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How to take care of your blisters in 3 steps

A damn blister! Blisters during your camino are very annoying and painful. Every step hurts and the kilometers seem to last for ever.


Blisters are caused by friction, usually because your shoes or socks rub against your skin. And anything that increases friction can cause a blister. So also a faster rythm, shoes with a poor fit or foot defects. But how do you get rid of it?


We explain in three simple steps how to treat your blisters, so you can enjoy your pilgrimage!


How does a blister develop?

Heat and humidity increase the friction because your feet are swollen. The body responds to friction by producing moisture. The moisture accumulates under the part of the skin where the friction is. That causes pressure and pain. And when the friction also destroys small blood vessels, a blood blister develops.

How to take care of your blisters in 3 steps


Step 1. Cleaning
Do you have a closed blister? Then it is better not to prick it open, because then you are more likely to get an infection. If the blister is in a place where friction occurs, then you better prick it open.

Disinfect the skin around the blister with disinfectant. Then pierce the base of the blister in a few places with a sterile needle. Do not keep the needle upright but parallel to the skin. With clean cotton, push the moisture out of the blister. Do not remove the skin, because the blister will heal faster.

Is your blister already open? Then clean your blister with water. Then dry your skin carefully. 


Step 2. Disinfect
For example, drop Betadine directly from the bottle on the open (punctured) blister. 


Step 3. Protect
Cover the blister well with a bandage to prevent dirt and bacteria coming in that could cause an infection.

And after that?

If you follow these three steps, you can continue your pilgrim route. But as long as the blister is still open, you should treat it for 3 days, 1 to 2 times a day with disinfectant and replace the bandage. This keeps the blister well protected against new bacteria. Also try to prevent as much friction as possible by wearing slippers after walking. You can also buy special blister plasters to protect the blister.

Do you not have a blister kid available? During my own camino I have seen many pilgrims treat their blisters with needle and thread. You then puncture the blister with needle and cotton thread. If new moisture enters, it is immediately drained, by the thread.

The brown color of Betadine has an important function. Because of this you can clearly see where you put it. When the brown color has disappeared, the substance is finished. Then you immediately know that you have to reapply.

Our tips for choosing the right shoes for your camino, click here.

If your blisters are so bad  that you cannot walk further or have to rest for a few days, no worries! We are available on our service number and always find a solution together with you. For example a bus or taxi to take you to your next accommodation.


But of course we wish you a blister-free camino!


Annemiek Nefkens

Happy Holiday Mananger and camino expert