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August 1999 Hiking Boots

Fixing A Blister

A simple blister remedy gets you back on the trail fast.

1 Clean the blister area with soap and water.

2 If the blister is not too swollen or painful, skip to Step 4. Otherwise, use a match flame to sterilize a pin or the tip of the sharpest blade on your pocketknife, then carefully cut a small slit at the bottom of the blister to drain the fluid. Leave the skin flap in place to protect the wound and speed healing.

3 Apply antiseptic ointment or a small circle of a nonadhering sterile dressing, such as Spenco 2nd Skin, directly on the blister.

4 Cut a doughnut-shaped piece of moleskin with a hole that’s slightly larger than the blister. Place it over the blister and sterile dressing to create a pressure-free pocket for the sore. Cover the entire doughnut with a second piece of moleskin.

5 Secure the moleskin patch in place with medical tape. In a pinch, duct tape will do the job. For heel blisters, run tape strips along the sides of your foot toward the toes, then secure the ends with a few loops run around the instep.

6 Promote healing by keeping the blister moist with ointment or sterile dressing.

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