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Treating Blisters

by Brian J. Lane

One of the most common maladies that befall hikers is the onset of one or more blisters on your feet. Blisters are skin burns and can be debilitating to hikers; without proper care blisters can easily turn into infection.

As with most things in life, prevention is the best medicine. That means, when you are breaking in a new pair of shoes, or any time that you feel a friction hotspot coming on while hiking, you must stop and treat it immediately. Make sure you carry proper blister treatments (moleskin, blister blocking band-aids, liquid bandage, etc.). And make sure you wear well broken in shoes when hiking long distances.

If you do get a blister, use a sterile pin or knife, open a small hole in the blister and massage out the fluid. Spenco 2nd Skin Moist Burn Pads work best for covering blisters, and they aid in healing. (Just make sure you peel the plastic covering and apply the gel directly onto the blistered area.) Otherwise cut a donut hole into moleskin and apply it so the blister is exposed through the hole. Put a small amount of triple antibiotic ointment (less is more) in the hole and cover with another bandage.

With proper care a blister should heal over in a couple of days.

Hike Smart & Have Fun!

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