Friday, January 13, 2012

Blister care

   For the adventurous types foot care and treatment for blisters are a large part of our medical practise. Blisters can be debilitating and bring to an end an expedition.

   The big debate when treating blisters centres around whether one is supposed to pop the blister or leave it intact. Both parties have major points in this argument. The main point is preventing bacterial infection.
I tend to leave blisters intact if they are small ones. I will build a ring of moleskin around the blister to keep the pressure off of it and to reduce the pain. Tincture of Benzoin will help to keep this donut in place until it heals.
   The bigger bigger blisters or one that have already popped I tend to inject Tincture of Benzoin in between the roof and the floor of the blister. This will glue the blister flat and reduce the lain down to 1 out of 10. Oh, I have to mention that this particular procedure is excruciatingly painful for about a minute. After that the pain is pretty much gone.

   The best treatment for blisters is prevention. Wear a thin silk or nylon sock and a thick woolly sock over it. This will reduce the friction on your feet and minimise blisters.
Also, know your limits. Stop every hour and check your feet. Stop the blister from forming so you don't have to worry about blister treatment.

   Here is a video taken during our Wilderness First Responder course in Killarney. It shows the proper way to protect a blister.

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