posted on May, 15 2008 @ 09:19 PM
The bane of the footsoldier, traveler and athlete. If you happen to be one of those people who never gets blisters then well done you lucky git!
For folk who get them they are a sad by-product of foot-slogging.
Aside from your speed and agility suffering they could well be a dangerous distraction in SitX if you drop your guard fretting about them
Prevention is key
There are more myths and folk tales about this than I care to remember. Some of them are true.
Blisters are when a part of your foot gets too much friction and the body forces a sac of fluid to keep the friction effect down and provide cooling.
All well and good but they bloody hurt!
Blisters can also be very susepitable to skin that is damp and moist (tench foot) and will be softer and prone to blister.
Boots and no weight = Some minor risk of blisters if no prep.
Boots and weight = Almost certain Risk of blisters if no prep.
Running = More heat generated all over
Fast Walking/Marching = Both heels increased flashpoint for blisters.
Blisters a lot less likely overall.
Prevention is key.
Talc your feet! Not to the extent that the stuff 'balls' up in the boot though, as this will cause blisters. But enough to dry out your feet.
Tape you feet! Tape them carefully, problem areas vary from person to person but for me the heels and occasionally the little toe give me sht.
Zinc oxide tape is the stuff I use.
Gaffer tape the strip of stitching on the inside heel that runs down the back of your heel and achilles tendon, MAKE SURE IT'S SMOOTH AND NO CREASES.
Its easier to apply this before the boot is broken in.
Applying Gaffer tape will cut down friction against your heel.
Wear decent, thick socks. Change every day if possible. This will cut the risk of blisters.
Two pairs of socks, one thin and one thick can work, although the risk of a pair creasing over the other is possible.
Some soldiers swear by soaking the feet in white spirit or any strong industrial alcohol to toughen them up.
Rubbing vaseline on the foot can help.
If despite your best efforts a blister forms then you have some options.
1. Do nothing and soldier on through the pain. Its not pleasant and if you haven't experience this then its near impossible to explain. The pain
factor can vary. The little toe is the least nasty, the heel is 2nd worse (often the commonest) then its the ball of the foot which is excruciating.
I can't recall ever suffering the last but suffice to say the heel is pretty darn painful.
After a day or so of complete rest the blister should start to fade and heal.
However, being SitX that day is a wasted day and, being, a man on the move you can't afford risk of danger descending.
2. If its a hotspot (not a blister, but one that'd form if you keep on walking) then vaseline and a 'second skin' paster/fresh zinc tape over it
3. Syringe/Lance and drain the blister fluid. This is a soldiers trick.
The wooley williams and gentle folk often blanche and warn against this but I can tell you that I've done this many many times and its never caused
me an infection or problems.
In times of urgency this will get you back on the move again.
Get a needle and pierce the blister on the edge, at a right angle and then keep piercing until you come out the other side. A trickle of fluid will
come out, remove the needle and press down hard from side to side and drain the blister completely until there is nothing left fluid wise. Dry the
foot with talc
'second skin' paster/fresh zinc tape over it, sock on, boot on, get your groove on out of there!
Now it will still hurt, you've got a loose bit of skin now on hot, raw flesh.
But the pain will be less than when the blister was filled.
To reduce the pain take a few painkillers.
If you ignore all but one point of this post then let it be keep your feet dry. That's generally the best overall one for prevention. closely
followed by taping them up.
[edit on 15-5-2008 by WatchRider]