How to Care for A Skin Blister


by: Linda Hepler

It’s the first day of practice and you’re happy to be wearing your baseball cleats again. But when you take them off, you
notice a painful blister on one of your heels. How did that happen?

Blisters are caused by friction – which is when two surfaces rub against each other. Friction can be helpful in some situations, like when you use your bicycle brake to slow down. But when your skin rubs against the back of your shoe, it can be a real pain!

Blisters are a common sports-related problem. When sports equipment rubs the surface of the skin continually, the top layer of the skin separates from the second layer of skin. Then fluid fills the space between the layers of skin to provide protection from the friction. This is the little bubble that you see on the surface of your skin.

Some athletes consider blisters to be the price you pay for playing sports, but there are some things you can do to avoid blisters. Here are some ideas:

• Make sure your equipment fits properly – Are you wearing last year’s cleats? It may be that your feet have grown and you need a bigger size.

• Try wicking socks – When your feet sweat, the moisture softens your skin and makes it more prone to blisters. Moisture wicking socks (found in sporting good stores) are made of synthetic fabric that wicks the moisture away from your skin. Many of these socks are also padded in the areas where people tend to get blisters.

• Tape your foot – If you get blisters in a certain area, you can put a piece of tape or moleskin on the sensitive area to protect it. You can also do this on areas that have begun to get red, before a blister forms.

If you do get a blister, it’s important to keep it from getting infected. The best way to do that is by leaving it alone to
heal. You may need to use a different pair of shoes or use moleskin over the blister during practice.

Don’t pop the blister yourself. If it is very large and painful, check with your mom or dad. It can be safely drained and
you can learn how to prevent infection while the area heals.

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