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Prevention of blisters

Foot blisters are a common medical complaint among outdoor enthusiasts. Friction blisters result from pressure and shear forces. Risk factors include moisture, temperature, external load, activity duration, characteristics of footwear, and adaptation/conditioning. Prevention and treatment strategies include the use of socks of good quality, barriers such as tapes and plasters, antiperspirants, lubricants, and orthotics. Worthing et al (2017) conducted a systematic search and qualitative analysis of prospective controlled trials to determine if sock, antiperspirant, or barrier strategies were effective in prevention of friction blisters of the foot in wilderness and outdoor pursuits. They conclude that “Despite the high frequency, discomfort, and associated cost there is a paucity of high-quality quality evidence in support of socks, antiperspirants, or barriers for the prevention of friction blisters. Moderate confidence in effect estimate suggests that paper tape may be an effective form of barrier prevention.”

Read the full article here.

Worthing RM, Percy RL, Joslin JD. Prevention of Friction Blisters in Outdoor Pursuits: A Systematic Review. Wilderness Environ Med. 2017;28(2):139-149. doi: 10.1016/j.wem.2017.03.007.

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