It’s not just winter putting our feet back into enclosed shoes, we have some fierce events coming up!
With the Maximum Adventure Race Series June 1st, PAYCE Sutherland 2 Surf on the 21st of July followed closely by the Sutherland Half Marathon on the 27th of July we have many things to consider in regards to our feet carrying us the distance.
A big concern is those relentless BLISTERS.
Blisters are so painful and self limiting, yet so many people excuse them, some even expect them!
Blisters are absolutely unnecessary and you really, REALLY do not have to put up with these common pests!
Blisters are just another way of our body saying “Hey, I really hate what you’re doing to me here, so I am going to let you know somethings wrong and start fixing the problem behind the scene”. The “scene” being that fluid filled, puffy sack. This is a protective mechanism the skin provides so the injured skin underneath can begin to get some TLC (tender loving care); someone’s go to do it!
No other body part sustains the high coefficient of pressure and friction as much as feet do. Which is why it is so important to address internal and external factors creating blisters.
Causes can include:-
- Trauma; such as that from ill fitting footwear or the wrong socks (fit or material)
- Poor skin integrity; too much or not enough moisture in the skin
- Foot deformities or bony prominences; bunions, lumpy heel bones, clawed toes ect.
- Bacterial or fungal infections; highly irritable and weak skin is prone to blistering.
Prevention is going to be your most powerful tool against these merciless blisters.
1. Not only should your shoes fit well but your SOCKS should fit just as grand. From the toes all the way to the cuff of the sock should be neither tight or loose. We want to reduce the friction of any materials on our skin, so just as you’d get your shoes fitted correctly, fit your socks just as well! You can ask us about the fitting of both if you’re ever unsure of what to look for and if not more importantly, what to AVOID.
2. On the topic of SOCKS. Merino wool is going to be your best friend, especially on those long walks, runs or even big work days. Merino wool actually works to wick the moisture away from your feet keeping them in a more optimal environment for longer. Cotton actually holds moisture next to the skin increasing the risk of more nasty rubbing.
Now, how can The Podiatrist help!?
1. After locating those high pressure areas on your feet or toes that are vulnerable to blistering, they can be easily protected with various different materials and devices. Not only do they provide a cushioning effect, they work to offload the area and give those sensitive areas a rest. Custom made for you, Otoform devices can provide instant relief!
2. CALLUS is that hard, dry skin that builds up adding more unnecessary pressure onto the healthy skin underneath or next to. Callus is a common culprit for causing blisters. Removal of this callus is crucial and can be safely and effectively removed.
3. It’s all about keeping the integrity of our skin and its many layers as pristine as possible! Applying a moisturiser that contains UREA (a naturally occurring compound that exfoliates and moisturises skin) is great at providing a barrier for the skin, keeping it strong and resilient against shear forces. Frequency of application, required concentration of Urea and reliable brands are just a few hot tips we can provide you with.
4. Before those big events you may want to consider TAPING your feet and or toes into a more functionally desirable position. Clawed, hammer or mallet toes are common deformities that tend to rub on shoes causing nasty sores and blisters. It is actually possible to put these toes where they should sit and behave! Taping can be highly beneficial in avoiding irritable spots anywhere on foot.
5. Never ever, ever should you have to break in your SHOES! Getting that perfect fit should never be underestimated. Understanding where and how your feet should be sitting in your shoes is a common misunderstanding. And just when you think there is no better shoe for you, we can throw in a game changing lace-lock as well.
So you haven’t read this blog in time and your crippled with blisters....
1. COMPEED Blister packs can be found at pharmacies such as Priceline. These nifty skin savers provide a medical grade technology called “hydrocolloid”. Acting as a second skin they support the natural moisture balance, reducing pain and increasing the healing rate.
2. Blisters can get big and angry, fast! If they become unmanageable or show signs of infection it’s best to bring them in for clean and safe removal, followed by a suitable dressing and ongoing management if need be.
Now, that will get your feet across the finish line!
Picture 1 - https://www.runnersworldonline.com.au/blisters/
Picture 2 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgL4bWtNiWM
Anneliese joins Health Associates as a podiatrist working Monday and Saturdays.
She holds both a Bachelor of psychology and podiatry and has dedicated herself to studying full time for 7 years.
As a podiatrist she combines her proficient knowledge of human mechanics and ability to connect and engage with her patients to deliver outstanding clinical outcomes and an exceptional customer experience.
Anneliese loves health and fitness and enjoys encouraging her patients to maximise their health.