BLISTERS

Blisters. The bane of all bushwalkers. Whether caused by irritation, friction and pinching of the boots they can be a painful nuisance.

Important preventive measures include getting your feet in good condition prior to a walk, wearing properly fitting and well broken in boots and putting something like elastoplast over the area most prone to problems. Otherwise it is suggested that a thin pair of socks is worn under thicker woollen socks. The idea is that if any rubbing takes place, it is between the pairs of socks not between the socks and feet. Steep uphill climbs generally rub the heels while downhill sections rub the toes.

The affected area often becomes warm and develops a hot spot from the friction created within the boot. Remedial measures such as placing a layer of adhesive tape over the area to act as a buffer should be taken straight away to prevent the hot spot developing into a blister. The tape needs to adhere properly to the area otherwise it can exacerbate the problem.

If a blister has already formed it should be left intact for as long as possible to aid the healing process. The skin protects the area from infection. If kept clean the blister should drain and shrink within a couple of days. The remaining blister roof should be protected and not removed as it still helps ward off infection.