By Rehan Iqbal
If you are an enthusiastic runner, you're sure to have had the experience of having your race ruined because you've developed a blister. How can you avoid this problem? In this article, we review the common causes of blisters and provide sound advice to help you prevent and treat blisters effectively. Read on to learn more.
What Causes Blisters?
Friction is the main culprit in the formation of blisters. Usually, if you have friction between your sock and your skin, you'll get a blister. If your feet are very sweaty or wet for some other reason, your skin will soften. This makes it even more likely that you'll get a blister.
If your shoes don't fit right, you will also be prone to developing blisters. Shoes that are too tight will rub a blister, and so will shoes that are too loose. Additionally, if you tie your shoes very tightly, you could cause a blister.
Arm yourself against developing blisters by following these smart tips:
How Can You Treat Blisters?
If you get a blister on your foot while you're running, you'll want to do something to stop the pain. You may be tempted to burst the blister and cover it, but doctors recommend that you simply cover it with a Band-Aid or a pad and tape to prevent further damage and lessen the pain.
If you're running in a marathon or other organized race, there will be medical stations where you can and should stop to get professional attention.
Breaking blisters open can allow infection to develop. If left alone and kept safely covered, the blister may break open on its own. Alternately, the swelling will simply lessen and the blister will disappear in a few days.
If you must break open a blister, you should use a sterilized needle to make a small hole and allow the fluid inside to drain out. You can sterilize a needle with fire or with rubbing alcohol, or if you have the time and the equipment you can boil it for five minutes.
Be sure to clean the blister with alcohol before piercing it with the needle. After breaking open and draining the blister, clean the entire area with rubbing alcohol. Apply an antiseptic cream and cover it with a Band-Aid or similar wrapping.
Be sure to change the dressing every day and keep the recovering blister clean. Watch it carefully, and if you see any signs of infection (e.g. redness, swelling or pus) you must see your doctor.
Note that if you have diabetes, you should never burst a blister. You must see your doctor for any foot injury to avoid life-threatening complications.