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Blister treatment

While a a meter of prevention is worth a kilometer of cure, even the most careful hikers still get blisters.

Never forget that blisters are a medical condition that require first aid. They can get infected, and infection can put you in the hospital and (a Pacific Crest Trail through-hiker was nearly killed by septic shock resulting from infected blisters in June 2007 — an extreme case but it shows they are not to be trifled with).

The best thing to do about a blister is to stop making it worse and let the body’s healing powers take over. Few humans have the time or inclination to do this because blisters always happen in the middle of a hike with several miles of foot punishment between them and the trailhead.
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Tom posted at 11:27 am August 28th, 2008

Blister prevention: once you’ve got one, it’s too late

a heel blisterBlisters seem inevitable: the farther you hike, the higher your odds. Once they get going, they don’t go away and they generally get worse. So, the best thing to do about a blister is make sure you never get one.

Blisters are the body’s natural defense against excess heat and friction. Tips on avoiding them:

Start by reducing friction:

Duct tape: If you know you’re hiking many, many miles, try putting some duct tape on your trouble spots. The smooth outer surface is a natural friction fighter, and the tape provides a foot-protecting barrier.

  • Bar of soap: Rub some bar soap like Ivory inside your boots just before you start. Don’t get carried away or your foot sweat will turn your shoes into lather factories.
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    Tom posted at 9:17 am August 28th, 2008