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BUY Betadine

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
#1
Every walk I've done I've carried a small bottle of betadine.

The time before last the lid didn't screw properly and it leaked... last time I bought individual capsuals and they were a bit useless as they were single use only.

This time I thought I was being clever... I bought a tube of antiseptic / antibacterial cream and left the betadine at home.

BIG mistake. With hindsight I think it may have cost me my walk.

I fell a few hours in on day one. We either had a few hours to go back or a few hours more to go. So we used as much water as we dare (it was 36c) to clean my cuts and we covered the wounds in cream and sterile bandage. I thought at the time thank goodness I had a sensible first aid kit with me.

It was another day before we could get to a pharmacy for more supplies but I still never bought betadine. On Day 4 we had to stop and the first thing the nurse did at the clinic was clean the wounds and cover it in betadine.

I do wonder if I had brought my bottle along with me and been liberal with it on that first morning then maybe things would have been different.

I'm never going walking again without a bottle of betadine. Check your first aid kits folks. Could you treat a bad cut if you were 2 hours from help?

Ps we surprised ourselves at how poor our knowledge is with regard to wound care. Should you keep it covered... should you air it... should you let it scab... how long should it be covered... can you get it wet... so many questions! Its irrelevant now as we do what the nurse tells us, and initially we used our phone to access information online but I think I'll brush up on my first aid skills when I go home.
 

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
#5
I agree! A tube of Betadine gel is the most important item in my travel first aid kit.
Sounds like the best of both worlds: not as messy as liquid betadine but still betadine. In your experience, is it still as effective, @Theatregal ?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Walk Camino de Santiago and Camino Finisterre in 2014
#6
Every walk I've done I've carried a small bottle of betadine.

The time before last the lid didn't screw properly and it leaked... last time I bought individual capsuals and they were a bit useless as they were single use only.

This time I thought I was being clever... I bought a tube of antiseptic / antibacterial cream and left the betadine at home.

BIG mistake. With hindsight I think it may have cost me my walk.

I fell a few hours in on day one. We either had a few hours to go back or a few hours more to go. So we used as much water as we dare (it was 36c) to clean my cuts and we covered the wounds in cream and sterile bandage. I thought at the time thank goodness I had a sensible first aid kit with me.

It was another day before we could get to a pharmacy for more supplies but I still never bought betadine. On Day 4 we had to stop and the first thing the nurse did at the clinic was clean the wounds and cover it in betadine.

I do wonder if I had brought my bottle along with me and been liberal with it on that first morning then maybe things would have been different.

I'm never going walking again without a bottle of betadine. Check your first aid kits folks. Could you treat a bad cut if you were 2 hours from help?

Ps we surprised ourselves at how poor our knowledge is with regard to wound care. Should you keep it covered... should you air it... should you let it scab... how long should it be covered... can you get it wet... so many questions! Its irrelevant now as we do what the nurse tells us, and initially we used our phone to access information online but I think I'll brush up on my first aid skills when I go home.

Thanks for the advice. we had to buy a bottle of betadine to use as an antiseptic in which to dip our sewing needles before dealing to our huge blisters. Next Camino we will take a bottle with us and hope it won't leak. I think it easier to dip needles into a bottle rather than lathering the needle with ointment. Hopefully, next Camino - April 2018, we will be blister-free.

Buen Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
So far...
2012 ~ 2018
#7
Sounds like the best of both worlds: not as messy as liquid betadine but still betadine. In your experience, is it still as effective, @Theatregal ?
Yes, I've found it to be very effective. On my first camino, I had a couple of blisters which weren't healing well. I went to a farmacia and the Betadine gel was recommended as a just as effective but more convenient form to carry with me. It helped heal the blisters quickly.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016 Camino Norte April- June 2017.
#8
Every walk I've done I've carried a small bottle of betadine.

The time before last the lid didn't screw properly and it leaked... last time I bought individual capsuals and they were a bit useless as they were single use only.

This time I thought I was being clever... I bought a tube of antiseptic / antibacterial cream and left the betadine at home.

BIG mistake. With hindsight I think it may have cost me my walk.

I fell a few hours in on day one. We either had a few hours to go back or a few hours more to go. So we used as much water as we dare (it was 36c) to clean my cuts and we covered the wounds in cream and sterile bandage. I thought at the time thank goodness I had a sensible first aid kit with me.

It was another day before we could get to a pharmacy for more supplies but I still never bought betadine. On Day 4 we had to stop and the first thing the nurse did at the clinic was clean the wounds and cover it in betadine.

I do wonder if I had brought my bottle along with me and been liberal with it on that first morning then maybe things would have been different.

I'm never going walking again without a bottle of betadine. Check your first aid kits folks. Could you treat a bad cut if you were 2 hours from help?

Ps we surprised ourselves at how poor our knowledge is with regard to wound care. Should you keep it covered... should you air it... should you let it scab... how long should it be covered... can you get it wet... so many questions! Its irrelevant now as we do what the nurse tells us, and initially we used our phone to access information online but I think I'll brush up on my first aid skills when I go home.
May I suggest carrying peroxide. We used to live in PNG and it is very good at healing and cleaning sores, blisters etc and you can buy it easily in small bottles in Spanish supermarkets. We always carry peroxide and tea tree oil and so far no problems.
 

hotelmedicis

Commercial Interests
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2001 (+more)
VDLP 2013, 2018
#9
Iodine is what you want since Betadine is simply the brand name of a product whose active ingredient is iodine and will cost more. I always carry a small bottle of iodine with me and have never had a spill or mess. I personally saw two people on the Camino have to go to hospital due to infections from small wounds caused by blisters that were left untreated. I put iodine on any and all small cuts, scrapes or punctured blisters.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2012
England C2C 2015
Via Francigena 2016
Le Puy 2018
#11
Small word of caution: Betadine (mixture of Povodine and Iodine so burns less and is less cytotoxic) comes in solution and surgical scrub. The scrub contains soap and needs to be rinsed off, the solution does not need to be rinsed.

Small individual Betadine solution pads are available on Amazon. Adventure Medical Kits makes some nice, lightweight first aid kits. I often buy just the refill kits at quite a savings ($4-5) and customize, instead of buying a full kit.

Basic outdoor emergency wound tips can be found by googling Wilderness Wound Care or looking at the Wilderness Medical Society web site.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Frances (Sept 2016)
SDC/ Finesterre/ Muxia (2016)
#13
“Carrying peroxide”
Peroxide had the historical use of “bubbling” away and cleaning wounds

I am glad it’s worked for you

But for people less familiar with its properties, remember it damages cells below the skin, so rinse it out .
Use sterile saline ( available in small tubes) to rinse out deeper holes where you don’t want peroxide to hole up

Other products may have better bacterial killing properties without that damage

And I second the comment on check your kit. I was on training climb and a colleague fell. The leaders kits were so old their tape was glued shut!
 

Magwood

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (15 April 2013)
Camino Portuguese (1 May 2014)
Camino Mozárabe from Málaga (8 April 2015)
Camino del Norte & Camino Ingles (April 2016)
#14
Betadine is a liquid, like iodine. I always carry a small amount and use it to flush any raw skin and would then put some drops on gauze if I was covering the area. I am just using what I hope is common sense, not medical experience. I know vets use it to flush wounds and what's good enough for my chums is good enough for me! :)
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
#17
But for people less familiar with its properties, remember it damages cells below the skin, so rinse it out .
Use sterile saline ( available in small tubes) to rinse out deeper holes where you don’t want peroxide to hole up

Other products may have better bacterial killing properties without that damage
Thanks for all the great follow up comments... very useful!

I would also second the above. I didn't know this until a few days ago but apparently antiseptic can do the same too... I think this is what my nurse told me... but happy to be corrected

The two items I seem to use over and over in my first aid kit are the sterile gauze squares and tape such as omnifix. .. I'm going to add betaine and some saline solution I think as well now.

I'm not sure why antibacterial cream isn't as useful. They've not used it at all on my knee but when I burned my arm it was prescribed... so maybe having a small tube is still useful? I should look up when to use it... but let's hope I won't need to know again any time soon!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (Sept 2016)
SDC/ Finesterre/ Muxia (2016)
#18
Other medico can chime in , but my understanding is gels may be less potent ( think of active ingredient diluted in that slippery carrier) and they are moist and more occlusive
Depends on what your wound needs
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#19
Hydrogen peroxide? Eeek. Betadine please.

A natural antiseptic that is available almost anywhere and useful in an emergency is honey. Just straight honey. It has been found to be superior to some antibiotics in dealing with drug resistant strains of wound bacteria.
 
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annakappa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
#21
Thanks for all the great follow up comments... very useful!


The two items I seem to use over and over in my first aid kit are the sterile gauze squares and tape such as omnifix. .. I'm going to add betaine and some saline solution I think as well now.
!
Sterile gauze squares, omnifix and Betadine are always in my basic first aid kit..and little sachets of electrolytes, which can be added to your water bottle while walking, if you begin to feel dehydrated.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#22
Well, I've been using peroxide for wounds for 65 years and don't have any giant holes in me yet (that I know of) but for the Camino I just carry a tiny tube of antibiotic ointment. Anything more that I need I can find at the closest Farmacia.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
#23
Laurie the major difference (as I understand it) is that the Betadine, being liquid acts to clean the affected area. An antiseptic gel, will usually be used to cover the wound, stay insitue, as it were. It can be used to keep the wound from forming a hard scab. You would (or at least I normally do) cover such a gel covered wound.

BTW I need to buy the Spanish equivalent of Betadine in Belorado. I bought “acofar povidona” (10% yodada). It worked a treat!
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
#24
May I suggest carrying peroxide. We used to live in PNG and it is very good at healing and cleaning sores, blisters etc and you can buy it easily in small bottles in Spanish supermarkets. We always carry peroxide and tea tree oil and so far no problems.
I too carry 3 oz of peroxide. When it gets low, I stop in a supermarket pick up a cheap bottle, and Replenish two 3oz bottles for us. You can also use the peroxide as a mouth wash, I mix with a little water. And, I sanitize my tooth brush with it each time I brush my teeth.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2012
England C2C 2015
Via Francigena 2016
Le Puy 2018
#25
Can someone explain the differences between betadine and an antibacterial cream? I carry both but now I am unsure what each is for!
Antiseptics are chemical agents toxic to a variety of microbes on contact, including viruses, bacteria and other nasty bugs. They can, in theory, also potentially harm normal cells, as well. Examples include Iodine containing products (Betadine), hydrogen peroxide, chlorhexadine (Hibiclens) and silver releasing substances (Silvadene, often used on burns).

Antibacterial creams/ointments (creams are absorbed quicker and are easier to apply, ointments are oil based and stay on longer) reduce bacteria numbers by preventing cellular reproduction.

So...copious flushing and cleansing a wound with an antiseptic (plain soap and water works, too) then dressing with an antibacterial (I use Polysporin or Bacitracin) ointment and gauze/bandage is useful first aid for minor wounds. Current research shows keeping wounds clean and moist with ointment (some studies report Vaseline works as wells as antibiotic ointment) reduces scabbing and scarring.

Redness/swelling/increased pain/fever/discharge/continued bleeding are all reasons to seek professional care after initial first aid. Blisters and infected wounds are different topics...
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances , St Jean Pied de Port - Finisterra May/ June 2017
Le Puy en Velay - Ales May 2018
#26
I use surgical alcohol / methylated spirits to some , available from just about any corner shop , pharmacy or Asian variety shop worldwide . Really cheap , doesn't stain anything and can be used to flush deep abrasions as well .
It is easy to use and excellent for sterilizing bandages , swabs , needles and tweezers , a general all round extremely effective product .
One major cause of infected blisters I suspect is the nocturnal visit to the toilet . I was horrified at the sight of recently punctured and bandaged blisters being taken for a walk onto a floor that you just knew had more than a tinkle on it .
By the way the denatured alcohol available in Spain is in so much stronger in concentration than anywhere else I have seen , it may over dry your skin but I suspect that this may be a good thing where weeping blisters and grazes are concerned .
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
#27
Iodine is what you want since Betadine is simply the brand name of a product whose active ingredient is iodine and will cost more. I always carry a small bottle of iodine with me and have never had a spill or mess. I personally saw two people on the Camino have to go to hospital due to infections from small wounds caused by blisters that were left untreated. I put iodine on any and all small cuts, scrapes or punctured blisters.
.

I am allergic to iodine...one product may not be right for everyone. I too use peroxide! I buy the peroxide in the supermarkets in Spain! You can empty half the bottle out so it is lighter. It cost less than one Euro! When it gets near empty, buy another one. The cap is quite secure. NOTE: The peroxide in Spain is 5 percent strength for antiseptic use, verses 1 to 3 percent in USA. you also use it as a mouth wash as well, make sure to dilute it more than normal. On my first Camino I stopped on my walks during the day and periodically cleaned a blister between my toes which I had punctured and cleaned initially with the peroxide. Then,I rinsed at night and in the morning. The peroxide worked well!
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Francés - 2014
Francés - 2015
Francés - 2016
Francés - 2017
Francés - 2018
Francés/Primitive (2019)
#28
There is a cream called Circatrizante, that is available in the pharmacy. It is a wound healing antibiotic action cream. Also painless.

I have a couple pads of Mepilex Lite in my first aid kit that I bring with me from the USA. They come in 4 x 4 inch squares. I cut a piece to size and put it on the blister instead of using a band-aid. It is foam, has a very light adhesive, provides a good cushion and is porous so the wound can breath. I carefully put my socks on so they will help keep the foam in place. This works really well for blisters on heels. Of course when the days walk is over, I remove it and after cleaning my feet apply more Circatrizante to the wound.

You can find more information about both products using Google.

A small bottle of alcohol based hand sanitizer is very useful too. Besides its obvious use when hands can't be washed, I use it to sterilize a needle and put some on the blister before inserting the needle.

Don't put Compeed over a wound. That is almost a guaranteed way to get an infection.

Lots of good solutions here. Like buying a new pair of boots, find the one that works best for you.
 

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