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How to avoid blisters while hiking?

Today, the small blister on the foot has become one of the most common injuries among hikers.

There are three keys to treating blisters:

  • Know what causes blisters: Pressure, heat and humidity are all responsible.
  • Prevent the formation of blisters: Obtain hiking shoes suitable for your feet. Put on special hiking socks and immediately treat hot spots by covering them with an anti-blister bandage.
  • Take care of blisters before they get worse

Disclaimer: Safety is your responsibility. No article or video can replace medical advice, professional instruction and experience. Before giving first aid, make sure that you have learned the proper techniques and that you follow the safety rules.

What are the causes of blisters?

Blisters can be caused by burns, allergies, skin problems, or even spider bites, but the most common culprit is friction.

When there is enough friction in one place, the cells are damaged. The serum (liquid) inside a blister helps protect and heal damaged tissue. The red fluid that is found in an ampoule of blood just means that the capillaries in the area of the ampoule have also been damaged.

Several factors make blisters more likely to occur:

  • Pressure: A hard point in your shoe or a crease in your sock can create a point of friction pressure.
  • Direct friction: Any place where a shearing force grabs the skin and slips can cause a blister. This can happen on the inside of the heel of your shoe for example. The epidermis (top layer of the skin) eventually separates and fluid enters the space, causing a blister.
  • Moisture: Moist skin (more prone to sweat) is softer skin, which is more susceptible to damage if rubbed.


How to prevent blisters?

Preventing blisters is a matter of awareness and vigilance. Once you know the factors that increase your chances of getting blisters, your goal is to monitor and minimize those factors.

To prevent blisters, follow these guidelines:

  1. Make sure your shoes are snug and put on properly: To avoid pressure points, slips, or both, the basis of blister prevention is making sure your hiking boots are snug when you buy them. .
  2. Wear Appropriate Socks: When hiking, rule number one is to avoid cotton, which retains moisture. Instead, go for synthetic or wool and make sure they look good on you.
    (socks that are too big, you risk having creases; socks that are too small, you risk creating pressure points and the socks sliding off).
  3. Wear Protective Socks: These add a protective layer between the skin and your main hiking socks and can help wick away moisture. Double socks can perform the same function.
  4. Change to dry socks: Cool socks allow you to regain the same low humidity level as at the start of your hike. They can also come in handy if your socks get soaked while crossing a stream.
  5. Deal With Hot Spots Quickly: Pay attention to how your feet feel while hiking. As soon as you feel an uncomfortable place, stop and take off your shoes and socks.


How to treat a blister?

Many companies sell ampoule kits that include a range of products for both treatment and prevention.

To treat a blister, try one of the following options:

  • Blister Dressings with Pads and Gels: These add a protective layer to prevent a blister from getting worse. The pads provide cushioning; gels soothe the area by cooling it.
  • Empty the ampoule, if necessary: In general, avoid opening an ampoule to release the liquid: You create a risk of infection and you remove the protection and healing that the serum provides.

Although it is rare for a blister to become infected, it is important to monitor it closely.

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