No matter what sport you’re into, nothing should stop you from hitting your personal goals! Unfortunately, something as small as a foot blister can do just that. And it happens a lot, even to top athletes. While not as serious as a broken bone or a sprain, blisters shouldn’t be taken lightly. They can affect your concentration, decrease your performance cause overuse injuries to your knees and ankles.
- Blisters appear when your foot slides or shifts in your shoe, causing friction while you run or perform other athletic activities.
- Poor-fitting shoes can cause rubbing and friction which can lead to the formation of blisters.
In this article:
- Blisters in Sport
- Preventing Sports Blisters
- Treating Sports Blisters
Blisters in Sport
Sports related blisters form when your foot slides or shifts in your shoe, causing friction while you run or perform other athletic activities. Fluid collects between the irritated layers of skin tissue and swells, forming a bubble.
Blisters develop very quickly and can take several days to heal. It’s always best to care for or treat the blister as soon as possible to prevent the pain from getting worse. If they break open, they can become infected, making the pain even worse and further delaying your recovery.
Blisters can affect anyone whether you are an athlete, sport enthusiast or just on a mission to get fit. Activities like running, hiking, golfing, skiing, playing soccer or tennis, climbing mountains or dancing, can all cause blisters to strike on any part of the feet. From the top of the toes (and in between them) to the back of the heel, blisters can stop you in your tracks and nobody needs that. This situation can be avoided.
How to Prevent Sports Blisters
Luckily you can easily take preventative measures:
- Keep some blister bandages in your sports bag.If you notice red spots on your feet after a workout or a run, these could be your ‘hot spots’ or your blister prone areas. Cover them with a blister bandage.
- Use foot powder or change socks regularly to keep your feet dry. Sweaty feet create the friction that leads to blisters. Use foot powder lightly as too much can actually contribute to blister formation.
- Carry a spare pair of shoes with you when you train. Poorly fitting shoes that are either too tight or too big will increase rubbing or friction on the feet and toes. If you feel the hint of a blister coming on, stop and switch shoes and apply a cushion to the sore spot.
How to Treat Sports Blisters
Once you get a blister, action should be taken immediately to minimize the pain and maximize recovery. After gently and carefully cleaning the area, apply a waterproof blister bandage to cushion the blister and protect it from harmful bacteria and dirt.
Never deliberately burst a blister, but if it does open, clean it with mild soapy water, soak it in a salt water footbath for 10 minutes, and apply a fresh blister bandage. Once the pain is under control, you can get back on track with your goals.
Blisters from sports activities are common but can be prevented by using the correct footwear, by keeping your feet dry or by wearing a blister cushion on trouble spots. If you do still develop blisters during sports, treat them as you would any other friction blister.