Need help with blisters asap!
August 30, 2014 11:40 PM   Subscribe

I'm working at PAX Prime all weekend (a big gaming convention) and I severely blistered the bottoms of my big toes while dancing at an after-party tonight. I still need to work 8-hour shifts tomorrow and Monday on my feet the entire time! What can I do tonight and in the morning to result in the least pain possible? I have Nike Free sneakers that I'll likely be wearing the next two days. Thanks!
posted by skycrashesdown to Health & Fitness (15 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
My friends in competitive ballroom dance all use duct tape (straight onto the foot) for this situation. Also, nice, thick socks - I'm able to stuff wool socks into my Nike Frees; might be a good idea for you.
posted by fifthrider at 11:58 PM on August 30, 2014

Should note, though, that a medical adhesive like Nu Skin or a medical tape like Durapore would probably be slightly more, uh, biocompatible than duct tape. Not sure about the long-term effects of it, is all I'm saying.
posted by fifthrider at 12:01 AM on August 31, 2014

You want this stuff called moleskin, which you can get at any drug store (there's a Bartell down on 3rd & Union). It's an adhesive fabric thing that you cut with scissors and apply directly to your skin.

Depending on your blister, if it's drained or broke or not, you do one of two things. Wash and dry first no matter what. If it's already drained, put a bandaid or some gauze on it, and then stick your moleskin over the top of that. If it's not drained, take your moleskin and cut a hole in it the size of your blister, and place it on that blister so you're padding the area around it and taking pressure off of the blister itself while giving it a way to drain. You can stack the moleskin up on top of itself to get more height if your blister is tall. I find that triangle shapes fit the curves of my foot best. You can also preemptively put moleskin on the areas of your feet that are chafing but not yet blistered (when I know I'll be on my feet and I haven't built up calluses yet, I always moleskin the back of my ankle.)

You can tape down on top of the moleskin if it makes you feel more secure, but if your skin is clean and dry it should adhere quite well. Since you're not in the wilderness or anything, you can reapply if things get scrunched up.

Then wear thick socks, but if you can, in a moisture-wicking fabric, so if you have any socks specifically for working out I suggest those. Keep your feet dry to help blisters heal cleanly.
posted by Mizu at 12:04 AM on August 31, 2014 [3 favorites]

The absolute best is Compeed, their blister plasters are superior to any other products. But you probably won't be able to find them in the US. Try the Band-Aid Advanced healing blister plasters instead, they are similar as both are sterile, waterproof, hydrocolloidal blister dressings (gel pads). Don't fuck around with duct tape unless you want infections.
posted by travelwithcats at 12:17 AM on August 31, 2014 [3 favorites]

posted by persona au gratin at 12:18 AM on August 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

Most grocery stores and drugstores will have blister-specific hydrocolloid bandaids. Wash and dry your feet, slap them on and leave them there until they fall off in a week. For me, it is like not having a blister at all once they're on there- pretty magical, and less fussy than moleskin.
posted by charmedimsure at 12:19 AM on August 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

Those blister hydrocolloid bandaids are amazing. I blister at the slightest provocation, and those things are magical. I would go straight to those, were I you., and not mess around with moleskin.
posted by Stacey at 5:54 AM on August 31, 2014

If you can swing by REI, I recommend the Smartwool brand of moisture-wicking socks, as well as the aforementioned moleskin.
posted by Fleebnork at 6:09 AM on August 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

Mizu is totally right- Moleskin was the bee's knees for blisters while hiking.
posted by jenkinsEar at 6:17 AM on August 31, 2014

Blister plasters are like magic.
posted by koahiatamadl at 7:36 AM on August 31, 2014

Thanks, all - hydrocolloid bandaids obtained. Lets see how today goes. *crosses fingers*
posted by skycrashesdown at 9:17 AM on August 31, 2014

I have popped large blisters on the bottoms of my feet with a sterilized sewing needle before. I also washed the area very well first. This is possibly not a good idea in terms of inviting infection, but I was a lot more comfortable and they healed much faster than I think they would have otherwise. I really, really regretted trying to wash my feet with Hibiclens afterwards, though, because that stung like motherf*cker.
posted by needs more cowbell at 3:10 PM on August 31, 2014

Distance runner here. Go to the gift shop and get duct tape, safety pins, neosporin, regular bad aids.

1) wash foot thoroughly with soap and water.

2) before you go to bed lance each with a pin and squeeze them until they drain out on toilet paper

3) cover them in a light film of neosporin and(optional) cover them lightly with the band aids

4) go time, the next day. Put a bandage over a blister and generously cover with duct tape then put on your sock. Keep those Nikes looser than you would normally wear them.

5) at night thoroughly wash and dry and let breathe.

The key is to let it breathe when your feet are clean and not covered and in bed for night. Only cover them during the day until they start to heal which should be in a day or two when this happens, if it doesn't hurt, try to bandage less. Keep up with the nightly washing.
posted by floweredfish at 7:57 PM on August 31, 2014

You people who are still recommending moleskin and duct tape must have not tried hydrocolloid blister plasters like Compeed. You are so missing out! With hydrocolloid plasters there is no fussing, second day treatment or going soft on your feet necessary. You just apply it and that's it.
posted by travelwithcats at 1:07 AM on September 1, 2014

If you're prone to blisters you can usually find sterile lancets in the diabetes section of the pharmacy. They're tiny and capped and a few will fit into a toiletry bag or emergency kit, and save you the trouble of trying to do stuff with lighters and sewing needles. If you're an insulin dependent diabetic, you can also just use a syringe to lance/drain the blister (It's gross, but very effective. Just pretend it's the grossest insulin vial ever, rinse the stuff out with hot water and dispose of the needle in your sharps bin.)

Lancing from the side is a good idea either way, It's easier to go from one side of the blister to the other when (GENTLY) squeezing the juice out. Also you run less risk of poking the bottom of the blister. You really don't want to do that. I've managed to get callouses overnight when I've caught the thing in time, although that might just be my desert-dry skin in general causing that to happen.
posted by mcrandello at 4:15 AM on September 1, 2014

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