Hiking and Blisters

By: Fred Jones

Hiking is such a rewarding experience. The work out you get from hiking rough terrains, the fresh air you breath in, the green and the beautiful view, and that rewarding feeling of achievement. The rewarding feeling of achievement also comes with the mark of honor called blisters. Blisters are common amongst first time hikers with new shoes or shoes that are not broken yet. Though it is impossible to go without blisters, it is possible to prevent from getting one if you prepare before you leave for your hiking trip.

Blisters are basically injury on the skin caused by heat or from friction. The friction or the heat creates tears between the epidermis and the layer beneath, the skin. So periods of intensive rubbing can cause a blister, so hiking takes intensive walking and running from time to time, and with new shoes that do not fit your shoes, it is impossible to go by without intensive rubbing in your shoes. You can also have blisters on your hands and shoulders and it is a common sight to see blisters at those locations. It is easier to get blisters on wet, moist skin and in warmer conditions.

To prevent blisters, it is ideal to wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes with good cushions. If the shoe fits your foot, it would not make much room for your foot to shift around and cause friction against the shoe. It is recommended to "break" new shoes before wearing them for hiking. Breaking a shoe means bending the places that usually bends so that the hard parts would not put pressure against your foot. Some people even soak their heavy hiking shoes and wear them for a day so the shoes will transform and it will fit their feet perfectly.

Another thing you should do is wear clean socks. Since blisters are more likely to develop on a moist skin, it is a good idea to wear socks to absorb the moisture. So moisture absorbing socks will be a good prevention against blisters or if not, change socks regularly. Taping over the area where you get the most friction will help prevent it as well, since the tape will actually act like a cushion against the shoe.

Blisters are a natural reaction of your body, so they heal naturally and they do not require medical attention. But there are skin care methods, such as using emu oil to help it heal faster. To help the blisters to heal faster, you should wash the area with the blister with soap and water and sterilize the blister with rubbing alcohol. Then you should sterilize a pin with rubbing alcohol, and with that pin, you should pick at the edge of the blister and drain the fluid out. Lastly, you should treat it with skin care products that have been proven to be effective against blisters such as the ones that use emu oil and cover the blister with a sterile bandage to prevent infections from the outside.

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