How to Treat Blisters

How to Treat Blisters
Blisters are the most common foot ailment suffered while hiking. Any hiker will tell you that a blister will turn the greatest hike into a nightmare. Even a short hike can seem like an eternity if a blister has formed on your foot. A blister usually forms from heat and friction caused by the shoes you are hiking in rubbing against your skin. A blister forms when the outer portion of skin separates from the next layer. The clear liquid that forms in between these two layers is called serum and is there to cushion the blistered area. By taking a few precautions and treating your blister right away, you should soon be on the hiking trail again.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Band-aid Moleskin Sterilized needle Rubbing alcohol Antiseptic Scissors Properly fitting hiking boots or sandals Socks
  • Band-aid
  • Moleskin
  • Sterilized needle
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Antiseptic
  • Scissors
  • Properly fitting hiking boots or sandals
  • Socks
Step 1
Pack a first aid kit when you go hiking. Nobody plans on getting a blister, but when it happens its best to treat the problem right away. Make sure your fist aid kit has band-aids, moleskin and some type of antiseptic in it.
Step 2
Remove your hiking boots as soon as you feel a blister coming on. Many times you know a blister is trying to form, long before it happens. Remove your socks and wipe you feet free of any sand or gravel.
Step 3
Allow your feet to cool off and dry. If you happen to be near a stream and place your feet into it, let them completely dry off before putting your shoes and socks on again. Feet that are moist whether due to water or sweat are more prone to blisters because your skin becomes softer. If you have an extra pair of socks with you, it might be a good idea to change out the old ones for a new pair.
Step 4
Pierce the blistered area at the base with a sterilized needle and let the fluid out. Do not remove the skin unless it has already started to peel off. Apply alcohol or an antiseptic to the blister. If this is not possible on the hike, cover the blistered area with moleskin or a bandage until you return to camp.
Step 5
Cut the loose skin away from a ruptured blister and apply alcohol or an antiseptic to the area. If you have returned to camp, allow the blister to remain open so the new skin will toughen up. Apply moleskin or a band-aid to the area before hiking again. Make sure you keep the blistered area clean and free of dirt so an infection does not occur.

Tips & Warnings

 
Choose hiking boots that fit correctly and don't have pressure points on your feet. Breathable boots will give your feet proper ventilation and will not be prone to retaining moisture. Don't puncture blisters that are buried deep within the skin. Wear moleskin over them instead. Stop and treat the area before a blister forms.
 
Choose hiking boots that fit correctly and don't have pressure points on your feet.
 
Breathable boots will give your feet proper ventilation and will not be prone to retaining moisture.
 
Don't puncture blisters that are buried deep within the skin. Wear moleskin over them instead.
 
Stop and treat the area before a blister forms.

Article Written By Joyce Starr

Joyce Starr is a professional writer from Florida and owns a landscaping company and garden center. She has published articles about camping in Florida, lawn care and gardening and writes for a local gardening newsletter. She shares her love and knowledge of the outdoors and nature through her writing.

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