Hiking Hacks: How to Treat and Prevent Blisters

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If you enjoy hiking, then more than likely you have been the victim of a water blister. You may have wondered where it came from, or how to best remedy it. To answer this, as well as learn a few helpful tips to avoid this problematic situation, just keep reading.

What Are They?

A water blister is clear and appears to be full of water. However, it is not water, but rather serum that you see under the surface of the skin. This problem can occur due to differing factors such as friction, a damp environment, or even an allergic reaction. These water blisters on toes can vary in size, and can even interfere with everyday life.

How Do I Treat Blisters?

More times than not a blister can be treated at home, however if it inhibits your ability to walk it may be time to seek advice. It is important to allow your blister to heal on its own. Do not pop a water blister because you are creating a susceptible environment for infection. Ultimately you are creating an even more painful situation for yourself in the long run.

Once a blister has popped it is important to clean the area with soap and water. It is not necessary to scrub the area. Let it air dry, and then make sure you cover it with a sterile bandage to ensure you protect it from outside bacteria and fungus. Your toe should heal within a few days, but it is still necessary to keep excessive pressure off of the blister area.

Preventative Hacks

There are preventative measures you can take to avoid getting blisters on your feet. For instance, layer your socks if necessary for a long hike. This will help ensure your feet fit snugly in your shoe or boot. This lessens friction while you walk.

how to treat hiking blisters

Keeping Your Feet Dry

It is also important to keep your feet dry. Make sure you always have an extra pair of dry socks handy if it is necessary to wear your shoes for an extended period of time. You can also add insoles to your shoes that can assist in moisture control. Another way to keep your feet dry is to sprinkle talc powder on your feet before putting on your socks. This will help keep your feet drier for longer periods of time.

Proper Footwear

It is always necessary to make sure you are wearing proper footwear. Do not continue to wear hiking shoes until they no longer hurt. Instead, opt to wear your shoes for shorter periods of time until they are finally soft, or broken in per say. If you find you are suffering from a blister, then you can easily invest in gauze or a blister pad to help lessen the pain until it completely heals.

The Bottom Line

There is no need to suffer from water blisters, however they are more common than not. If you utilize these helpful tips you are lessening the chances you will suffer the consequences of having one. Just remember if you do still find yourself getting a water blister from time to time, then simply let it heal. Do not make the matter worse by picking at it or popping it.

These suggestions are not a for sure fix because blisters can arise due to varying conditions. However, if you normally get blisters from hiking, standing too long, or wearing your shoes for extended periods of time these tips can be very helpful for your situation.

If you have a blister pop up for no apparent reason consider what could have brought it on. It may be necessary to visit your family doctor to rule out illnesses such as chicken pox, shingles, impetigo, or scabies. These illnesses often need more advanced treatment, or even antibiotics.

Kevin Devoto

Kevin Devoto is an avid outdoor enthusiast and freelance writer. He enjoys writing about sustainability, eco friendly behaviors and local travel. He has traveled all over the world but has taken a particular interest in our great National Parks.


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Richard Remick

Richard is the founder and the chief editor of Outside Pursuits. Passionate about the great outdoors, Richard spends much of his time in Colorado enjoying skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, cycling, hiking, and camping. When at home in Florida, he is most often found in the water. He loves water sports such as paddle boarding, kayaking, snorkeling, and scuba diving. He is a certified scuba diver. Because of his wealth of knowledge and experience, Richard has been invited to contribute articles to many outdoor-focused websites, such as Florida Rambler, and has been profiled on travel websites such as JohnnyJet.

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