Grant Lipman, MD, an ER doc, worked with endurance athletes running up to 50 miles a day--and their common complaint was foot blisters.
Everyone has tried a range of treatments--bandaids, powders, antiperspirants, lubricants, and tape.
Lipman and some colleagues studied this and guess what they found--paper tape was best.
You know--that thin white crisp surgical tape with loose stickum?
Their work will be published in the Clin J of Sport Medicine--April 11th issue.
Apparently he got this idea partly from the military--foot blisters are a big bugaboo on runs and hikes or on missions.
In 2014, Lipman's team recruited 128 runners in a 155-mile ultramarathon.
Paper tape was applied to one foot of each runner. The untaped area of the same foot acted as the control. Blister prone areas were chosen, but if the subject did not have a blister history, random areas were taped.
The paper tape was applied in a smooth, single layer at the beginning and reapplied as the race went on.
For 98 of the 128 runners, no blisters where the tape had been applied--but 81 of the 128 got blisters in untaped areas.
A little roll costs about 69 cents, Lipman says. Ridiculously cheap and easy.
The word ultramarathon made me shudder, but this may be helpful to many of you.