Monday, November 17, 2008

Blisters: pop 'em or leave 'em?

Running this past weekend I got myself a couple of annoying rub spots on my feet that quickly progressed into blisters. That was uncool, as this happened on the first leg of the race. My theory is it happened because we were running on the shoulders of roads & highways that slanted a little bit. I had 2 pairs of shoes, one old and trusty and the other one fairly new - but a brand/type I have run in many times before and never blistered. Quite a few of us got blisters or sore spots that did not really make running superbly enjoyable.
But, when a whole team totally depends on you (hee hee), you can't let a few little inconveniences like blisters get in the way.
So I popped them (using the handy safety pins they give you for the race number), got the blister-juice out and let them hang out and air-dry between running legs. When it was my turn to run, I taped them up with cloth bandages that extended a little bit outside the edges of the blister, dapped body-glide around it and off I went. Really was not painful at all, and now 2 days later they are both 99% healed up, no pain, no issue.

There were some interesting reactions though, as some people that witnessed the popping seemed to think my entire leg would become immediately infected and flat out fall off. I discovered that there are 2 very distinct schools of thought when it comes to blisters:

a) the "pop and go" crowd
b) the "no pop but use body weight in neosporin" crowd.

Next time I get 2 matching blisters like that again, I am going to do a controlled comparison study on my own feet, popping one and neospore the hell out of the other one, and see what happens. My money is on the dirty safety pin.

How do you guys deal with blisters?

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