Training TipsHealth and Wellness

Blisters 101

by Compeed

woman holding foot

Blisters 101

Even the most dedicated runners and triathletes can't escape the pain of race-ending blisters.

What a cruel twist of irony! The very steps that lead extreme sports enthusiasts to unparalleled accomplishments also pave the way for the creation of painful blisters. Fortunately, understanding how blisters develop can help you prevent them. And staying in the loop on blister care advancements can help you stay ahead of the curve in your race. After all, we're in this for the long run.

Blister-Proof Your Runs: Expert Advice for Happy Feet Every Time

With every step they take and every pedal they push, triathletes increase their chances of getting blisters - it's just a natural consequence of the intense pounding their feet endure. One of the most common types of blisters for triathletes is the friction blister, which -- you guessed it -- is caused by the friction of shoes repeatedly rubbing against skin.

Blisters can develop very quickly. One minute your heel might feel a little warm, and before you can say “ouch,” a painful blister has developed. How does it happen? After too much stress and friction from shoes, pesky pockets of fluid form on your foot in the upper layers of skin. As the top layer of skin tears away from the tissues below, a plasma-like fluid leaks from the cells and begins to fill the gap, cushioning the tissue from further damage. That’s one reason it’s not recommended to pop a blister.

Blisters typically take several days to heal, and if they become infected, the pain increases exponentially. 

But it’s not all bad news.

Your Roadmap to Recovery: Helping Blisters to Heal

Most blisters heal naturally. In time, as new skin grows, your body slowly reabsorbs the fluid in the blister. The skin on top will then dry and peel off. However, triathletes don’t often have the luxury of time. They’ve got miles to go, faster than the next person. And blisters can be very painful during the healing process. 

But take heart, a Compeed® blister cushion helps create the optimal blister healing environment. The cushion’s hydrocolloid gel absorbs excess fluid, helping to accelerate the body’s natural wound healing process. Compeed also meets the primary goal of healing: reducing discomfort.

Compeed’s advanced solution provides 10 times more pain relief than ordinary bandages1. A blister covered with a Compeed cushion will heal 20% faster, and the cushion itself will stay put 50% longer than an ordinary bandage1 . Compeed is waterproof, sweat-resistant, hypoallergenic and breathable. 


Plan ahead by stocking up now so you are prepared the next time you feel a blister coming on. With a Compeed Advanced Blister Care cushion on the job, you can confidently get back to running, biking or swimming. Compeed cushions are available on Amazon.

Your Secret Weapon: A Strong Offense for Running Success!

To prevent blisters from developing, make sure that your feet are in tip-top condition. Give your feet some love by applying a nourishing foot cream every night before bed.

Also, opt for properly fitting shoes designed for your exercise type. They’ll provide the support and comfort you need.

Say “see ya” to cotton socks. They can trap moisture against your skin, creating the perfect environment for friction and therefore, blisters. Instead, go for the moisture-wicking synthetic variety. They might cost more, but you and your feet are worth it. Here’s a race day secret: consider changing socks mid-race. A simple switch of the socks could save you from painful blisters.  

Some athletes swear by foot powder, which certainly does absorb moisture, but it also can clump and create friction issues. So be sure to experiment with different amounts to find your sweet spot.

Finally, be prepared with blister care. If you start to feel a blister forming, you’ll want to have Compeed Advanced Blister Care cushions on hand. Applying a cushion at the first sign of a blister will relieve pain, create a barrier against further friction and prevent the blister from fully developing. With Compeed on your team, your feet are in excellent hands.

Sourced from;

  1. Clinical Study 7151071.TK1/Karlsmark Study (1999/2000) BH. Sports Med. 1995 Sep;20(3):136-47.