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Blister Prevention - Unusual Remedies

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Updated April 27, 2014

Duct Tape

Duct Tape

Wendy Bumgardner ©
Duct Tape: A walking friend of mine uses duct tape on his feet to prevent blisters on the ball of the foot. He says the key is to get the soft tape that doesn't have the strapping threads in it, and to always use it whenever you walk, not just on the long walks. Benefits are that it is cheap -- a giant roll doesn't cost much, and you may already have some in the house. The drawback could be getting a skin allergy to the adhesive. Be alert for signs of redness and itching and discontinue use if these develop.

Duct tape can also work by making it into a bandage so that the adhesive is not over the sensitive area. Take a piece of duct tape and trim it so it is slightly larger than the sensitive area. Then stick it on a larger piece of duct tape, the sticky sides together. Now apply it over over the area -you have the slick, non-adhesive side next to the skin, with the larger piece sticking it all in place. Sounds like a complicated way to make a Band-aid, but works in a pinch when you don't have a Band-aid or don't have one large enough.

Cautions: The adhesive on duct tape has NOT been tested on human subjects and you could have a nasty reaction to it. Likewise, using it on open wounds may mean that the chemicals in the tape can enter your wounds and may contribute to infection or bad reaction.

Dubbin: This is a waxy product used on hiking boots to keep them soft and waterproof. A walker wrote to me about her friend whose feet were so blistered after long walks that they "looked like bubble wrap." Ewwwwwww! While on a two-day (80km) charity walk on the Comrades Marathon route someone told her to rub Dubbin on her feet. Guess what? Not one blister! I give this the same warning as duct tape: Try it if you must, but look for any signs of skin irritation as this is not approved for human use. But, then, what is skin but living leather?

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