With 5 Items
Everyone has an opinion on what you should have in your Blister Kit. Here's mine.
Add 5 item to your first aid kit to give you the most advanced blister management capabilities; to get you over the finish line with your feet intact!
But first ...
Any blister kit should be assembled with 5 goals in mind, to:
- keep your blister as pain-free as possible
- stop your blister roof from tearing or deroofing
- prevent your blister from getting infected
- make your blister heal as quickly as possible
- and even to stop your hotspot from becoming a blister in the first place
So what are the 5 items?
1) Silicone gel toe sleeve
I think a couple of gel toe sleeves (open at the end) or caps (enclosed at the end) are a must-have Blister Kit inclusion. If you get a hot-spot, blister or any irritation to a toe, especially between the toes, these little devices will become your best friend! The gel material provides very favourable properties due to its very low shear modulus. They can be cut to length and are elasticised. Their longevity will be determined by the amount of grit and the intensity of the exercise they are subjected to - but they're quite hardy, washable and can be reused day after day.
2. Orthopedic felt
Felt can be cut to shape to produce donut pads to deflect pressure from blisters, corns or any painful bony prominence or area of skin. Felt is self-adhesive - just peel the paper off the back and apply to the skin so that the blister (or blister prone area) is in the aperture. Secure with Fixomull tape so the pad will remain in place despite the rigors of the activity. Felt compresses relatively quickly and will need to be replaced frequently for maximum effect.
3. ENGO Patches
ENGO Blister Prevention Patches are an excellent choice for long term blister prevention. These self-adhesive patches apply to your shoe not your skin and last for around 500kms of wear. By adhering to the shoe/insole, they last longer than taping the skin as perspiration does not compromise adhesion. The blue surface of the patches is a Teflon-like material (PTFE) that reduces the coefficient of friction by up to 80% and patches can be cut to size. Footwear needs to be dry for optimal adhesion.
4. Scalpel blades
If you need to lance a blister, use a scalpel blade ideally, rather than a pin or needle. They're packaged so that they're easy to carry but must be disposed of adequately (sharps container). They're sterile so you don't need to worry about flames or disinfectants etc before use. Whats more, they do a better job than a needle - a pinprick will close over rather quickly and allow blister fluid to accumulate again. Pictured here is a #15 which I use everyday at work and I like it for lancing blisters because you don't have to poke it into the blister very far to make the right kind of hole in your blister roof.
5. Hydrocolloid dressing
We use hydrocolloid / hydroactive dressings to treat non-infected foot ulcers (sores that take a long time to heal) and they're perfect for deroofed blisters. You don't use these dressings on dry sores, scabs or even lanced blisters where the roof is still in place. They are used on raw weepy lesions - like deroofed blisters. This material is the perfect replacement for a blister roof in the unfortunate situation when your blister roof has sheared off. And it provides a perfect moist environment for your blister to heal as quickly as possible. Compeed is a close alternative.
Introducing the Advanced Blister Kit!
A blister kit that features the products and materials used by professionals for advanced blister management capabilites - the kind of stuff you don't find in basic kits. Packs down to a tiny 10cm x 15cm x 1cm and only 64 grams. Hikers and ultrarunners have asked for this.
- Keep your blister as pain-free as possible
- Stop your blister roof from tearing
- Prevent your blister from getting infected
- Allow your blister heal as quickly as possible
- And stop your hotspot from becoming a blister in the first place
- 2 x sterile Comfeel dressings (6cm x 4cm)
- 1 x adhesive felt sheet (9cm x 11cm)
- 2 x sterile Scalpel blades (size 15)
- 2 x ENGO large ovals
- 1 x Silicone gel toe sleeve (small)
- 1 x Silicone gel toe sleeve (large)
- 2 x Povidone iodine (Betadine) swabs
- 2 x Gloves (medium)
- ½ metre Fixomull tape (5cm)
- 2 x sterile Cutiplast / Primapore dressings (7cm x 5cm)
- 2 x Skin Prep swabs
- Instructions included
I've assembled a selction of items and products that you might not be able to find easily elsewhere but that are available to me as a practitioner. These items pack a mighty punch! Some of these I’ve never seen in another blister kit, anywhere. But they’re items that take blister management to a whole new level - to help you achieve those 5 blister kit aims, to get you to the finish line or reach your destination with your feet intact!
The Advanced Blister Kit packs down to a tiny 10cm x 15cm x 1cm and only 64grams, giving you bang for bulk! And I’ve included some instructions so you can be sure to get the most out of these advanced items that may be new to you.
If you're participating in an isolated environment, if you're blister prone, if DNF is simply not an option, if you need the absolute best blister management capabilities ... the Advanced Blister Kit is something you should consider.
Watch the video for more information on the contents.
Written by Rebecca Rushton
Rebecca is an Australian podiatrist with over 20 years experience. She has spent a lifetime dealing with her own blister prone feet in her sporting and everyday life. Rebecca specialises in helping athletes and sports medicine professionals figure out how to manage foot blisters with ease. And for kicks, she enjoys providing blister care at multiday ultramarathon events.
Rebecca is the founder of Blister Prevention and author of "The Blister Prone Athlete's Guide To Preventing Foot Blisters".