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#42804 - 07/01/05 02:50 PM First aid for blisters
brandtb Offline

Registered: 11/26/04
Posts: 303
Loc: S.E. Pennsylvania
What is the consensus about what to carry - and how to use it - for blisters?

First of all: break or not break?
Second: What is the proper way to use a moleskin. It always seemed to me that applying moleskin directly over a blister would aggrevate the situation when you tried to pull it off.

What ate your comments?
Brian Brandt

#42805 - 07/01/05 06:02 PM Re: First aid for blisters
duckear Offline

Registered: 03/01/04
Posts: 477
IMHO, Spenco is the standard for now. YMMV.

REI as well as others carry it. google Spenco blister.

#42806 - 07/01/05 06:04 PM Re: First aid for blisters
Susan Offline

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
I don't get them the way I used to, but here's what I do:

I usually carry a needle and a lighter in my EDC, so I heat up the tip of the needle, then let it cool, then poke it into the edge of the blister and roll my finger over the blister to squeeze out the juice.

I put the moleskin right over the blister and leave it there until it starts to roll or otherwise come off by itself.

My ditzy sister pulls off the moleskin as soon as she gets home. That way, the top of the blister tends to come off with the moleskin, it usually hurts, & she's now got a raw sore on her foot that she has to deal with.

I have absolutely nothing to back it up, but I feel that the skin of the top of the blister may still be alive, just separated from the deeper part of the skin. If it is alive and the source of friction is removed, it may heal back to the skin underneath. If it's dead, it is still a source of protection until the raw part starts to heal.

I DID read something somewhere that said if exterior skin cuts and abrasions are covered and kept moist (as with Neosporin, etc), it will heal faster and is not as likely to scar.


#42807 - 07/01/05 06:43 PM Re: First aid for blisters
tfisher Offline

Registered: 01/29/01
Posts: 186
Loc: Illinois, USA
For Foot and ankle blisters, we take a sewing needle with a small piece of cotton thread (both prepared by heat and alcohol to be somewhat sterile) Run the needle through the edge of the blister on one side all the way through to the other side so that the thread stays through the blister to act as a drain for the fluid. We then use spenco to cover as instructed on the package.

In the past some of our people used Duct Tape, but found out that the duct tape stuck so well to the skin that when the duct tape was removed it took off more skin than necessary.

Ted Fisher
Vermilion County Search and Rescue

Edited by tfisher (07/01/05 06:45 PM)
If you want the job done right call "Tactical Trackers"

#42808 - 07/01/05 06:43 PM Re: First aid for blisters
GoatRider Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/28/04
Posts: 832
Loc: Maple Grove, MN
I've found that if I put a bandage over a blister and strap it down tight, the blister will shrink down and reattach. It's not attached very firmly, but if you protect it for a few days the skin under it will have had a change to grow out by the time the blister detaches and tears off.

EDIT: I'll have to try that spenco stuff. It looks like it might be a more efficient way of doing what I'm already doing.

Edited by GoatRider (07/01/05 06:47 PM)
- Benton

#42809 - 07/01/05 07:02 PM Re: First aid for blisters
NAro Offline

Registered: 03/15/01
Posts: 487
Where are some of our MD forumites when we need them!
I was taught not to make any unnecessary new holes in my body, including piercing a blister. I slather it with NewSkin or something like that... pad it with moleskin.. and leave it alone.

Probably all here would agree that if you're getting blisters on your feet, you're doing something wrong. That's one of the most important areas of preventive maintenance I can think of for outdoorspersons: pad hotspots BEFORE you get a blister, and check your feet frequently and carefully.

#42810 - 07/01/05 08:25 PM Re: First aid for blisters
Tjin Offline

Registered: 04/08/02
Posts: 1757
he's absolute right, prevention is usually beter than curing.

I personally can't remember having blisters on my feet ! Don't know why, i just don't get blisters on my feets. I walked about 25 Km's tuesday with a pack on, with just one layer of crappy socks and still didn't get blisters. But wenn i expect my self to walk long distances i still wear a thin layer of coolmax sock, with a good quality wol hiking sock over them to minimize friction. Some people tape there feets to reduce friction. I have done that in the past, but i think it was to much hassle for my self, since i don't get blisters there... i'm so lucky <img src="/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

#42811 - 07/01/05 09:03 PM Re: First aid for blisters
brian Offline

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 1468
Loc: Texas
I use moleskin. But then I rarely get blisters. But then I rarely wear shoes outside of the office. <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
Learn to improvise everything.

#42812 - 07/01/05 11:46 PM Re: First aid for blisters

For what it is worth....

If it is just a hot spot, a bit of duct tape.

If it a true blister, wash, pierce, drain, a dab of neosporin, and duct tape.

But I wait for the tape to come off in it's own due time. For some reason, it seams to leave a thin callous where the blister had been.

But that is my self-witchdoctoring.

#42813 - 07/02/05 03:32 AM Re: First aid for blisters
Trusbx Offline

Registered: 01/16/02
Posts: 397
Loc: Ed's Country
Ok, we need time to wake up and check the forum from this side of the world! <img src="/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

For tense blisters - you may pierce a few holes in the blister with a sterilised / sterile needle to drain the fluid. Never deroof the blister i.e. leave the skin on!!

Apply whatever tape over the blister - Micropore, bandaid, moleskin, ducttape etc - make sure the surrounding normal skin is included in the taped area. The idea here is to compress the loose skin down and the surrounding normal skin will provide support for the tape.
The tape is to provide cushioning and prevent further trauma to the area and to prevent the blister from reforming.
The type of tape used will depend on what you have on hand and whether you want the treated area to be aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Duct tape will do, but moleskin looks and feels nicer.....

There is no point in apply tape to the blister only without incluing some surrounding normal skin. The roof of the blister will be mobile and more likely to tear and lead to more trauma and an open wound.

Finally, DON'T rip off the tape as soon as you get home. When to take off the tape depends the type of tape used and how long its been on the skin. Leave for at least 24 h before attempting to remove. For some types of duct tape - good luck, micropore tape - easiest to remove, moleskin - remove with care...
Of course don't deroof the blister while you are attempting to remove the tape.....

If in doubt, seek your local MD!


<img src="/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

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