A blister begins as a hot spot. Blisters are caused by a rub of the skin. This friction forces the layers of skin to shear and separate.
Left unattended, hot spots will develop into a fluid filled blister. Painful, easily prevented, and quite possibly a hike ender!
• Choose a sock combination that works for your foot. A think synthetic sock next to the skin covered with a thicker sock is typical for most hiking boots;
• Fit boots properly; and
• Keep feet dry – this may require changing socks or using foot powder.
• Don’t wait to care for hot spots – dry the area and protect it with athletic tape;
• If a fluid filled blister forms wash the area with soap or water and allow to dry – use of alcohol or betadine is acceptable;
• Sterilize a needle and stab the base of the blister in several places
• Gently press the blister to deflate – leave the skin in place;
• Make a doughnut by cutting a hole in the center of a circle of Moleskin and placing the doughnut over the blister site to produce a protective well with the blister in the center;
• Fill the well with antibiotic ointment and cover the area with tape;
• Clean, inspect and change the blister dressing twice a day;
• Do not attempt to remove the moleskin doughnut as this will most likely tear off more skin; and
• Monitor the blister site for signs of infections: redness, swelling, tenderness, warmth or red streaks that extend for the wound.