If despite the advice we gave you in our entry “How to look after your feet in El Camino de Santiago: Tape to prevent”, you have not managed to avoid blisters, you will have to use stinging measures…
The first and most important rule to heal blisters is NEVER REMOVE THE DEAD SKIN! The dead skin protects the new skin underneath until is hard enough to withstand rubbing and chafing. If you remove the dead skin we become vulnerable to bacteria, dust, moist and any other element that could lead to an infection.
Disinfect a needle with alcohol, thread it and leave enough thread on both sides so not to loose the end.
Prick the blister carefully, so not to damage the new skin underneath. Go through the blister with the threaded needle and leave about 2cms of thread at both ends.
Press the blister carefully and let the liquid gathered inside empty until it is completely empty.
Be ready to suffer. Soak the thread in povidone-iodine antiseptic and watch how the product starts transferring to the inside of the blister, at this point you are allowed to swear mildly. Apply some more antiseptic until the blister is completely full. It your blister is very big you can pass two or more threads. Do not remove the thread, keep soaking it every day until the blister has completely healed. If you remove the thread you are risking the closure of the blister and it will form again.
It is advisable to do this once you have stopped walking your current stage and after having a shower, so you will have enough time to do it without rushing and thoroughly and also spend some time barefooted, so the antiseptic has time to dry. Once dried you can bandage the affected areas (how to bandage), apply some talc powder and wear a sock, preferably a cotton one. Why cotton? I always use it when I am resting and they are one of my essential items in my backpack. Once you have finished this “ritual”, comes the most important part, go to Vojo and look for a nice bar where to drink that well deserved beer and tapa.
If you follow these few steps and if you persevere, specially with the beer and tapas, you will notice great results and a quick recovery, although I hope you will not need the advice because you will not develop any blisters. As always, I invite you share your own experience with us and leave us a comment!
Translation: Elvira Sánchez.