imagesMany athletes develop friction blisters on their hands or feet. These blisters can be very painful and uncomfortable and can force people to take time off from physical activities. One of the most frustrating experiences for athletes is when they are completely healthy other than several tender blisters that prevent them from playing the sports they love. Fortunately, there are ways to treat blisters as well as preventative measures that can be taken to keep blisters from forming in the first place.

Blisters form when tears in the skin allow fluid to seep in creating small, tender bubbles of raw skin and fluid. Most blisters form on the feet from the friction created between an athlete’s sweaty foot and ill-fitting socks or sneakers. Similarly, baseball players tend to develop blisters on their hands because of the friction created by repeatedly swinging a baseball bat.

Athletes can prevent blisters from forming on their feet by wearing sport-specific shoes and snug fitting socks. Baseball players can avoid blisters on their hands by using batting gloves. When new, both sneakers and batting gloves can themselves cause blisters so it is important to break them in by using them by using them for short periods of time at first.

Sometimes blisters form regardless of the preventative measures athletes take to avoid them. When this happens, there are ways to treat them. One common treatment option is to drain the blisters and then cleanse the skin with soap, water and antibiotic cream. When the fluid is gone, much of the pain subsides as well.

It is very important to cleanse the opened blisters in order to prevent infection. Therefore it is wise to put a sterile bandage over the blister after it is drained. It is recommended for athletes to wear a bandage, and keep the skin dry while participating in activities for several weeks after draining the blister. This will ensure that the blisters do not return and will allow athletes to get back to playing the sports they love without being in pain.