Treatment for blistered feet


3 April 2013

While browsing the outdoor forums I noticed a few threads about treatment for blistered feet. These threads should have a ‘Are you 18 or over?’ pop up box to protect us sensitive types or at the very least ‘Have you finished your dinner?’
text People are slicing open their feet with Swiss Army Knives, stabbing them with boiling hot needles, rubbing them with meths or surgical spirits, developing callouses then trimming them with razor blades. A couple of people recommended bursting the blister and sewing the dead skin back together. There were no photos thankfully.

I, on the other hand, have provided you with a lovely photo, just in case you've forgotten what a foot looks like - before you go ‘yuk, gross’, that’s my foot. I wiped sock fluff from between my toes to spruce it up a little, so that’s it looking its absolute best.
So there seems to be a lot remedies for blisters, but if you were never lost behind enemy lines in the Vietnam War or you're slightly uncomfortable with performing surgery on yourself half way up Helvellyn, I’ve done some research to find out if there are alternatives. I decided to turn to the NHS website to find out the truth about the treatment of blistered feet, here’s basically what it said.

- Never pierce a blister it could lead to infection and the skin provides a layer of protection.
- Cover the blister with a soft dressing and change the dressing daily.
- If a blister bursts don’t peel off the dead skin, allow the fluid to drain and cover it with a sterile dressing – hydrocolloid dressings help stop discomfort and encourage healing.

That’s it. No gouging, slicing or applying meths to the wound. No medical procedures required. Just apply a hydrocolloid dressing, leave it and it’ll sort itself out. A hydrocolloid dressing is a Savlon bandage or a Compeed blister patch.

I double checked these findings on the WebMd website. It said much the same thing only you could use a doughnut-shaped moleskin pad to protect it if you like.

I don’t get blisters that much. I’m not being a smarty-pants, I’m just saying. Apart from the darkest days of winter, or major efforts like the Three Peaks Walk, I like to wear fairly lightweight and very breathable trail shoes. This stops my feet getting too sweaty, which can increase the risk of blisters. Every time we stop for a Mars bar (which is a lot), I get my tootsies out and wiggle them around in the fresh air. You can see (above) how beautiful they are, why shouldn’t I be proud? This simple act of airing your feet and adjusting your socks regularly is a great help I think.

If you do get a blister, just cover it with a dressing, protect it a little and keep going. Keep your knife, your razor blades and your needle and thread in your bag next to your AK-47 Assault Rifle and your AGS-17 Grenade Launcher.

Thanks for reading.

Ian Young

The trail shoes I’ve used over the years and would recommend are these:

Innov-8 Roclite 315 - Not selling on eBay or Amazon at the moment.
Salomon XA Pro 3D GTX or Amazon
New Balance MT10 - or Amazon

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