If you are a keen walker or runner, how can you prevent blisters?
Blisters are a common injury during summer months. They are more common when we go without socks and lose that protective layer between our skin and shoe.
The first thing to know is that blisters are NOT formed by shoes rubbing! If your shoes rub, you will lose the top layer of skin, but it won’t cause a blister. A blister forms because of damage UNDER the outer layer of skin – a shearing force between the skin and bone. This happens because your bones are moving with every step you take, but the skin is held in place by a sock or shoe. This means the underlying soft tissues must stretch excessively between the moving bone and the static skin and will eventually tear. Fluid fills the damaged area and a blister is formed.
To prevent them forming, we have to control the amount of movement, or reduce the ‘stickiness’ between the skin and shoe. This can be done by
- wearing a thin sock,
- adding a protective layer to the skin (moleskin can help)
- ensuring a good shoe fit
- adding a slippy layer to the shoe to stop the skin from sticking (Shearban patches work really well).
If you DO get a blister, the correct treatment is important. Compeed (or any other specialist blister plaster) should only be used in certain circumstances. If used in the wrong way, they can cause worse damage, and they won’t prevent a blister either.
The only time to use Compeed is when the roof of the blister has rubbed off and you have the red, sore blister base exposed. In these occasions, Compeed work brilliantly at providing the correct conditions for new skin to regenerate. But, if used on an intact blister, they won’t provide the necessary protection and because they are so sticky, they could take the roof off when you remove it, which can significantly delay healing.
If your blister is still intact, it is better to add a felt aperture pad around it with a non-adherent dressing over the top. This will take the pressure off your blister and allow the fluid to reabsorb.
So, if you are a blister sufferer (and not everyone is – it depends partly on your skin type) do check out this website where you will find all sorts of hints and tips on blister prevention. If you do develop one, there is a simple flowchart to show how different types of blisters should be treated which you can download by clicking this link Blueprintflowchart-1482037297858 (1).
We stock a wide range of products for prevention and treating blisters. We are always happy to discuss your concerns, dress your blister for you, provide pressure relieving pads and show you how to self-manage these painful areas.