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Blisters, latest research

2020 Camino Guides
Camino(s) past & future
June 2018
Prevalence and risk factors associated with the formation of dermal lesions on the foot during hiking.
Chicharro-Luna E et al
J Tissue Viability. 2020 Apr 27

BACKGROUND:
The aim of this study is to assess the prevalence of blisters on the foot during hiking and the factors associated with this condition.

MATERIAL AND METHODS:
A cross-sectional observational comparative study was conducted of 315 patients treated at two hostels, located on the Way of Saint James, in northern Spain. The study participants were interviewed and clinically examined to obtain sociodemographic and clinical variables. The variables recorded concerned the type of terrain covered (asphalt or dirt trails), the weight carried (backpack), the footwear used (weight, type, impermeability), the type of socks worn and the hydration of the skin obtained. The inclusion criteria were at least 18 years and to walk at least 20 km in the last five days.

RESULTS:
74% (n = 233) of the hikers presented a bullous lesion on the foot after completing several stages of hiking. The most frequent locations were the first or second metatarsal head and the fifth toe. Logistic regression showed that risk factors for the appearance of blistering were the number of kilometres walked on asphalt (p = .001 [95% CI (1.019-1.064)]) and having wet socks at the end of the day (p = . 006 [95% CI (1.286-4.479)]). The protective factors identified were walking on a dirt, grass or gravel surface (p < .001 [95% CI (0.982- 0.995)]) and using customised plantar orthoses (p = .001 [95% CI (0.085) - 0.512)]).

CONCLUSIONS:
The type of terrain is a determining factor in the appearance of blisters. Walking on a dirt trail reduces the risk. Using custom made insoles and controlling humidity are other factors that should be considered as preventive measures.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF last 150 to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2022)
Prevalence and risk factors associated with the formation of dermal lesions on the foot during hiking.
Chicharro-Luna E et al
J Tissue Viability. 2020 Apr 27
I think most repeat Pilgrims could have told them that :rolleyes:
My 'Dearly Beloved' is a sight to behold on Camino. :)

She will find the softest part of the track/road if only 5 cms wide! Anything to prevent walking on Asphalt or Concrete. That narrow strip of grass at the edge of the road, or that slight build up of gravel...

3 Caminos, no blisters yet, touch wood.
(Change socks midday, double layer socks, hikers wool and vaseline, stay hydrated)
And avoid any hard surfaces...

It's actually one of the reasons the Portuguese does not appeal to me.
Lots of hard surfaces and cobblestones I hear...
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I think most repeat Pilgrims could have told them that :rolleyes:
My 'Dearly Beloved' is a sight to behold on Camino. :)

She will find the softest part of the track/road if only 5 cms wide! Anything to prevent walking on Asphalt or Concrete. That narrow strip of grass at the edge of the road, or that slight build up of gravel...

3 Caminos, no blisters yet, touch wood.
(Change socks midday, double layer socks, hikers wool and vaseline, stay hydrated)
And avoid any hard surfaces...

It's actually one of the reasons the Portuguese does not appeal to me.
Lots of hard surfaces and cobblestones I hear...
I walked the Portuguese camino out of Porto to Santiago. Yes, lots of cobbles and setts, but I had no blisters. Our feet are all different...just like we are. ☺
 

Crosscheck Rider

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues '15, '16, & '19
Via Francigena '17
Frances '18
Muxia & Finisterre '18
Tahoe Rim Trail '19
Other factors are sock and shoe selection. Size to accommodate the increase in foot volume and breathability to reduce perspiration. Socks type and management factor into this as well.

That being said, I put a lot of effort to avoid blisters while others can wear inexpensive footwear and never get a blister.
 

David from Freo

"These are the best years of our lives"
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago 2008; SJPP-Santiago 2014; Lisbon-Santiago-Muxia 2016; LePuy-Santiago 2018; SWCP 2019
Thanks Carole. Very helpful.

I am one of those walkers who is virtually guaranteed to get some kind of blister on a long camino or other walk. I used to just accept it as part of the experience. BUT I have definitely learned to minimise the risk and the pain by spending about 15 minutes each morning on foot treatment before commencing the walk. I use Compeed pads and cream, Fixomull tape, gel toe caps and a weird and wonderful array of products that all contribute to minimising the problem. (I really appreciated the website https://www.blisterprevention.com.au/ for its advice, most of which I follow.)

But I agree with Raggy: I wouldn't mind having a blister or two on the Camino just at the moment! I fear it will be a long time before I'm back on the track.
 

Latecomer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
VDLP (Sept 2015)

CF SJPDP-SdC+
(Sept/Oct 2018)
...I really appreciated the website https://www.blisterprevention.com.au/ for its advice, most of which I follow.)
I agree. Great site. Especially the unequivocal advice on the correct use of Compeed (and similar Hydrocolloid dressings):
Do not use hydrocolloid blister dressings on blisters with an intact or torn roof!
¡Buen Camino!
 

Kiwi-d

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sep/Oct 2014
We are all so different. I have no problem whatsoever walking on asphalt, as that's where I do my training. On the other hand, I'm not really keen about walking on grass, it seems like hard work to me.

I taped my feet and toes every day after my shower with medipore tape, but forgot to trim my toenails, which resulted in a tiny blister on the next toe. That was my only blister. I remember one guy I saw however, sitting in a square with his feet bare and his soles were literally hanging in ribbons. When I sympathised and suggested he would be resting the next day, he roared "No! The goal is 35km! We must achieve the goal". I've often wondered whether he ever did finish the Camino.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I agree. Great site. Especially the unequivocal advice on the correct use of Compeed (and similar Hydrocolloid dressings):


¡Buen Camino!
Right. And Compeed plasters should not be used as a preventative. There are other products that cost less and work better for that, such as tape, moleskin, lubricants like petroleum jelly and Glide, etc.
 

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