Blister Prevention Pro

Does Faster Rubbing Cause Blisters More Than Slower Rubbing?

does faster rubbing cause more blisters
Does faster rubbing cause blisters more than slower rubbing? Counterintuitively, no! We know this thanks to blister research performed all the way back in 1955.

Does faster rubbing cause blisters quicker than slower rubbing? Presumably faster rubbing produces more heat, causing more friction blisters. Or perhaps causing them to appear sooner?

Today I want to show you a piece of blister research that was done all the way back in 1955 by Naylor. It was one of the first pieces of blister research done.

He was testing the hypothesis that increased rubbing speed caused more blisters. He increased the rubbing speed by 50% (he was causing experimental blisters on a group of military recruits) and found there was *no* increase in blister formation.

What’s more, he also caused the blisters with two types of material. One was a low thermal conductivity, and one had a high thermal conductivity. And again, there was *no* change in blister rates. If heat was an important factor in blister formation, one would expect to see a difference here. One would expect the low thermal conductivity head would cause more blisters, and the high thermal conductivity head to cause less blisters.

So even right from the start, back in 1955, there was doubt over whether blisters were caused by an increase in heat.

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Naylor P: Experimental friction blisters. British Journal of Dermatology 1995;67:327–342.

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About the Author

Rebecca Rushton

Podiatrist, blister prone ex-hockey player, foot blister thought-leader, author and educator. Can’t cook. Loves test cricket.
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