24 April 2010

Running: the problem with blisters

Over the years I have taken part in a number of marathon events. Although I am not prone to blisters (losing toe nails is my problem), a number of my friends are. Below you will find some useful information on hydration and blister prevention/ treatment, written by my husband Clive Lathey MSc Sports Medicine.


Hydration
  • Dehydration impairs performance and health.
  • Fluid loss during exercise dependent on exercise duration, intensity, temperature and humidity. Body size and fitness levels also affect loss.
  • Pale to very pale yellow urine is an indication of good hydration. Dark yellow urine indicates advanced dehydration.
  • Always start exercise well hydrated. Continue drinking at regular intervals- ideally every 15mins. The aim is to match intake of fluid with the amount of fluid lost.
  • Exercise- more intense or lasting longer than 1 hour- solutions sodium + carbohydrate (Sports drinks), can speed up water absorption and provide additional fuel.

Blisters

Prevention
  • Always dry your feet; particularly between toes.
  • If you have moist feet, use surgical spirit daily to reduce sweat and toughen feet daily for 2 weeks prior to event.
  • Try and wear socks containing natural fibres and turn socks inside out to avoid irritation from thick seams.
  • Make sure shoes fit correctly. There should be a gap of approximately 1.5cm between the big toe and the end of shoe.
  • Use plasters over areas prone to friction, such as: heel, big toe and little toe.

Treatment
  • Cover blisters with plaster or blister protector.
  • Do not burst blisters. This can lead to infection and, what's more, the fluid inside a blister aids healing.
  • If a blister bursts, clean it with warm salty water. Apply sterile antiseptic dressing and keep the affected area dry as possible until it has healed.
  • Black toenails usually resolve. The nail may fall off and discolouration can last 12 months.
  • If a blister is very large and painful, seek professional medical advice.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments are moderated. If you would like to leave a comment, you can do so below.