Running For Dummies
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You can develop blisters (a small buildup of water or blood under your skin) from ill-fitting shoes or socks, seams inside your shoes, or friction against bunched-up socks. Small, deep blisters and large blisters are usually painful and can become big problems if they lead to infection. They also can keep you off your feet and knock you off your training routine for days at a time.

Almost every runner suffers from blisters at one time or another, but they should be treated seriously. Here’s how to treat them:

  1. Clean the area around the blister, preferably with iodine alcohol or another solution with the ability to kill germs.

  2. Sterilize a needle in boiling water.

  3. Pop the blister with the needle and push gently on the blister (with clean gauze) to drain the liquid inside.

    This step should ease the discomfort.

  4. Apply salves or ointments that protect against infection.

  5. Cover the blister with a clean adhesive bandage, such as a Band-Aid or Second Skin.

If you suspect that the blister is infected (it throbs painfully and appears red and swollen), then seek professional medical attention immediately.

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Florence Griffith Joyner, the "World's Fastest Woman," won three gold and one silver medal in track and field at the '88 summer Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea, in addition to a silver medal at the '84 Games in Los Angeles. In 1989, she was voted "Most Outstanding Amateur Athlete in America" and was inducted into the USA Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1995.
John Hanc is a running and fitness columnist for Newday and contributes frequently to Runner's World magazine. He is the author of The Essential Runner and The Essential Marathoner.

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