Questions about Blisters (reposted)

Discussion in 'Ask the Docs' started by MicheleStitches, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. MicheleStitches

    MicheleStitches Barefooters
    1. North Carolina

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    I originally posted this question yesterday on another forum and Barefoot TJ suggested I also post it here to see what the Docs say.

    Questions:

    --What is the proper way to treat blisters?
    --Should I prick with a pin and drain, or just leave them alone?

    Background:

    I am still a beginner. I've been going barefoot as much as possible (80-90% of the time) for the last month or two and started running barefoot a few weeks ago. I have hardly any arch to my feet. Today I walked an hour (briskly and barefoot, mostly on paved surfaces) with my hubby and did some short running intervals too, (about 8 runs of only 60-90 second spurts). Now I have a few blisters, both on my left foot. One is on the pad of my toe (the little piggy right between the one that had roast beef and the one that cried "Whee, whee, whee!" Ya' know, it's the piggy that had none.) Another blister is long (about 2 inches) and narrow running along the outside edge of the heel-pad of my left foot (not on the back of the heel, but along the left side below the ankle bone.) I am thinking that this one may have come from the walking, or as a reactionary repositioning due to the fact that I could feel the blister coming up on my toe again--I got one there the last time I ran barefoot. I am very consciously trying to NOT heel strike as I run.

    More Questions:

    --This blister on my heel is not up at the surface with a thin layer of skin on top but rather, it is below all the thick skin I have worked so hard to build up on the pads of my feet. Does this mean that I am going to lose some of that hard-earned protective skin? :(
    --Why might I be getting blistered on the pad of my next to last toe on my left foot? Any suggestions on something I am doing wrong that would make this happen?
    --Do I need to wait until the blisters heal before I run again?
     
  2. Stoplookinatme

    Stoplookinatme Barefooters

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    I'm certainly no doc, but I feel your pain with the blisters. I can't say what will work for you. I can only say what worked for me. I was getting blisters for a long time and I couldn't figure out why. There are three things that helped me.
    1) On the coach forum someone had a rule which was don't run any further than you can run without getting blisters even if it's a quarter of a mile. Boy do I wish someone told me this sooner.
    2) Blisters are almost always caused from form errors.
    3) For me specifically I needed to lean forward and lift my feet quickly.
     
  3. Dr. Gangemi_SockDoc

    Dr. Gangemi_SockDoc Barefooters

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    Blisters are going to form from some improper gait mechanics. You gait can be imbalanced from any stress - running shoes, old injuries, dietary stress, training too hard, etc. So muscle imbalances occur and blisters form. Ideally you need to let them heal up which may mean bandaging them up a bit. I personally think popping/draining them is fine as long as you keep the area sterile so you don't get an infection. When I went from running in minimalist shoes to barefoot I got a blister under my right big toe from the new gait - in this case it was good as that is where my foot should have been landing anyway. So I backed off a bit til' it healed and now I never get them anymore.
     

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