Nothing is worse than trying to get into the swing of running, only to be sidelined because of a huge blister (or two) on the bottom of your feet. Whether you are a beginner or a veteran, someone who runs in shoes or someone who runs barefoot, blisters are just part of life for a runner. So how do you get rid of blisters?
Since it is inevitable that as a runner you will get a blister, it is important to take the necessary steps to help limit the amount of blisters you get, reduce the severity of the blister and heal your feet up as quickly as possible so you can get back on the pavement running your heart out!
Why Do Blisters Form?
The first step in dealing with the dreaded blisters is to learn what you are up against and why blisters form in the first place. Blisters are basically an area of your skin that is “bubbled” up and filled with a clear liquid called a serum. This serum is natural protection made by your body to help protect and cushion the underlying skin that is damaged.
Blisters can be formed by extreme heat or cold, friction and skin infections. However as a runner, the most common cause is friction sweat and heat from your shoes. If you are a barefoot runner, blisters can be caused by heat coming off the pavement or even friction.
There are a few ways to prevent blisters from happening in the first place or a least lessen the amounts of blisters you get while training/running.
One solution is to wear proper fitting shoes that are neither too tight or too loose. Too tight and your feet will be cramped and rubbing up and down along the inside of your shoes. Too loose, and your foot will be moving too much while running. You want shoes that are snug! ComfortShoe.com has a great article on the proper way to fit shoes to your feet.
You can also purchase special socks that help keep your feet dry while running. You can find these at any local shoe store or even places like Target.
If you normally get blisters in certain areas of your foot you may want to address these areas with items like Blister Block or MoleSkin, which can add a bit of cushioning to your feet. You can also use talcum powder or Body Glide to help keep your feet dry and friction free.
There is also thoughts that a great way to keep an already formed blister from hurting while running (or even preventing blisters in certain areas) is by covering the specific area with duct tape!
Chances are you are reading this post and want to get rid of the blisters you are already unfortunately have on your feet after a long hard run.
Just recently, I was walking barefoot in the middle of the afternoon for about a 1/2 mile walk. I was walking on pavement that was hot, but nothing I couldn’t handle.
I come home after the 20 minute walk and realized that my foot has not just one, but like three blisters, from the heat on the pavement.
Treating these blisters are similar to the way I would treat any blister I have on my feet.
First – I clean the area of the blister as much as possible (soap, water, you know the usual). I try to make sure I dry and air out my feet as much as possible, usually by pat-drying with a towel and air drying.
Second – If the blister has not popped, I usually pop the blister myself. To do so I heat up the tip of a needle on the stove (to help kill any bacteria) and swab it with some rubbing alcohol. I then slowly puncture the blister so that the serum slowly pours out. I then pat dry with a paper towel and air out again.
Third – I mix this up a bit, but when I have Aloe Vera I usually apply it to the blister and surrounding area. Aloe Vera and its Vitamin E is known to promote healing of your skin. It is also very cool and soothing so it’s great for after a run! I keep applying every so often.
Fourth – if I have to walk or run around at all, I use a band-aid or MoleSkin to just protect the area. Once I am done moving around, I remove the band-aid and apply some more Aloe Vera.
That’s it! The blister should go away in a few days and most of the time (for me) is pretty painless after a good nights rest.
UPDATE: I actually just found a new interesting way to help out with any skin injuries. Banana peels! Just place the inside of the banana on the injured area (blister, bruise, burn, etc) and hold it there (or tape) for a few hours or even while you are sleeping. I’m going to write a post on why this works so well and will report back soon!
Are there any tips that you have about preventing or healing blisters quickly? Let me know in the comments below! I love would try out some new tips!