Blisters. Urgh. I could fill this post with pictures of my minging post run feet but I will spare you all. Painful and super annoying, blisters are caused by friction when your shoes or socks rubbing against your skin. Ill-fitting shoes, seams on your socks and foot abnormalities can all cause blisters.
I tend to find I can get through marathon training (up to 20 miles) blister free – it’s that extra 6 miles that seem to leave my feet resembling bubble wrap.
You’re going at a speedy pace, throw in the added heat and moisture and it’s not a pretty party in your trainers….
After my last marathon, I suffered badly with them under my toenails – which required a doctor’s appointment, a big needle and a course of antibiotics and left me minus a toenail or two 🙁
So, what can you do to prevent them:
- Coat your feet with Vaseline this will form act as a protective barrier between your feet and your socks.
- Choose your socks wisely. Synthetic socks suck away the moisture from your skin. Cotton may seem more of a ‘breathable’ option, but it retains fluid.
Look for socks with a reinforced heel and toe area as this will help reduce friction.
I stupidly spent a tenner on a pair of ‘anti-blister socks’ worst investment ever! I swear by Primark trainer socks for training runs (the ones with the towelling bottoms) and hilly twin skins on race days.
- Size wisely: Your feet swell during long runs so never buy trainers that fit ‘just right’. I’d recommend going up by half a size or even a full size to allow that extra bit of room for when your feet swell. Trainers that are too small will cause blisters under the toes. There should be a thumbs width of space between the toes and end of the toe box. Your socks should fit smoothly, with no extra fabric at the toes or heels.
Treatment of blisters
Whilst most blisters don’t pose a serious health risk, left untreated they can get infected which is what left me with a green toe.
If you’ve got a small blister, just leave it alone. Pop on a blister plaster – it will dry out and heal on its own in a few days.
If you have a large blister you will need to drain it. To drain the blister, wash your hands, and use a sterilised needle to pierce the blister then carefully drain the fluid out by pushing gently with your fingers near the hole. DO NOT PULL OFF THE LOOSE SKIN!! Then cover the blister with a plaster to prevent bacteria from getting in.
The doctor also told me to bathe my feet in hot salt water.
A blister under a nail is best treated by a professional. You never want to deliberately remove the toenail.