Monday, January 16, 2012

How to Prevent Heel Blister From Playing Golf?

When you're new to any athletic pursuit, you're likely to develop blisters in certain places as your skin experiences new pressure and friction. Eventually, you may develop calluses in these spots. Golf is no different. Golfers are prone to blisters on their palms and fingers from gripping and swinging golf clubs, which is why golf gloves are useful. Hours of walking the course, positioning yourself and repositioning yourself often leads to blisters on the heels or elsewhere on the feet, too. While most blisters aren't cause for concern, they can certainly interfere with daily activities and enjoyment of golf games.
Ongoing friction or pressure on the same spot on your heel prompts blister formation. As a defensive mechanism, the top layer of skin separates from the layer beneath and a cushioning fluid accumulates in between. Sometimes, when there is damage to a blood vessel, blood leaks in, too, forming a blood blister. During a golf outing, shoes that are too tight around the heel or that don't properly support your foot can cause such pressure or friction. If the skin on your heel gets wet from perspiration, this makes blistering more likely.
Typically, blisters need no treatment. However, blisters on your heel are prone to continual irritation, making them more painful and interfering with walking, golfing and the healing process. To treat a blister, drain the fluid between the layers of skin. This requires just a pinprick at the border of the blister through only the top, separated layer of skin. Sterilize your heel and the needle with isopropyl alcohol first. Let the fluid leak out, apply a bit of topical antibiotic, then cover the area with a large bandage or gauze and adhesive strips. Refrain from removing the top layer of skin, as it protects the blister against irritation and infection.
Golf shoes that don't squeeze or rub against your heel are key to preventing blisters on your heels while on the course. The shoes should be snug enough that they don't rub up and down against your heel as you walk, but not so tight that they put pressure on the heel. Choose golf shoes with cleats for extra support. If necessary, use a bandage, gauze, athletic tape or a "second skin" product to cover a sensitive or irritated spot on your heel during the game. Wear acrylic socks to minimize friction, as Ithica College's The Physician and Sports Medicine website recommends. An application of baby powder keeps your feet dry if they sweat during play.
Blisters on your heel may become infected. This is more likely if you puncture it, and especially if the top layer of skin detaches, exposing the deeper layer. It is also more likely if you don't protect the blister against dirt, bacteria and continuing irritation. Applying a topical antibiotic a few times a day and keeping the blister covered is the best protection. Watch your heel for a week to catch any indications of infection, which may include increasing pain or redness, inflammation, discharge or warm skin. Infections require prompt medical treatment, which usually consists of oral antibiotics.

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