A blister is an area of fluid that develops between the top layers of the skin. Most runners, walkers, and hikers know that blisters on the feet are annoying and can occur at any time.
The hard impact from the ground for long distances is hard on the feet. Feet that are tired and in pain can make physical activity pretty difficult. Our feet endures a lot of wear and tear when it supports our weight.
An overweight individual will feel even worse with the added weight than those who have maintained a healthy lifestyle and conditioned their feet for exercise. Blisters can be prevented by wearing proper socks and shoes as well as staying hydrated.
Foot blisters are often caused by friction against the skin. When there’s friction, the outside layers of the skin rubs against each other, separates, and fills with pus. While blisters are common, they should not be taken lightly. Blisters can easily turn into more serious infections. Diabetics in particular need to pay extra care to treating them since their recovery is slower.
Wear Good Socks
Picking the right socks to wear is important. It can make a big difference in blister prevention. Socks offer the needed support for the feet. They dry sweat faster and lessen the amount of friction leading to bad blisters. Wear socks that fit properly.
Loose socks can slide down your feet and bunch up. Tight socks on the other hand will put additional pressure on the feet. It is also better to avoid 100% cotton socks. They do a good job of soaking up sweat. However, the moisture gets trapped and creates friction causing blisters. Instead, try for hybrid socks, such as diabetic crew socks, that are made from cotton and nylon.
These provide better air flow and the material dries moisture faster. Sometimes, wearing two pairs of socks can be the solution. The idea behind this is that friction can occur between the two socks instead of on the skin.
Choose the Right Shoes
One of the most common causes of blisters is poor footwear. Since every person’s feet is different in size and shape, getting the right fit is crucial. Poorly fitting shoes can create issues. Shoes that have too much room in them or are too big can cause the feet to shift around and chafe.
For this problem, try wearing thicker socks or replacing the shoes all together. Also, new shoes can create blisters the first few times they are worn because it takes time to break them in. It is best to gradually increase the amount of time exercising in new shoes until the feet are accustomed to them. In addition, shoes that are too small or have protruding edges on the inside can also create problems and need replacement.
Stay Properly Hydrated
Another source of problem is hydration. Maintaining the proper level of body hydration prevents swelling in the feet and therefore keeps them from chafing against the shoes. Moreover, appropriate levels of hydration stops swollen toes from rubbing against each other. Another problem can occur with over hydration and high levels of sodium intake.
The two together causes excessive fluid retention and leads to swollen feet and toes. This again will cause friction and blisters. Lastly, dehydration and losing too much sodium from sweating will also cause fluid retention and result in feet and toe swelling.
Keeping electrolyte and hydration levels balanced is the key to preventing blisters that are caused by swollen feet.
There are many ways to get a blister. Fortunately, there are preventative measures to stop them from occurring. With some know how and proper action, you can continue with your exercise without having to worry about blisters putting an end to your fun.