Blisters often are a problem in soccer, particularly on the feet. Tight-fitting shoes and aggressive running styles over long periods sometimes encourage blisters to form. Understanding how to treat and prevent blisters will keep you in the game longer.
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Excessive irritation on the skin causes blisters. Stiff, narrow soccer shoes rub on the sides of the feet as soccer players run, causing friction and irritation. Abrasive socks can cause blisters, too, especially if the shoe is too large and allows the foot to slide around. Blisters are more likely to occur in moist environments. Sweat and wet field conditions frequently create moisture in a soccer cleat.
When a blister begins to form, it appears as a red, slightly tender area. Rubbing may produce a burning sensation. As the blister gets worse, a bubble filled with fluid develops -- your body's attempt to cushion the area. If the fluid-filled area is left untreated and you continue to play, the fluid will increase and the bubble will rupture and drain. You may feel slight relief after the blister ruptures.
If you catch a blister before it has filled with fluid, treat it with a cushioning bandage or moleskin product and continue to play. You should not attempt to puncture the blister in field conditions because that might lead to infection. If the blister is already filled with fluid, continuing to play will only make the problem worse. If the blister has ruptured, clean the area as you would a normal wound and apply a clean bandage and antibacterial cream.
The first step in blister prevention in soccer is choosing a proper shoe. Soccer shoes should fit your foot's length, width and most importantly, volume. When you try on soccer shoes at the store, wear the socks in which you play to achieve a better fit. If you wear shin guards that have ankle guards, bring them. Always break in new cleats slowly to avoid blisters from a stiff new pair. Wear comfortable socks and change them during halftime to help keep your feet dry and comfortable.