14 July 2009

Beware the blisters

There are few better ways to enjoy the great outdoors than doing a hiking trail.

There are few better ways to enjoy the great outdoors than doing a hiking trail. Just make sure that nasty blisters, caused by the friction of your boots and socks against the skin, don't dampen your spirit.

Take action:
Drain large blisters (more than 2,5 cm across): hold a needle over an open flame to sterilise it and use it to make a hole at the edge of the blister; gently squeeze the blister to drain the fluid through the hole; flatten the skin that covers the blister - don't remove it; wash the area with soap and water and apply an antibiotic ointment and sterile bandage; don't use a bandage at night; change the bandage at least once a day; call a doctor if there are signs of infection.

Read more on first aid for cuts, abrasions and bruises.


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Dr Suretha Kannenberg holds a degree in Medicine and a Masters in Dermatology from the University of Stellenbosch. She is employed as a consultant dermatologist by Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Academic Hospital, where she is involved in clinical duties and the training of medical students and dermatology residents. Her areas of interest and research include vitiligo, eczema and acne. She also performs limited private practice work in the Northern suburbs of Cape Town in general and cosmetic dermatology.

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