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  1. #1
    Registered User TheYoungOne's Avatar
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    Default Best way to treat a big blister

    Thanksfully I don't get blisters much, but let's say your hiking the AT, and doing big miles. You stop for a break, take off your boots to inspect what you thought was a hot spot and BOOM you realize you have a monster tumor of a blister on your foot. It is big, fat, and full of fluid. So what is the best way to treat it so that you can continue your hike?


    1) Just leave it alone, but put some lub or anti chaffing cream on it

    2) Leave it as is, and just cover it with Duct tape or moleskin.

    3) drain it with a pin and leave it alone

    4) Drain it with a pin, then cover it with a duck

    5) Drain it, peel back the skin, then treat it with New Skin.

  2. #2

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    I don't get blisters really (probably because I treat hot spots with duct tape or moleskin as soon as I feel them) but in that situation I'd drain it with a pin and cover it with moleskin... Or just a bandaid and duct tape.

  3. #3

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    I'm sure everyone will say it..you shouldn't get blisters..but whatever I know I still do once and a while. I pop it. Put some neosporin on it and I always carry a few medicated and cushiony blister pads. Works well for me. Moleskin is a PIA I never use the stuff!

  4. #4
    Likely more sarcastic than you!
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    Redbeerd is kay-rect. The best thing for blisters is prevention. Since adhering to the proper prevention techniques, blisters are a thing of the past for me... even here in Florida where it is virtually impossible to keep sand out of your kicks.
    We are all one big human family.

  5. #5
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    None of the above. I had a couple of nasty infected blisters that required doctors care and they drained it. BUT, not with a pin, they cut it, maybe an 1/8". When I asked them pin hole vs cut they recommended a cut to keep it from closing up. haven't had. Any major b
    blisters since but if I do I will be following their lead.

  6. #6
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    Here's what works for me:

    sterilize it with alcohol gel, and sterilize a pin or very small knife. Then cut into the bottom of the blister and drain it. Leave the skin cover intact. Clean it again, make sure it is completely dry, and put a Band Aid blister pad over it.

    Careful with the pad - if the skin isn't clean and dry, it can ruck up inside your sock and cause worse blisters. Also, they do stick pretty well and pulling it off will pull off the skin over the blister. That's usually not a great idea.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  7. #7
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    http://www.fixingyourfeet.com/Lancing-Blisters.html
    http://www.fixingyourfeet.com/Blister-Prevention.html
    If you have feet problems, blisters, etc., it's worth buying his book:
    http://www.amazon.com/Fixing-Your-Fe...s+for+Athletes
    Taping the spots where blisters form, in advance, can help a lot. I use his suggestion of using Kinesio-Tex tape; it's stretchy in only one direction and that makes it easier to put it on without lumps.

  8. #8
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    Best treatment is prevention. Cover hot spots as soon as you feel them. Duct tape works well - better than some products that are sold for the purpose.

    If prevention fails, what military medics do is called the "hot shot" because it hurts like the devil - briefly - but winds up making something like a natural dressing. They run a syringe into the blister to extract the fluid, and then inject an equal volume of Compound Tincture of Benzoin (also called Friars Balsam). When the affected soldier is done screaming, he can walk again, usually without trouble from the blister.

    You can think of Compound Tincture of Benzoin as bio-compatible glue. You can paint it over abrasions, and CTB on sterile gauze sticks better than any Band-Aid like thing.

    It's available over the counter - ask a pharmacist. Or a feed&seed store is likely to have the same stuff labeled for veterinary use.
    Last edited by Another Kevin; 04-17-2013 at 13:10.
    I always know where I am. I'm right here.

  9. #9
    Likely more sarcastic than you!
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    Engo blister pads, Sport Glide, and Lock Laces will forever be a part of my blister prevention arsenal. I do have a blister treatment kit as well, but never need to open it (these days I carry it in case I run into a poor blister-ridden soul when out on a hike). One of the contents is Tincture of Benzoin as AK mentioned above. I didn't know you could do that with it. I thought you just 'painted and dried' hot spots with it. Not that I carry a syringe on the trail anyways.
    We are all one big human family.

  10. #10
    Garlic
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    Best covering I've found for a drained blister is white cloth athletic tape, the kind used to tape sprains. It breathes and does not stick enough to peel off skin. And it's cheap. I can leave it on for days while the blister heals. It's thin enough and sticky enough that it normally does not cause additional problems. That's something you normally need to watch out for with any kind of covering. I've never had much luck with moleskin because of that.

    The way I learned to drain a blister is to penetrate good skin outside the blister, leaving the blister intact. This has to be done several times over a day or so before draining is complete. This is tedious, but it does leave intact skin over the blister.

    I had one blister on the AT after several days of hiking in snowy slush in the Smokies. Those were new conditions for me and I learned a lesson.

    Prevention is everything. The white tape is really good for covering hot spots, too.

    Sometimes especially in prolonged muddy conditions (Vermont in June) I get skin cracks on the heels. They heal well when covered with the same tape.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

  11. #11
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    Duct tape, duck tape or duc tape. It will cure every foot ailment know to man, including warts! I once lost my Crocs in a stream ford and I just used duck tape on the bottom of my feet at camp till I got replacements.

    I've only gotten blisters a few times, mostly in the beginning years, but I still get hot spots. Just go ahead and tape it up if you notice a hot spot starting. My tip is that if you're going to tape, don't use a little tiny little square, use about 3-5 feet worth. Sounds like over kill but unless the cause of the irritation is your sock (which may be fixed by readjusting it in the shoe/boot) what ever is causing the irritation will persist. So be ready to wear the duct tape wrap for a few days until your foot toughens up to the irritated area and what ever is causing it.

    while you can carry specific blister care aid, I would say that if you are trying to keep your pack weight low something like duct tape may be a wiser choice because there are about a million uses for it on the trail. And if you're trying to cut weight, one item that has a million uses seems a smarter choice than a million items that have a single use.
    * Warning: I bite AND I do not play well with others! -hellkat-

  12. #12
    Registered User Coosa's Avatar
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    Use a Needle and Thread ... well explained in this 2010 post ... http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/show...t-for-blisters

    Coosa

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Another Kevin View Post
    Best treatment is prevention. Cover hot spots as soon as you feel them. Duct tape works well - better than some products that are sold for the purpose.

    If prevention fails, what military medics do is called the "hot shot" because it hurts like the devil - briefly - but winds up making something like a natural dressing. They run a syringe into the blister to extract the fluid, and then inject an equal volume of Compound Tincture of Benzoin (also called Friars Balsam). When the affected soldier is done screaming, he can walk again, usually without trouble from the blister.

    You can think of Compound Tincture of Benzoin as bio-compatible glue. You can paint it over abrasions, and CTB on sterile gauze sticks better than any Band-Aid like thing.

    It's available over the counter - ask a pharmacist. Or a feed&seed store is likely to have the same stuff labeled for veterinary use.
    100% good advice. Its even better to use it before hand to get the tape to actually stick to areas you know you are susceptible.

    As for the pain, AK speaks the truth

  14. #14

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    Take a Needle and thread stick it through the blister and leave the thread in so it will drain, then use antibiotic ointment and cover, it should be good in a day or two.

  15. #15

  16. #16
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    Anti-biotic ointment and duct tape.

    I have put this on a blister and hiked on without it popping! Granted, it was on the side of my foot. For a blister that receives direct weight, I would pop, antibiotic, and duct tape.

  17. #17
    Registered User Pottsalot's Avatar
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    +1 on the duct tape. It has saved me plenty of pain over the years

    Sent from Heaven's Gate

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by RED-DOG View Post
    Take a Needle and thread stick it through the blister and leave the thread in so it will drain, then use antibiotic ointment and cover, it should be good in a day or two.
    +1 on this method. Thread the blister, little dab of neo, cover with duct tape, good to go.
    "Hiking is as close to God as you can get without going to Church." - BobbyJo Sargent aka milkman Sometimes it's nice to take a long walk in THE FOG.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Another Kevin View Post
    Best treatment is prevention. Cover hot spots as soon as you feel them. Duct tape works well - better than some products that are sold for the purpose.

    If prevention fails, what military medics do is called the "hot shot" because it hurts like the devil - briefly - but winds up making something like a natural dressing. They run a syringe into the blister to extract the fluid, and then inject an equal volume of Compound Tincture of Benzoin (also called Friars Balsam). When the affected soldier is done screaming, he can walk again, usually without trouble from the blister.

    You can think of Compound Tincture of Benzoin as bio-compatible glue. You can paint it over abrasions, and CTB on sterile gauze sticks better than any Band-Aid like thing.

    It's available over the counter - ask a pharmacist. Or a feed&seed store is likely to have the same stuff labeled for veterinary use.
    Basically - DO NOT POP
    COVER with DUCT TAPE! (Yes, mole skin can be used; however, it is not nearly as effective.).
    If blister pops, put anti-biotic ointment on it, and then COVER it with DUCT TAPE!

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