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Ask Buck

How Do Blisters Heal Fastest?

Once a heel blister starts to get better/heal, does keeping it exposed to air each night (so the area dries after the day of hiking) improve healing, or is keeping the area moist and soft with a dressing better?

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Question:

Once a heel blister starts to get better/heal, does keeping it exposed to air each night (so the area dries after the day of hiking) improve healing, or is keeping the area moist and soft with a dressing better?

Submitted by – Jens, Washougal, WA

Answer:

Wounds, on heels or anywhere else, do not like to dry out. I can’t quote hard science, but my educated guess is that wounds with a dry surface will take 3 to 4 times longer to completely heal than wounds that have been kept moist with a proper dressing.

And the chance of scarring is greater with dry wounds—if that matters to you. I strongly recommend keeping the area moist with a proper dressing, a dressing that holds in the body moisture of the blistered area.—BUCK