Wednesday, June 22, 2016


Take up walking and blisters are bound to take you up somewhere along the way. I’ve been walking the same way in the same type of shoes for several years now, so I was quite surprised when blisters recently appeared between the toes of my right foot. 

I was in a show just before the blisters made their appearance and my costume included tall riding boots, but I thought all the tightness was all in the calves. A couple of times I had a friend pull off my right boot for me—a comic moment lacking only the sound effect of a popping cork. Maybe the toes were squeezing where the boot tapered to a point. I’ve also been walking the dog in old sneakers where the right shoe was falling apart at the seams, thinking I was stretching a dollar, or fifty dollars, as the case may be.

Taking our daughter to work at a summer camp involved two days of driving and virtually no walking, so I figured I’d give my feet a break. When we got back, I walked the dog and BAM. Pain. A big blister reappeared between my toes along with little ones in other places on my right foot. Bring out the blister Band-AidTM. They’re a bit expensive, but they stay put for days and provide good protection if you don’t stick them on too tight. (Not a paid endorsement, I’ve never compared brands.) 

The next couple of days of walking still brought pain, so I switched to newer shoes and the problem dropped about 95%.  The falling-apart shoes went in the trash and I’m happy to say that I’m blister free once again. 

In my childhood, my mom would sterilize a needle by holding it to a flame, and used it to poke a small hole in my blister to squeeze out the fluid. The fact is that this is only necessary where it can prevent the likely ripping of a blister, and the tender skin underneath would really prefer the protection until the fluid can be reabsorbed. By the way, that fluid should be clear. Discoloration indicates infection and time to apply topical antibiotics or hydrogen peroxide. WebMD talks about this and shows pictures at

Today my toes now have nice leathery skin where the blisters used to be, reminding me of the callouses I developed on my fingertips when I used to play the guitar. They say that mastery of a skill requires 10,000 hours. Update that phrase to read 10,000 hours and a tough hide. And don’t forget to use or wear the proper equipment.  

Happy walking.

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