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Training for your breast cancer charity walk - Problem Feet

Training for one of Walk the Walk's breast cancer charity walks can be difficult but we have lots of hints and tips to help you complete your charity marathon!

Blisters – everyone’s favourite(!)

The type of blister that usually concerns walkers is a friction blister where intense rubbing over a period of time will cause the skin layers to shear away from each other. Blisters tend to appear on skin that is tough, rough and moist.

Prevention:

• Look after your feet… get a pedicure and moisturise your feet daily (apply cream before bed and then put your socks on before you get into bed for your very own at home pedicure!) Soft supple skin is what you need… and keep your toenails short.

• Get properly fitted footwear… (visit a proper sports shop and buy at least a size bigger than normal) and don’t wear walking boots! Train in these shoes from the start all the way through to the big day. Changing footwear halfway through training is a sure way to get a blister!

• Ensure that you are using properly fitted socks… We would recommend Thorlos / Falke but there are plenty of others. They all do a simple job of moving sweat away from your feet and keeping them dry. If you have sweaty feet naturally then use talcum powder on your feet.

 Blister prone feet… If you’re prone to blisters, and some people just are, then taping affected areas with moleskin or Compeed plasters can prevent a blister by removing the underlying friction. Some have mentioned zinc tape (or even Duct Tape!) But pay attention when you are applying these, so that you put it on the right area!

• Smothering your feet in Vaseline… whilst a somewhat odd experience… can help reduce the friction and limit the formation of blisters. This works well for a while until your sweat removes it!

• Surgical spirit… Yes, it does toughen up the skin… the outer layer of skin only. Blisters are caused by a sandwich effect of shoe / outer layer of skin / inner layers of skin. The shoe isn’t going anywhere so as the outer layer gets rubbed away, the soft inner layers are exposed again! You need to prevent the rubbing in the first place. Also, if you have sensitive skin, it will aggravate and cause blisters! It works for some but the other tips should be tried first!

Treatment – pop or not?

• So you have blisters, what next? Pure medical advice is that you should leave it intact to prevent infection. It’s your body doing its job and that liquid is actually a good thing (unless its blood or worse).

• However, it’s very uncomfortable in weight-bearing places like your feet so draining is the only way to go… Make sure your needle of choice and the area around the blister is sterilised and then lance from the side of the blister. DO NOT remove the skin – this will act as a protective cover and allow the skin underneath to heal… it will eventually fall off.

• Dress the blister area with a sterile strip or plaster. But if you are in the middle of your training plan try something like Compeed over the blister. Some blister dressings will bind to the skin for quite some time so choose the make carefully… and DON’T remove them yourself…wait until they fall off!

However, no matter what, some are always affected by blisters and we all share your (temporary!) pain!

And remember, whilst Walk the Walk has lots of experience in helping Walkers cross the Finish Line… we are not Doctors! Make sure you speak with a professional if you have a condition that you are worried about!

We hope that this has helped point you in the right direction! If you need any more help or have any questions email or call us on 01483 741430… and we will do our best to help! Or get hints, tips, and advice from other Walkers over on The MoonWalkers Hub

But remember… listen to your body and take care of yourself!

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