Blister Management

Blister Prevention

  • Eat plenty of fruit and veges.  A healthy body heals quicker and is less likely to become infected.
  • Moisturising keeps the skin supple and less likely to tear. Some moisturisers like urea 10% cream have anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties. Vitamin E creams have skin repair properties and moisturisers like sorbolene and Vaseline intensive care lotion have hydrating properties. Remember all moisturisers leave your hands relatively greasy so don’t moisturise before you row.
  • Avoid alcohol swabs as this dries and thickens the skin and you are likely to get deeper, nastier blisters.

Blister Treatment

  • Choose to pop the blister or leave it alone – our thoughts – don’t mess with them if they are not painful.
  • If you choose to pop or if they have already torn then:wash your hands in soapy water for at least 30 seconds to prevent infection
    • Spray with iodine  (can wash in chlorhexidine or diluted bleach)
    • Use a sterile needle (pre- sterilised packs or sterilise needle over hot flame and wipe needle with alcohol swab or boil the needle). 
    • Puncture the blister near its edge, usually in the opposite direction of the searing force. Hold a tissue or cotton swab over the blister to soak up the fluid. 
    • If the blister has torn don’t cut the skin off unless it’s really dirty or a large piece of skin is only just hanging on.
    • Cover or wrap with gauze or band aid. 
    • Blisters should initially be covered to prevent infection and time in the open air for drying.
  • Seek medical help if your blisters show signs of infection (ie they become hot, swollen, painful, red or pus appears).

Rowers First Aid Pack

  • Tape – you may need 2 rolls of any rigid sports strapping tape – some stick better than others (Nexcare is absolute waterproof tape and has some cushioning and flexibility, but is narrower and doesn’t stick as well).
  • Band aids - we like Band Aid Tough strips as they tend to stay on better.
  • Betadine spray 
  • Sun block
  • Panadol
  • Moisturiser
  • Ventolin especially if occasionally required. And a spacer if you have one.
  • Anti-histamine tablets – if occasionally required.
  • Nail scissors to trim up any rough edges to blister areas – to prevent the tear from the irresistible rip.