Sore, discoloured, and uncomfortable. Does this sound like your skin? The most common and irritating injury from running and other types of physical activity is blisters. Blisters are pockets of liquid that are formed on the outer layer of the skin which are caused from forceful rubbing actions. The rubbing action is frequently caused from athletic footwear that is used during periods of exercise.
What is often unknown to many people is that blisters are actually created by the body to help prevent any further injury or damage to the area, and help protect the skin underneath. These liquid filled bubbles can happen on any part of the body, but the most common areas are located on your feet, or hands.
Although the rubbing of material most commonly causes blisters, they are also caused by the contact with chemicals, first- or second-degree burns, and possible skin or medical conditions. Whatever the case, read on for several solutions you can try to get rid of your blisters!
1. Clean the area.
The very first thing you should do when you are trying to treat your blister is to clean out any dirt, chemicals, or anything else that may get your blister infected. Whatever other option you choose to help heal your blister, cleaning it should be your number one priority, and the first step for you to take.
2. Try not to Pop or Drain.
Your best bet to help heal your blister is to not drain or pop your blister. Often doctors and medical professionals will tell you to keep your blisters the way they are. Draining your blister is not directly harmful to you, but the way you do it along with how you treat it afterwards is the most damaging and dangerous aspect to your healing process.
Popping and draining your blister is extremely harmful as you can infect the area with the object that you use, as well by the way you treat it afterwards.
3. Air it Out.
If your blister has not yet popped, the best treatment is to keep your blister airing out and in the open, or have it loosely bandaged. This is to help prevent your blister from popping which can prevent any infection to the area.
By keeping your blister open and aired out, it will essentially speed up the healing process. In the case that a bandage is required for walking purposes, place your bandage at the sides of your blister so that the top part of your blister is open and exposed to the air.
4. Keep on top of Bandaging.
In order to ensure the cleanliness of the affected area and to also avoid infections, you should change your bandage a minimum of once per day. Each time you add a new bandage to the area, it is a great idea to clean, dry, and add the antibiotic cream to the blister and the area around it.
To ensure the best healing process, try to let the area breath for some time between bandages instead of soaking the damaged area with antibiotic creams.
5. Elevate the Area.
Another crucial aspect to the healing process is to elevate the area that contains the blister. By elevating the blistered part, it will help reduce any inflammation. Elevating your foot, hand, or whatever area has a blister will actually help reduce the discomfort or pain that the blister is putting you through.
The best way to do this is to ensure the area is cleaned, and elevate your foot (if located on your foot) above your waist. By doing so you will ensure the proper drainage of all the fluid, as well as help the increase of fresh blood to the area that will help increase the recovery process.
6. Protect yourself with padding.
In the case that you need to perform your daily or necessary physical activity, whether it be a walk, run or any type of sport such as hockey or soccer, a good idea would be to set some cushion on the area that will be in the shoe or boot during this activity. The use of extra padding will help the area that is prone to rubbing.
The cushion or extra padding you apply to the blister can be in many forms. A great option for your extra padding could be in the form of adhesive foam padding that can stick just like a bandage. What is often seen in professional sports is that the athletes will actually use a regular bandage to cover the blister, and then just add as many foamy gauze pads as they need to reduce their pain. Another great option is a thick, padded athletic sock or glove.
Not only will these cushioned pads help reduce your pain temporarily; they can also help with the prevention of infection. These pads will act as a second layer of bandage and help keep unwanted dirt or anything other unwanted items away.
7. Pop your blisters.
This method is not the best and healthiest of ways to get rid of your blister, but if your blister is absolutely killing you, and you feel that you cannot live another minute without relieving some pressure, popping your blister can be done if it is performed correctly and safely. Another reason you may choose to drain your blister is when it is in an awkward or uncomfortable spot, like the back of your heel, for instance.
If you do decide you need to pop and drain your blister, you must first clean the area, sterilize a needle with rubbing alcohol or soap and water. After this, poke a small hole in the edge of the blister, gently squeeze the puss out, wash the blister again to prevent infection and gently dry, smooth the skin flap down (do not remove it), and add antibiotic cream and then close with a bandage.
You can also go to your doctor and ask them to drain it for you if you absolutely need to. This will make the process more hygienic and safe for you. Because not all blisters are the cause of physical exercise, it might also be your best bet to visit the doctor to have your blisters examined to determine what their cause might be.
Blisters are often the most common injury that occurs from any physical activity or sport. Whether you are out for a nice stroll in the park or playing an intense game of hockey, the development of a blister might be on its way to ruining your day. These pockets of liquid do hurt very much, but you should always remember that they are created to protect the skin beneath. Whichever method you do choose to get rid of your blister, remember that keeping your blister clean by washing it often and adding antibiotic cream are crucial to the safety to you and you blister!