Thumb Blisters When Playing Golf? – How to Avoid and Treat!

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One of the downsides to playing golf often is the threat caused by blisters. After all, blisters are painful and uncomfortable and are best avoided!

But what causes thumb blisters from golf? And what can you do to prevent them?

Here, we explain everything you need to know about golf blisters on thumbs and help you put together a plan for preventing blisters as you take to the course.

1. Why Do I Get Blisters on My Thumb When Playing Golf?

The main cause of a blister on your thumb from golf is a result of the friction between the club and your hand. Blisters are painful and can affect your ability to grip the club, so it’s important to take the necessary steps to avoid them.

In some instances, thumb blisters occur in golf because you’re not used to the sensation, and the skin isn’t particularly strong, causing it to blister.

However, more commonly, thumb blisters occur because you’re not gripping the club correctly or the grip itself isn’t of good quality.

Fortunately, you can take precautions to ensure that your thumb doesn’t blister when playing golf, and you can also treat thumb blisters relatively easily, meaning that they shouldn’t cause you too much downtime.

So, read on to find out everything you need to know about thumb blisters in golf to ensure that they don’t cause you significant pain this season.

2. How Do You Treat a Blister on Your Thumb from Golf?

Thankfully, most thumb blisters caused by golf injuries are not serious and will heal in a relatively short space of time. According to WebMD, here are the steps you can take to treat a thumb blister caused by your golf swing*:

  • For blisters that haven’t popped, leave them uncovered and avoid putting pressure on the area. An unpopped blister will heal itself and doesn’t need to be popped.
  • If your thumb blister bursts, wash the area with warm water and gentle soap (no alcohol or iodine). Apply antibiotic ointment to the area before wrapping it with gauze to protect it.
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It’s best not to pop thumb blisters as doing so can cause additional pain, and they will take longer to heal. If you’re concerned with the pain caused by a thumb blister, you should check in with your GP, and they will instruct you on the best course of treatment.

3. Is it Normal to Get Blisters from Golf?

Yes, blisters are perfectly normal in golf and can occur on your thumbs, fingers, and the palms of your hands. Beginners typically experience blisters more than experienced players, as the areas of skin being worked in the golf swing are typically soft.

Blisters are also normal if you spend a considerable amount of time on the range practicing your ball striking.

It’s the same principle as foot blisters – the more you put pressure on the skin by activity, the more likely it is to blister from repetitive use.

However, if you find that you get blisters after only taking a few shots, it could be a case that your golf grips need to be changed. Old grips that are worn are more likely to cause blisters, so it’s a good idea to regrip your clubs if this is happening to you.

Wearing a glove and opting for blister tape can also reduce the likelihood of blisters in golf, as we introduce below.

4. What About Golf Blister Tape – Does it Help?

If you’re struggling with thumb blisters in golf, you can always invest in blister tape.** Athletes in various sports turn to blister tape as a preventative measure, and it can work well as it reduces the amount of friction.

Before you head out onto the range or course, wrap some blister tape around the areas of your thumb or fingers that have been suffering from blisters recently. Instead of rubbing on your skin, the tape will take the brunt of the fiction.

We also recommend wearing a glove when playing golf, as it can also reduce the friction on your hands. If you’re right-handed, you should invest in a glove for your left hand, and the converse is true.

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Ultimately, blister tape and a golf glove can help to reduce the friction caused by your golf clubs, reducing the likelihood of blisters appearing on your thumbs and fingers.

5. How Can I Make a Golf Blister Heal Faster?

In most instances, blisters heal within a week without intervention.*** Therefore, if you notice a blister on your thumb from golf, avoid pressure on the area and leave it to breathe for a few days, and it should heal naturally without any treatment.

If you burst a blister, it will take much longer for it to heal, perhaps up to two weeks. As such, it’s really important not to tamper with a blister, as you are likely to make things worse.

When it comes to blisters, prevention is the best cure. Using tape, ensuring that your grips are fresh and in good condition, and wearing a glove will all help to prevent blisters from appearing on your hands.

So, if you notice a blister after playing golf, it’s best to avoid contact with the affected area of the skin for 5-7 days to give the blister the best possible chance of a quick recovery.

6. How Long Will a Blister Stop Me from Playing Golf?

For most people, a blister will only cause issues for a week or so. Therefore, if you only play golf once a week, a blister won’t necessarily stop you from playing, as it’s likely to heal by the next time you take to the course.

If you play or practice regularly, we recommend giving your hand a week to recover.

If you apply pressure to an area of blistered skin too soon, you will increase the pain, and as a result, your blister will take longer to repair itself.

Of course, your downtime depends on the severity of your blister. If your blister has burst and is causing significant pain, it’s probably best to leave it a little longer before picking up your golf clubs.

Again, if you’re concerned about the blisters on your thumbs or fingers from golf, you should arrange an appointment with your GP to discuss the best course of treatment.

7. How Do Pro Golfers Avoid Blisters?

The main way that pro golfers avoid blisters is by wearing a glove. This is an incredibly simple and effective solution, but you need to make sure the glove fits well. Golf gloves come in different sizes, so make sure there are no opportunities for friction within the glove itself.

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Another step that pro golfers take is ensuring that their grips are expertly wrapped and in great condition.

As mentioned, if you’re playing old grips, you’re much more likely to suffer from blisters than if you play grips that have been freshly installed.

Pros also know how to grip the club correctly to avoid excess friction, which is another important part of protecting your hands from blisters.

Ensuring that the club is anchored in the palm of your hand – as opposed to placed on your fingers – will make a big difference.

So, avoiding blisters in golf can be done; you just need to follow these tips, and you can avoid the painful sensation of blisters appearing on your thumbs and fingers.

8. Golf Blister Prevention Tips

As we bring this article to a close, we want to leave you with some simple golf blister prevention tips that everyone can follow:

  • Wear a golf glove that fits correctly.
  • Use blister tape when practicing to protect the vulnerable areas of your hands.
  • Don’t overexert yourself – if you feel pain in your thumbs or fingers; it’s best to give your hands a rest.
  • Regrip your clubs – if you’re using old clubs with worn grips, you’re much more likely to suffer from blisters.
  • Hold the club correctly in the palm of your hand without relying too heavily on your fingers. If you’re a beginner, schedule a lesson with a pro to show you how to grip the golf club correctly.

While blisters are part and parcel of golf, the good news is that you can do something about them, and these prevention tips will help you this season.

Conclusion

Blisters on your thumbs and fingers can be extremely painful. And as a golfer, these areas of your hand are susceptible to blisters, meaning that you need to take steps to do something about it.

We hope that you use the tips listed throughout this article to protect your thumbs and fingers from blisters, and remember, if you’re concerned about the pain caused by a blister, you should schedule an appointment with a GP.

Sources:

  1. https://www.webmd.com/first-aid/blisters-treatment *
  2. https://www.amazon.com/White-Finger-Tape-Pack-Grappling/dp/B07MQ2279R/ref=sr_1_2_sspa?keywords=hand+blister+tape&qid=1664687582&qu=eyJxc2MiOiI0LjM4IiwicXNhIjoiMy45MSIsInFzcCI6IjMuNTIifQ%3D%3D&sr=8-2-spons&psc=1 **
  3. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/blisters/ ***