fixing blisters *NOW*

Cliff Stamp

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Growing up I learned the way to treat a blister was to lance it, cut off the dead skin, put iodine on it (the fun part), until it settled and then let it sit uncovered until it dried out and healed. I think this was based on the idea that the fluid in a blister is similar to the pus in an infected wound and thus it should be treated the same.

It was a fairly long time before I simply let it sit, usually they break open when you are working so it isn't an option, but when I did I discovered that they heal many times faster if you just leave them alone and the fluid isn't detrimental. The best way usually is to just pad the skin around the area and avoid continued contact.

Several years back I saw something radically different on TV where during an endurance race they would drain the blisters, put an adhesive into the wound and press the skin down, this was usually done on the feet and then the guys would continue as normal with some padding.

I have tried this many times (usually from working with knives with poor grips) and this is what I have learned :

1) it doesn't hurt as much as you think it would, it isn't as bad as putting iodine on it for example, but it gives you a dull pain that last for hours

2) it slows down the healing a lot, as in it takes many times longer, a small blister can be pretty much reabsorbed over night if you leave it alone and is gone in a day, but if you glue it, it takes days before it is completely healed

3) this is the only reason to do it - it becomes fairly functional almost immediately, it still hurts a fair bit, but the skin won't rip off and you are not grating across a bare opened blister and you don't have a open patch of raw skin for infections and such

I have also tried just gluing around the outside, that does little, the glue just won't bond (various products from new skin to actual super glue) under significant work.

The actual way I saw it done on TV by the medics was to use a needle, I didn't have one, just made a cut, drained it and waited for it to stop leeking fluid fast which takes a few minutes, and then dripped in the glue and pressed the skin down.

In general I would not do it, but it is something to consider if you have to keep working and keep stressing the already damaged area. Another reason as well to do work with your off hand on a regular basis so if this happens you have the option of just switching hands.

Does anyone know if they changed the formula of super glue, I seem to recall it being much more adhesive to human skin than it is now.

-Cliff
 
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CLiff,

I never heard of filling them with glue...but i have seen them sealed that way..

Something to think about...

I use duct tape on hot spots to stop them from becoming blisters ...but that is an old remedy...

SHane
 

Cliff Stamp

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Yeah I have heard of the tape before, including one person who advocated putting it on after the blister had torn, so it went right on the raw skin. I would be curious to know if anyone else had ever done that. The best method is as you noted to catch them early and prevent them. Often times though with rough handles on knives it only takes a few minutes and I never even notice hot spots. They are usually on odd places like the inside of the ring finger facing the pinky which rarely makes contact with anything.

-Cliff
 
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Take a syringe and suck all the fluid out, if you know a nice medic they can then shoot in a little lidocaine, then squirt in some tincture of benzoin.

Duct tape also works great for fat privates who cant road march, seen guys get taped up from knee to crotch so they could keep going without whining

Edited to add this was common in some military units as far back as 91, maybe older than that
 
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Most of the time I will use a small pin and let her drain , the bump bug's me. by the time the skin falls off it is all most healed.
 
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Goodmanfj said:
Most of the time I will use a small pin and let her drain , the bump bug's me. by the time the skin falls off it is all most healed.

That's what I do. Poke 'em with a needle and drain 'em. Leave the skin on for as long as possible, for the new skin to grow in/up underneath. The older skin protects the 'wound' and the apendage is usable far longer. I don't know if I'd have the hair to peel off the skin on a new blister and put New Skin on the raw meat underneath. :eek:
 

Cliff Stamp

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I have tried that, nu-skin on it, it is similar to iodine, it doesn't help much without the top layer.

-Cliff
 
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I use to work at a grocery store, on the frieght crew at night. so I would get little cuts all the time. This was some time ago. I always put super glue on the cuts. My wife works in Dermatology, and I think I remember her telling me that newskin was almost just like super glue.

Jeff
 
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I second the Benzoin.
As an ole' Infantry Medic I've lost count of the number of blisters I treated this way. Hurts like Hell for a few minutes (if you don't have lidocane) but, you'll be marching again in the morning. Just pad the surounding area with some mole skin.
Allan
 
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ive spent alot of time out in the boonies and have figuerd that the foot is the hardest place to mend a blister . the super glue thing really does work if you can get past the pain without screaming . now adays i prefer to go out in Gods good nowhere pre-duct taped so it doesnt happen as much. be careful doing that cause if the tape is not on there just right it will another set of problems . as far as feet go that is.
 
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Grim/Don said:
That's what I do. Poke 'em with a needle and drain 'em. Leave the skin on for as long as possible, for the new skin to grow in/up underneath. The older skin protects the 'wound' and the apendage is usable far longer. I don't know if I'd have the hair to peel off the skin on a new blister and put New Skin on the raw meat underneath. :eek:

That's how I handle blisters, too. Poke it with anything sharp (needle, stick pin, tip of Spyderco Persian, etc) and either let it drain or slowly apply enough pressure around it to get all or most of the fluid out. I try to leave the top layer on and cover with a band-aid. If the top layer is gone, I clean with soap and water or just water, then TWO band-aids (in an 'X' shape or '+' shape) on top of the 'raw meat.' Blisters form from constant rubbing on one area. One band-aid will quickly rub off if the activity continues. I find that two band-aids stay on better and the rubbing occurs on the top band aid, while the bottom one is safe.
 
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Grim/Don said:
That's what I do. Poke 'em with a needle and drain 'em. Leave the skin on for as long as possible, for the new skin to grow in/up underneath. The older skin protects the 'wound' and the apendage is usable far longer. I don't know if I'd have the hair to peel off the skin on a new blister and put New Skin on the raw meat underneath. :eek:
I'm not sure that makes sense. The best remedy--as Cliff stated--is to leave it the hell alone, pad it, and put a bandage over it.

Lancing the blister does *nothing* to protect the skin underneath--you've introduced a path for infection right into soft tissue. And obviously once you've lanced the blister, the pouch of skin that was over it sloughs off in a minute or two under use.

Again--you're free to do what you want with your blisters--but leave 'em alone as long as you can, and protect them as carefully as you can.
 

Cliff Stamp

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What is the healing time with tincture of benzoin? Similar to what I noted with the glue.

-Cliff
 

skammer

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I second third or forth the crazy glue method. Used it for decades.

Drain the bubble and inject super glue and press down the blister roof and then cover with moleskin and then duct tape.

Gives a tough durable layer of protection. Hurts a little but not as bad as hamburger feet.

Duct tape on a blister is a bad idea as when removed it takes 30 layers of skin with it, not good. Duct tape as prevention on a hot spot is perfect.

Skam
 

Cliff Stamp

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Thanks for the info on dermabond, I'll have to pick up some though I don't think I'll needs its advantages for widespead use, hope I never do anyway.

Yes that is what I figured about the tape as well, I figured you must have to use a solvent to get it off, or wait until the blister has fully healed anyway.

You could also put a little pad on the blister to make a super bandaid with the duct tape.

Is tincture of benzoin actually called that if you go to buy it?

-Cliff
 

Bladite

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check out a product called "body glide", they sell it at EMS/REI and carry it lots of places now.

it glides on much like a solid deodorant might, and is "slippery". got a hot spot? put it on (like inner thighs), and slip slip slip, no more hot spot. that seems to be the big trick, is recognizing you have a hot spot, and treating it before it blisters. that super glue trick looks like it rocks though, for when you have a blister - the fluid inside SHOULD be sterile, so popping them early if not necessary for moving onward is probably a bad idea, but if popped, should definitely be treated to keep infection at bay.

bladite
 

RokJok

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Cliff Stamp said:
You could also put a little pad on the blister to make a super bandaid with the duct tape.
This is my field expedient method to make a padding bandaid for hotspots/blisters when I'm feeling too lazy to fetch a real one from the first aid kit. A lot of times, even if I do put a real bandaid on the hotspot, I put duct tape over it since the adhesive on bandaids can be too weak to stay put under rubbing pressure. Why hasn't someone come out yet with pre-manufactured Duct-Aids? (trademark pending no doubt ;) )

I usually leave it on for a few days. By that time the hotspot/blister is pretty well healed and there's enough sloughing of dead skin layers to make removing the improvised Duct-Aid easy.
 
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I have always been told that you are supposed to lance a blister from the side of the blister by going through the good skin first and opening a line for the blister to drain and then cover over the small line on the skin.

Now, if you smash your finger and a blood blister appears then I use a paper clip and get it red hot and touch it to the nail that has the blister. This releaves the pressure and drains the blister at the same time....oh it feel sooo good when that pressure is releaved and burning through the nail does not cause any pain and now you can just put a band-aid over the nail hole for a day or so.

FWIW, ciao
Ron
:thumbup:
 

skammer

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Cliff Stamp said:
Is tincture of benzoin actually called that if you go to buy it?

-Cliff


Its called Friars Balsam in many areas and in many pharmacy's. YOu paint it on (I use Q-tips) and let it evaporate and dry for a minute or two then stick whatever to it.

Messy stuff be carefull.

Skam
 
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