Travel creates some special problems for feet. We normally have bags to pull & carry down long concourses, sometimes running, pounding left, right, left on the hard floors. As wise as it is to wear well broken-in shoes, sometimes not even that is enough! I recall running down the concourse in a pair of normally comfortable, heavy, rubbery flip-flops to catch my flight. They were like floppy weights tied to my feet! (Yes, I made it to the gate just as it was closing.)
Here is what you can do to ensure that you & your feet remain willing partners while you travel:
- Keep your feet dry. Powder your feet with talcum or cornstarch & slippery elm or marshmallow root powder.
- Anticipate discomfort & cover areas that rub or pinch with moleskin or tape & rub a tiny bit of bar soap of the covering or your foot.
- Soak your feet in black tea to toughen the skin, or apply tea bags to the areas that develop hotspots.
- Put a little moistened bar soap on the areas that rub.
- Treat the blister or hot spot immediately when you feel it coming on. Or better yet, anticipate it so you can pad it before skin damage takes place.
- A single drop of lavender essential oil rubbed on a hotspot may eliminate it over night.
- Use oils, salves, or tinctures of these herbs to speed healing and reduce pain & swelling: St. John’s Wort, calendula, comfrey.
- Keep hotspots exposed to air as much as possible between activities, then cover with a tape shield, such as a band aid, moleskin, Second Skin or even duct tape. Cut a hole slightly larger than the hotspot to reduce friction on the area.
- Lavender oil can reduce pain, speed healing & help prevent infection.
A popped blister increases the risk of infection, so if possible, leave a blister intact. If you must pop a blister to be able to walk, follow these steps:
- Wash the area with soap & water. Pat or air dry.
- Sterilize a sharp object, such as a needle or knife, with a flame. Wipe the needle clean using a sanitary cloth or alcohol pad.
- Insert the point at the base of the blister just enough so that fluid can be expressed and gently press the blister.
- Apply a drop of antiseptic on the opening of the blister.
- Apply an adhesive bandage or other wound dressing.
Use additional tape to reduce friction, change dressing daily & reapply antiseptic. Expose to the air whenever possible.
ATTN: BlogConCLT – Well On The Go will be in attendance with the following implements for your foot comfort & convenience: Moleskin, adhesive bandages, lavender & tea tree oils, cornstarch & slippery elm powder, needle, flame & alcohol pads.
Once again, my thanks to a personal mentor, Susan Kramer, for the generous permission to use her book, “The Healthy Traveler” for my blog.