Chapter 58: How to Prevent and Care for Blisters

The right blister prevention and care can turn a bad hike into a good one.

We all try to do the right things to prevent blisters. Don’t take long hikes in new shoes. Use quality socks with lots of cushion. Use more than one pair of socks sometimes to prevent friction. Try to keep your feet dry. Use athletic tape or moleskin in areas that are likely to blister. Fix hot spots right away.

But you can still get a blister. When you do, don’t puncture the blister unless it’s painful or prevents walking. It’s best to keep the natural sterile environment for healing.

If you feel you need to drain it, wash your hands and the blister area. Puncture the blister in at least 2 spots near the edge with a sterilized needle. Press gently to drain the fluid.

Keep the skin intact and covering the blister. Apply antibiotic ointment.

Also apply antibiotic ointment to the bandage covering the blister so the bandage won’t stick and pull off the skin.

Whether you drain the blister or keep it intact, you can get relief by cutting a protective donut around the blister with moleskin or thicker molefoam.

Change the bandage often to keep the area clean and speed the healing process.

Consider taking something like ibuprofen. It can relieve much of the pain.