Blisters, Chafing and Fall Fitness

September 4th, 2013 | Blisters, Chafing, Fitness, Seasonal

Fall is the perfect time to get out and go! The air is cooler and more comfortable, so take time to fit in some R&R. Explore your surroundings, enjoy the shade along a new nature trail or cruise along the bike path and stop for a picnic lunch.

But be warned, fall sports can really take a toll on your skin!

Hiking, running and biking involve repetitive motions which cause friction and skin irritation in sensitive areas.

Here are two common skin irritations to watch out for, and how protecting skin ahead of time can prevent discomfort this fall!

Blisters and Chafing - Skin Irritation and Fall Fitness
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Unfortunately, blistered skin is likely familiar to us all.

A new pair of shoes can quickly lead to painful, fluid-filled skin bubbles on your heels and other areas of the foot. Even your favorite pair of sneakers can cause blisters when they repeatedly rub against a patch of skin on your foot.

Your chance of getting a blister greatly increases when you go walking, hiking or running for longer distances. More movement, more friction, more blisters that may be red, itchy and bothersome.

But they can be prevented! To prevent blisters, wear well-fitted shoes, and choose socks that are high enough to put a barrier between your skin and the back of your shoe.

And get your feet acclimated to your new pair of athletic shoes before running that 5k. If your shoes seem to be rubbing your feet in certain spots, cover the vulnerable spots with bandages before a blister forms.

If a blister does form, try not to let it pop. When it opens up, the skin is even more sensitive, and prone to infection. Protect the blistered skin, and take a break from your fall activity while it heals up (which shouldn’t take more than a few days).

You should also rub an antiseptic ointment on the blistered skin to protect it from bacteria and help speed the healing.

You’ll be back in business in no time!


Chafing and fall sports often go hand in hand. And once again, friction is to blame!

Chafing results from skin rubbing against skin or clothing, and is most common on the thighs and underarms. People who are overweight are even more prone to the skin irritation.

Biking is a very common cause of chafing, as shorts repeatedly rub against sensitive areas of the skin, ultimately causing skin irritation.

Bicycle seats can also be to blame. They rub against skin or clothing, and the repetitive motion makes way for irritation.

Walkers, hikers, runners – and just about anyone – can experience chafing. Symptoms include redness, inflammation and discomfort. The skin may feel raw, depending on the severity.

To avoid chafing, it’s important to wear well-fitting and breathable clothing that is appropriate for the fall activity you’re getting into. For example, certain bike or running shorts can reduce your chance of skin irritation, as they’re designed to protect skin from friction.

Chafed skin should be kept clean and dry, and can be calmed with a soothing ointment to protect the damaged skin. This will also protect the vulnerable area from infection.

As you can see, a little forethought goes a long way in preventing skin irritation during fall activity.

Do you have more tips on preventing blisters and chafing? We’d love to hear them, so comment here!

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