cover with gauze or hydrogel dressings.
  • If the blister refills, soak it in Epsom salts and lance again.

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