Essential Oils For Blisters
Blisters can be very unpleasant and painful and make walking around and engaging in normal tasks difficult. This is especially problematic for runners who need to cover large distances, as the formation of blisters can prevent them from doing so and cause significant discomfort during their chosen activity.
Fortunately though, there are a number of ways that you can reduce the discomfort associated with blisters and get yourself back on your feet, minus the limping.
Essential oils represent one avenue to this end. Using essential oils you can reduce pain and swelling associated with blisters but also help to soften the skin that is causing the problem and reduce the blistering. In this article, we’ll look at some essential oils that can do all those things as well as how best to use them…
The Best Essential Oils for Blisters
With all this in mind then, what are the best essential oils for blisters? Let’s take a look at some of the best contenders and how they might work to alleviate discomfort.
One of the most popular essential oils for blisters right from the start is lavender oil. This is an essential oil that can be used to soothe the area and to provide topical pain relief. This will reduce the discomfort associated with blisters through natural analgesic properties and simultaneously help to soften the blister itself.
Also beneficial is that lavender oil can be anti-bacterial. While blisters aren’t caused by bacteria, this is a very useful way to prevent an infection which is a very real concern when talking about blisters. Another added benefit of lavender oil is that it is anti-inflammatory. This means that it can reduce any swelling that might be occurring when you are running.
Lavender oil is also an antioxidant. This means that it can help to combat the free radicals that attack skin cells. This isn’t directly going to help a blister but it will certainly give you some extra benefits while you’re using it!
Peppermint oil contains l-menthol, meaning that it will create a cooling and tingling sensation as you would expect from a number of mint-like substances. The big benefit of peppermint is that it also offers more anti-inflammatory and painkilling properties. Just make sure that you use peppermint oil along with a carrier oil, as it can be harsh when applied directly to the skin – and especially an open wound like a blister.
Eucalyptus oil has a great many benefits as an antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory oil. In this case, we’re mainly interested in the anti-inflammatory properties. Note that your feet have a tendency to swell in hot weather and that this can actually contribute to the friction and heat that causes the blister. If you use eucalyptus oil then you might also be able to prevent the problem from getting worse over time.
Tea Tree Oil
To be honest, most oils that are suitable for application on broken skin will work well when applied directly to a blister as they will provide the skin with moisture and help to soften the blister to encourage it to disappear quickly. But with that said, some essential oils are definitely preferred for this type of complaint. And tea tree oil is right up there with the very most common options.
The great thing about tea tree oil is that it has been studied extensively. In all these studies, it has been found to be highly effective in treating a number of skin complaints which include the likes of sun burn, swelling, cold sores and of course blisters.
Tea tree oil is anti microbial and anti-fungal, which means it can once again help you to avoid getting an infection of any kind on an open wound. What’s more is that it can be very effective in treating inflammation to help reduce any swelling around your foot associated with the blistering.
Apply directly to the affected area and try mixing with a little coconut oil, honey and apple cider vinegar to get the most benefits. It’s also effective when used to treat acne.
How to Use Essential Oils for Blisters
Now you know which essential oils are best for treating blisters, the next question is how you should use them.
The best way to use these essential oils is probably at night. Rubbing a little lavender oil or tea tree oil into your blister at this time with a gentle two-fingered motion can be a good way to ensure that the oil will have time to be absorbed overnight.
Another option is to apply some essential oil underneath a plaster. Using a plaster to protect the blister is a good idea if you have no option but to stay on your feet for the ensuing day. If you apply some essential oil first, then this will be absorbed into your skin more effectively at the same time. Then make sure to remove the dressing when you get home to allow some fresh air to reach it.
In fact, you can even use essential oils to treat blisters mid run or mid hike. If you find that your foot is starting to get sore, try adding a little essential oil and you should find that it helps to reduce friction and swelling and offers some soothing and cooling relief so that you can push for a few extra miles! Of course it can make the inside of your shoe/sock a little greasy though!
How to Avoid Blisters
Using essential oils can speed up your recovery and also help you to fight blisters once they appear. But what would be even better of course would be to avoid letting blisters occur in the first place! Obviously that’s a little easier said than done but there are a few things you can do.
One such option is to make sure that you’re wearing the right shoes and socks. Hacking shoes that are too big or too small can cause blisters. If they’re too large, then this means your foot is lightly to slide back and forth inside. This is what can end up creating friction along the bottom and side and in turn that can lead to blisters. If the shoe is too small however, then you can end up with the side pressing against your big toe so that even the slightest movement exposes you to potential friction and blistering. If you’re going to be hiking, running or otherwise being very active in your footwear, then be smart and spend a little extra to ensure you have something that’s the exact right size and fit.
Likewise, you also need to wear the right socks. Ideally, this means wearing socks that provide the right amount of cushioning and padding that will help to hold your foot in place inside the shoe. If your sock is very thin, then this will actually allow the foot more chance to get friction burn through the sock. Then again though, sport socks can also cause other issues. The best choice is a sock or an insole that has additional padding built in.
On top of all this, using the right running form will also help you to avoid blisters. Blisters are more common when you have a longer stride and stretch your leg out in front of you. This then gives you the freedom to slide backward and forward inside the shoe and this can gradually damage your skin and create blisters.
The solution is to run with your feet much more directly underneath you. This way you can hit the ground with a straight leg and propel yourself upward and forward. This is also mechanically better for you and will place less strain on your knees and back. If you look up ‘pose running’ or ‘chi running’, you’ll find a lot more information on how to run naturally and with minimum impact/friction. If you also wear a more minimal shoe, this will additionally help to prevent blisters.
So blisters are about many things: they’re about your running form, your footwear and more. These are all things you can try and correct if you notice them occurring regularly. But with the best will in the world, you’ll probably still find they emerge from time to time. The solution? Just apply a little essential oil and make sure you give your feet a rest and a chance to recover!