How to Beat the Disney Blisters: Prevention and Care

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It’s a well-known fact among Orlando travelers that you are going to walk yourself every which way possible on your Disney World trip. This catches a lot of people by surprise, and that’s a set up for blister pain. The average adult walks between 7-12 miles each park day, with fewer miles for days off while you resort hop, shop, or swimming. Even if you do some pre-vacation training, that a LOT of miles to do every day, and the wear and tear on your body will be intense. Many times, blisters are just a part of the journey.

But they don’t have to wreck your trip. Check out this information on how to prevent blisters and how to deal if one pops up, literally!

Read: Tips to Stay Cool on a Summer Disney Vacation

Let’s start with prevention for the feet.

Socks and shoes

  • Wear nylon or moisture-wicking socks, even two pairs if one isn’t working for blister prevention.
  • Your shoes should fit properly. Flopping around in shoes too loose or hobbling around in shoes too tight is a recipe for blister formation.
  • It rains all the time in Florida. If your feet get wet, change into dry socks as soon as possible. Flip flops may be an option here to avoid wet socks. Moisture is your friend at the water parks but not in your shoes.

Bandages

  • For problem areas like the feet, securely apply adhesive moleskin or other soft bandages before blisters form.

Lubricate 

To reduce friction, apply something that prevents skin rubbing together or against clothing. There are many products to choose from, and these are listed in alphabetical order.

  • A&D Ointment: This lubricant is thicker than petroleum jelly, and you’ll find it in the baby diaper section, where most people purchase it to prevent and treat diaper rash. It also helps heal dry, chafed skin, plus protect and soothe minor cuts and even burns. 

  • Body Glide – An anti-chafe and anti-blister balm that is petroleum-free and “never messy,” their company believes that blister prevention is easier, faster, and costs less than buying first aid supplies and waiting for recovery. Use this link for more information and for ordering. 

  • Petroleum Jelly/Vaseline has been used by marathon runners and walkers for years. Complaints with this product include being tough to wash out of your socks. If this lubricant causes dirt to cling to your socks, sand and grit in your shoes can irritate your feet, which just creates more blisters. Vaseline can also prevent bandages and tape from sticking to your skin, which could lead to blisters.

  • Run Goo – RunGoo Blister Prevention Cream provides a friction barrier between the skin and sock. They say it lasts longer than prevention products because it contains a high percentage of specialty hard waxes. Run Goo is also designed to moisturize your feet, so you can have blister prevention and healthy feet.

  • Sportslick – A lasting waterproof lubrication gel, Sportslick washes off with soap and water. You can apply it anywhere you suffer from friction irritation, like feet and toes, thighs, underarms, neck, and nipples. It contains Aloe, Antioxidant vitamins A and E, and other natural ingredients. Use this link for more information.

  • Sport Shield – Made with Dimethicone, Aloe Vera Extract, and Vitamin E, SportShield’s liquid roll-on or towelettes creates a thin, invisible coating on the skin. This coating eliminates or greatly minimizes friction, and the company says it will not rub off. Silicone-based, its non-staining, non-toxic, non-greasy and can be used daily.

  • Make your own lubricant  – A website called thewalkingsite.com suggests you make your own lubricant. “Mix equal parts A & D ointment and Vaseline (1 cup each). Then add vitamin E cream and Aloe Vera cream (1/4 cup each) to improve consistency and smell. (Mixture should be stiff, yet applicable.) It not only protects the skin from chafing but can help heal the skin and also is helpful with blister prevention. Low cost and effective. Measurements do not have to be accurate…. this is not baking!To see this and their other suggestions, use this link. 

Read: Disney World Resort Hopping

Dry Them Up

  • Baby Powder, Corn Starch, and Talcum Powder shaken in your socks and shoes keep your feet dry. You may need to re-apply throughout your long Disney day.
  • Military troops have long touted the benefits of a special heavy-duty antiperspirants on the feet to reduce blisters.

Hold Up

  • If pain or redness is starting in a particular spot, hold up on the activity. At home, you would simply stop exercising for a while. This is tough on vacation though, where down time is still costing you money.

Because blisters can form anywhere body parts are rubbing together or rubbing against your clothing, you may have to protect more than just your feet.

Wear the right clothes

  • For long days at Disney, wear moisture-wicking and loose-fitting clothes. Avoid clothing made of cotton, because cotton is absorbent. It soaks up sweat and moisture, leading to potential friction and chafing.

Products like Run Goo, Sportslick, and Sport Shield that we talked about above will help prevent chafing of body parts other than feet.

Body Glide, which we mentioned above, has an entire line of products for feet and other body parts that chafe frequently. Travelers have reported great results with this company’s products.

When you do the math, 7 to 12 miles a day can easily turn into completing a marathon within 3-4 days, which may be the length of your total vacation. Are you ready to walk a marathon? As a teacher and a recreational walker, I typically complete one to two miles a day every day of the week, and I’m certainly not ready for a marathon. I fuss at myself during and after every Disney trip because I don’t put in the proper training time beforehand, coming home with sore feet and legs.

Read: Free Outdoor Activities at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Verywellfit.com offered some great advice for people with soft feet, which could help those of us who won’t walk seven miles a day before they leave for vacation. You need to toughen them up!

Embrace Your Calluses

  • As your feet get more of a workout, they build up calluses. “These are your friends. You want calluses, which act as a natural pad against the friction that forms blisters.” They recommend you temporarily avoid beautiful feet; don’t shave off or file down your calluses until after you’ve walked your Disney marathon.

Toughen Up with Tannic acid

  • As you head toward hours of Disney walking, verywellfit.com suggests you toughen up your feet with 10 percent tannic acid or a tea soak. Tea naturally contains tannins. Apply the tannic acid or soak with tea twice daily for two to three weeks before you travel.

Moisturize Away Heel Cracks

  • To prevent calluses from over drying and then cracking, verywellfit.com recommends moisturizer on your feet after each bath or shower, using a good foot cream or hand cream.

Use this link to see more of their suggestions and tons of running/walking tips.

Oh rats, now you have a blister.

What should you do?

Under normal circumstances, if you can stop the activity that caused your blister, then you should just be patient leave it alone. Most blisters heal on their own in one to two weeks. But you have Fastpass+es tomorrow, so what now?

Dermatologists with the American Academy of Dermatologists recommend multiple treatment options for blisters.

Cover It

  • Loosely cover the blister with a bandage, making sure the middle of the bandage is a little raised over the blister.

Use Padding

  • In pressure areas where blisters form, like the bottom of your feet, use padding. Cut the padding into a donut shape with a hole in the middle and place it around the blister. Then cover up the blister and padding with a bandage.

To Pop or Not to Pop

Dermatologists normally recommend you avoid popping or draining blisters, because this can lead to infections. But what if your blister is massive and also painful? And you’re looking at 3 more walking days in a row?

Sometimes it may be necessary to drain your Orlando blisters to reduce discomfort. Be sure to use the proper steps to avoid infection.

  1. Sterilize a small needle using rubbing alcohol.
  2. Use the needle to carefully pierce one edge of the blister, which will allow fluid to drain.
  3. Wash the area with soap and water and apply petroleum jelly, or consult the list above for petroleum substitutes.
  4. Do not remove the “roof” of the blister, as this protects the raw skin underneath while it heals.
  5. Keep a look out for redness, pus, increased pain, or swelling, because this can signal infection.

To see more information from the American Academy of Dermatologists, use this link. 

Blisters don’t have to wreck your trip; a little prevention here can go a long way toward getting your money’s worth on vacation.

Speaking of things that wreck a trip, have you heard about Disney Rash? It’s real, and there are steps you can take to avoid it too.

How to Beat the Disney Rash!

Need help picking out shoes for your trip?

1st Trip to Disney World: Tips on Picking the Correct Shoes

And finally, tips to help you work up to all the walking on the Disney property.

Walking Miles & Miles at Disney Theme Parks

 

Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see lacing up your walking shoes, tight, to avoid blisters…

To see more of our Cheapskating Guides, use this link.

Amanda, Disney’s Cheapskate Princess

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Mike Ellis

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Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from Mike Ellis, our Disney Vacation Planner with Pixie Vacations.

Call Mike at 919-606-6725 or e-mail him at mike@pixievacations.com.

 

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