Advice on Blisters

Karen asks...

Do you have any suggestions to heal blisters on both heels? I went for a 2 hour hike with my family today and wore bad shoes and now have two blisters. I tried to run this afternoon but was unable to jog on the spot without pain. The blisters have popped, can you suggest anything to make them heal quickly so my running training is not affected too much?  I am doing the intermediate training for the half marathon in May and have been doing well with my training and am worried this may cause issues.

As I was unable to run this afternoon have changed my rest day to today instead of tomorrow and hope to be able to run as per schedule this week.


Karen :)

Lee's response...

Hi Karen,

After a blister has formed, you are left with a tricky situation. The best thing to do is to keep it dry, protected from further damage and uninfected. The dry part is tricky because as runners, most of our blisters occur on our feet which get very sweaty. So start your run with dry, preferably non-cotton socks will help but also having another pair of socks to change into immediately after you finish running will benefit you.

Bandages also help you keep your blister dry and also protected from further damage. However, as with socks, sweat pools in your feet and if you don’t change the bandage often, it will actually do the opposite of its intended purpose and your blister will take longer to heal.

The final and most serious danger with a blister is the risk of infection. Our feet touch everything and even in our own homes we are exposed to germs and bacteria. These usually will not cause a major problem, but keeping the wound clean with anti-bacteria creams is a good.

So keeping your feet dry, protected and clean is the best way to a quickly recover with a blister.

When running make sure it is well covered and protected. It will be sore for 3-4 days but will settle after that if you do everything right.



David's Question:

Hi Lee,
I have been running for 8 years. During that time I have had minor injuries which have not really bothered me. About twelve months ago I started getting blisters mainly on my outside little toe on my right foot. In my last couple of races I started getting blisters on the bottom of my feet and the sides. It has got to the point after a race I have trouble walking for a week. Do you have any advise on what I may be able to do to keep enjoying my running. I have been running in this brand of running shoes for about 3 years and like the shoe as it is light and comfortable.

Lee's Response:

Hi David,

It certainly sounds to me like it is the shoes only because it has been in the last 12 months. Shoes change their designs all the time with the same model but they may have a narrower or wider fit depending on the newer model. Are you wearing the same socks or new socks?

There are a couple of things that you can do:
1)    Place vaseline on your feet and between your toes so that there is not any friction between them and they slide rather than rub OR
2)    Place Elastoplast or tape on your feet.

I myself in marathons used to blister badly so I would place Elastoplast on the bottom of my feet and sides and place vaseline in-between my toes and that helped solved the problem for me.

Good Luck,

Peter's Question:

Hi Lee,

Just wondering about your thoughts regarding blisters near the big toe? Do you reccomned just standard blister pks (which am doing –not really helping)? Would you suggest need to see GP/podiatrist? I’m guessing it’s a pretty common problem.



Lee's Response:

Hi Peter,

You could go to a podiatrist but you can get a blister pad known as "second skin" and this can work. I would always place one of them over the blister and then put Elastoplast tape over that so it would not come off or move too much when running.

Good Luck,