HOW TO PREVENT BLISTERS ON HANDS
Foot blisters get all the attention, but there are actually a lot of sports out there that have athletes wondering how to prevent blisters on their hands. Rowing, tennis, cycling, baseball, CrossFit, gymnastics, golf…these are just a few of the sports that can cause blisters on your hands!
As you know, friction is what causes blisters no matter where it occurs on your body. Here are some ways you can prevent blisters on hands:
Sometimes all it takes to prevent blisters is using proper technique. Getting blisters from batting practice? The answer may be to simply loosen your grip on the bat. Love to kayak, but hate getting blisters on your thumbs and fingers? Michael Pardy, co-author of the Handbook of Safety and Rescue and a founding director of SKILS Sea Kayak Instruction and Leadership Systems, wrote about form in an article in Adventure Kayak Magazine. The article on how to prevent blisters was reprinted on Paddling.net, and offers some great tips for kayakers on form and blister prevention. Whatever your sport, take the time to learn the proper technique—it’ll go a long way in stopping any negative side effects, such as chafing and blisters.
USE PROPER FITTING, QUALITY GLOVES
Gloves are a great tool to prevent blisters for golfers, baseball players, mountain bikers, gymnasts and even people who enjoy CrossFit. Make sure you have a sport- or task-specific glove. Don’t wear anything under your gloves, like rings. And make sure your gloves fit. You don’t want the glove to be too loose since loose gloves will just rub your skin more. And you don’t want your glove to be too tight. You want it to fit like, well, like a glove—snug. And make sure there are no seams where pressure is being applied or between areas of high friction, such as the curve between your thumb and forefinger.
Unfortunately, gloves alone may not stop blisters. Why? Because gloves can still rub the skin (even if they fit well) and because gloves may make hands sweat. Moisture and friction is a great combination for a blister. Try sprinkling some moisture-absorbing powder, such as 2Toms BlisterShield, in the gloves before putting them on to help prevent blisters from forming on your hands. Moleskin or adhesive medical pads can also be used under gloves.
For sports, like tennis, where hands sweat even without gloves, try wearing moisture-absorbing wrist bands to keep sweat from streaming into palms.
OTHER BLISTER PREVENTION SOLUTIONS FOR HANDS
Anti-chafing powders that absorb moisture and don’t soak into the skin, such as 2Toms BlisterShield mentioned above, can be sprinkled into gloves to help prevent blisters on hands. The powder helps keep hands dry since wet skin becomes soft and is more susceptible to rips from rubbing and chafing. Baby powders may work for a short time, but they can soak into the skin and lose effectiveness, or even mix with sweat and turn into a messy paste inside gloves.
Sometimes an anti-chafing lubricant is appropriate, such as between fingers. Anti-chafing lubricants, such as 2Toms SportShield Roll-On, can help prevent blisters on hands and/or fingers by allowing them to glide more easily. Anti-chafing lubricants don’t soak into the skin, so they are typically better at preventing blisters than petroleum jelly-type products. Anti-chafing lubricants are slippery, so keep that in mind when deciding what blister-prevention products are appropriate for your sport.
Moleskin or Adhesive Medical Pads
Depending on the activity, moleskin—such as the Dr. Scholl’s brand Moleskin— or medical pads—such as Spenco 2nd Skin—can be used on tender or blister-prone areas of the hands. Many are adhesive so you don’t need to tape the area. Tape may become balled up and cause more blisters. (Medical tape can help when done correctly, especially if by a professional, such as physical therapist.) Depending on your sport, waterproof versions of moleskin or medical pads may be required. Moleskin and pads create an extra barrier between friction and your skin to prevent blisters from forming on your hands.