Sports is a very important part of life. They refresh you, keep you in shape and in the process you have fun and socialize. Sports use various parts of your body including the feet and you cherish your feet because they take you many places. They hold your body in an erect position while walking, running and doing other exercises. However, when your feet do not function well, you feel sad and unable to complete your duties as desired. Among other things that can cause discomfort to your feet and to you generally are blisters. Blisters are bubble-like swellings filled with air or fluid on the surface of the skin. If they are infected, they became filled with pus. They can be found anywhere on the body but are rather common on hands and feet; this writing will mainly focus on running blisters on the feet though.
Causes of blisters
(a) Contact with detergent. Some people are allergic to specific detergents and if their skin is in contact with that detergent, blisters can easily form on that area of the skin.
(b) Excessive heat for example from sunburn and fire, damages the skin and is very painful.
(c) Friction to the skin may cause blisters as the skin is a very sensitive organ which may be damaged if the feet rub against shoes for long. This also distorts the alignment of cells on the skin that can prevent entry of pathogens. Stop immediately if you feel a hot area on your feet while exercising or playing a sport to prevent further damage.
(d) Medical conditions such as chickenpox may take long to heal and cause running blisters.
Best ways of preventing blisters
• Better shoes. The best way to prevent blisters is to wear comfortable shoes that fit well and enable you to walk or exercise freely without being irritated. Large shoes make the feet slide and constantly bumping inside the shoes creates a suitable environment for the upper part of the skin to swell hence blisters. On the other hand, small shoes have no space causing friction as one struggles to fit into them. As a sports person, you should invest in quality shoes meant for the kind of exercise or activity you are doing. Avoid heeding to the notion that shoes open up with time, for it is better to just buy shoes that fit well and avoid blisters. The way you lace up your shoes can also prevent blisters. If you notice that you have a high tendency of getting blisters, simply crisscross the laces then use loops at the end to prevent your feet from sliding around
• Quality socks. The right pair of socks can prevent blisters in many ways. On normal occasions wear thin socks that regulate your feet’s moisture. However, there are activities that require thicker socks like hiking; it is okay to wear such but change them regularly. Remember to wash your socks after participating in any sport activity to prevent infections that can cause blisters. Moreover, the right material of the socks can also prevent blisters. Synthetic materials like nylon dry quickly and hold their shape, you do not have to worry about the sock stretching too much.
• Applying skin products. Skin products like petroleum jelly can prevent blisters as they reduce friction on the skin. The more effective skin products are those made purposely for blister prevention. You can have such products in your gym bag when you go for your exercises but remember to apply them on clean feet.
• Covering the affected area with athletic or duct tape. This is best used as the last resort before seeing a doctor. Several layers of the tape are made on the affected area of the feet. When the shoe rubs against the feet, it is the layers that slide against each other instead of the skin preventing blisters from forming.
They say prevention is better than cure. Blisters are painful and cause embarrassment as you remove your shoes in public. They can even interfere with your exercise routine if they develop on sensitive areas of your feet. It is therefore advisable to wear the right shoes, socks, use skin products or cover affected/susceptible areas to prevent blisters from running. Seeking a doctor’s opinion once infected is the best action to take, more so if you are scared of draining the fluid or pus by yourself as this takes guts to do. Avoid bursting the blister because it can lead to the spread of the infection. All in all, avoid blisters in the ways discussed above and enjoy sports; do not allow something you could have avoided put you down.