A blister can turn the greatest hike into a nightmare. Blisters are the most common foot ailment suffered while hiking. Even a short hike can seem like an eternity if a blister has formed on your foot. Blisters develop anywhere on the foot or body where there is irritating friction. Shoes, clothing and skin rubbing against skin creates friction. Sweating skin is more prone to blisters than dry skin. It is better to prevent blisters than it is to treat blisters once they develop. There is nothing like a painful blister or two to ruin your sporting activities.
Things You’ll Need:
Prevent Blisters on the Feet
Wear shoes that fit well. Shoes that are too tight squeeze and rub skin on the foot, causing blisters. Shoes that are too big move around on the foot, creating blister-causing friction.
Break in new shoes. Stiff new shoes are blister-causing culprits. A hike, bike, walk or run is not the time to break in shoes. Break in new shoes by wearing them for short periods each day for a week before using them for sports activities.
Wear socks made of synthetic materials to keep the feet from sweating. Shop at athletic supply stores for socks made of moisture-wicking materials. Moisture-wicking socks pull moisture away from the skin, keeping the feet dry.
Tape blister-prone areas with bandages, athletic tape or zinc oxide tape to create a barrier between the foot and shoe. Place tape on the skin so that it sits smooth without any wrinkles. Wrinkles in the tape will only aggravate the skin more and increase the likelihood of blisters.
Use a athletic foot spray or foot powder to keep the feet dry.
Prevent Blisters on the Body
Wear clothing made of synthetic moisture-wicking materials to keep the skin dry.
Choose clothing that is snug but not too tight. Tight clothing irritates and rubs the skin. Loose clothing moves around and creates friction that leads to blisters. Look for clothing that does not have thick seams that could rub on the skin.
Apply body powder on the skin to keep skin dry. Or, if you prefer, apply a body oil or petroleum jelly to the skin so that the skin glides smoothly against itself and clothing, without irritating friction.
Rose Kivi has been a writer for more than 10 years. She has a background in the nursing field, wildlife rehabilitation and habitat conservation. Kivi has authored educational textbooks, patient health care pamphlets, animal husbandry guides, outdoor survival manuals and was a contributing writer for two books in the Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Series.