These demons of the sporting world are highly under-rated. Make no mistake, a blister the size of a ten cent piece can stop the most hard-edged runner in their tracks. In my own experience in the world of professional football, I’ve found there is a shroud of shame for admitting a blister is affecting ability to play. 

Working with elite sporting teams, I see the first hand evidence of the tortuous effects of blisters; raw skin exposed to running loads in-excess of x4 body-weight; the open lesion rubbing on socks, footy boots and runners results in excretions of transdermal fluid and blood. Think blue-bottle sting and you will get the idea of the drama around a supposedly innocuous blister. 

So here are blister management tips:

Avoid the temptation to “pop” the blister. The majority of blisters will heal on their own. To help healing, dry the blister out by using an antiseptic agent such as Friars Balsam or disinfectant agent like an alcohol wipe and liberally apply to the area.

Allow blisters to dry out: wear open shoes, even flip flops and make a trip to the beach. Salt water is great for blisters. 

When wearing shoes, cover the blister with a light gauze or dressing so if the blister bursts there is a barrier between the open wound and socks.

In the event of the blister bursting use a mild antiseptic e.g. Betadine ointment and cover the open blister. If you are diabetic, be especially careful and seek medical advice.

To repeat an occurrence try commercially available blister preventers that are available at the pharmacy. Or try simple strapping tape that acts as a second layer of protection.

Remember a blister is caused by friction and the main culprit is poorly fitting shoes and ill-fitting or not suitable socks. Get these two ingredients right and you will minimise blister risk. 

For more info on blister there is a great resource at Blister Prevention.