Thumbs up to climbing, workouts, running and everything fitness, but, a big thumbs down to blisters. They hurt. They are annoying, pesky little boogers that show up at the worst possible times. According to Merriam Webster, blisters are a “fluid filled elevation of the epidermis.” They can be caused by friction, heat, or other damages. But let’s face it, however we get a blister, they are painful and lingering. So we are here today to help you 1) heal those blisters as fast as possible and 2) try to avoid those gremlins in the first place.
So you have a blister, what happens next? According to the American Academy of Dermatology, DO NOT POP THOSE BLISTERS! By popping or draining the blister, you increase the risk of infection. Blisters will usually heal themselves within a week or two, so do your very best to avoid the popping temptation. You’ll be good to go in no time!
But, what happens if the blister pops all on its own? Don’t fret! To avoid infection, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends washing the wound with soap and water, before covering it with antibiotic ointment and a loose gauze pad. Try to leave the excess skin on top of the blister. It protects the baby skin underneath and prevents further pain.
In my own experiences, blisters can be debilitating. As a cross-fitter, I have had blisters break open and bleed in the middle of a workout. Those things take a hot minute to heal, preventing me from getting back to workouts as soon as I would like. I have found that caking the blisters in antibiotic cream keeps the blister and scabs moist, preventing them from tearing open all over again. I also wrap my hands with prewrap and athletic tape before putting on lifting gloves.
Blisters can be painful, so I’m all about avoiding those little guys. Mayo Clinic suggests wearing well fitting shoes and moisture wicking socks to prevent blisters on your feet. Doubling up on socks is another alternative if the first two don’t seem to cut it. When it comes to your hands, gloves can help reduce lifting blisters. But, the best advice I have is to start slow and build up calluses. By allowing your hands time to adjust to a new lifting program, you will save yourself from many painful little blisters. Because trust me, blisters deserve a thumbs down every single day.
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