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Blister management in preparation for Fun Runs around Melbourne!

Blister management | Podiatry Clinic  | Foot Specialists

This month, there are many fundraising and awareness walks in Melbourne, including The Bloody Long Walk, Mother’s Day Classic and MS Walk Run + Roll. Whilst these are all fantastic events to be a part of, they can be incredibly problematic in the development of blisters and other acute foot pain.

Blisters form as a result of constant and consistent rubbing against the skin from an external force, which results in the breakdown of the superficial skin layers. The formation of fluid under the top layer of skin occurs as this is your body’s way of protecting the deeper layers of skin from further damage as well as beginning the repair process.

There are numerous factors that contribute to the development of blisters, which includes;

Inefficiency in biomechanics (increased twisting/pivoting)

Inappropriate footwear for activity type

Use of new shoes (mainly revolving around the lack of flexion allowed through the forefoot which leads to increased movement at the back of the shoe)

Bony prominences within the foot


Poorly cared for nails and hard skin

So what can be done to prevent the development of blisters?

The biggest piece of advice we can provide is to prepare yourself well for the event (which does not mean go for one long walk the day before the event). Allow yourself at least one month of dedicated training for the event, with an emphasis of beginning slowly and gradually building up from there. Not only is this valuable for your fitness levels, but it will also provide a good opportunity to test out your shoes (particularly if they are new). Whilst walking, be conscious of the development of any ‘hot spots’ which are areas of heat on the skin within the shoe. Consider these a precursor to the development of blisters in which you should begin to treat carefully.

In addition to the identification of hot spots, other tips to prevent blisters include;

Keeping your nails trimmed and ensuring good skin condition

Consider purchasing antimicrobial and moisture wicking socks

Having appropriate dressings on you ready to go (we will post some examples of preventative dressings this week).

The key to appropriate dressings in the preventative management of blisters is to ensure adequate protection of the hot spot without overdoing the size and bulk of the dressing as this may increase the pressure within the shoe. A hypoallergenic tape can provide enough protection whilst remaining slim.

Good luck in your preparation if you’re completing an upcoming walk or run.  If you have an urgent questions or queries please contact your podiatrist.

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