Blisters form when heat, moisture and friction from shoes and socks rubbing skin cause fluid to build up between your skin's layers. Blisters can be a minor irritation or so painful you have a hard time walking. You can prevent blisters by keeping your feet cool and dry, wearing well-fitting shoes that are broken in, and resting your feet when you feel a sore spot forming. Once you have a blister, you need to know some tricks to keep shoes from rubbing them.
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Wear flexible shoes with cushioned insoles and a lot of support. Wear thin, synthetic socks with reinforced heels and toes that stay in place and don't slide on your feet. Avoid cotton socks, which retain fluid and become abrasive when they get wet. Make sure that you have room to wiggle your toes and that there are no seams in the shoes and socks to cause friction.
Blister Treatment Products
Place bandages, pads or gauze over blisters and places that tend to rub against shoes. Many companies, including Dr. Scholl's, make a line of products designed to prevent blisters and to keep shoes from rubbing blisters that have already formed. Dr. Scholl's Blister Treatment is a thin, sterilised, flexible, water-resistant cushion used to cover blisters and keep shoes from rubbing. Moleskin is padding with a self-stick adhesive used to cover blisters and prevent friction. Dr. Scholl's Molefoam Padding has a layer of cotton and one of foam with self-stick adhesive to hold it in place, and it can be cut to any size.
If you've developed a painful blister while hiking and you don't have blister treatment products available, you may have to resort to measures you would not otherwise take. Make a small cut in your shoe at the pressure point to relieve some of the friction. Rub petroleum jelly on your foot, apply baby oil or sprinkle on some talcum powder. Cover the blister with a bandage, piece of duct tape or a piece of transparent tape.
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