Newest Review: ... of the blister. They are not like your usual plaster they are a clear colour so that they if they are seen through your shoes you can ha... more
Compeed - brilliant blister treatment!
Compeed Hydro Cure System
Member Name: 4pintfoss
Compeed Hydro Cure System
Advantages: Helps the blister to heal, prevents infection, discreet.
Disadvantages: Very expensive!
For those of you that don't know what a blister is - a blister is a pocket of fluid between two layers of skin. It is essentially where the two layers of skin get pulled apart and get filled with fluid. The fluid is a component of the blood (lacking blood cells and clotting elements) called serum, which I would imagine acts as a protective barrier against the wound.
There are numerous treatments on the market to treat and prevent blisters, but I use compeed. Compeed is a blister relief system (although it can be used as a blister prevention system). It works as a second skin - instead of the boot rubbing on your skin it will rub over the smooth surface of the compeed plaster. You can get them in medium (5 plasters in a pack), small (6 plasters in a pack) and also 'for your toes' (8 plasters in a pack). Medium are obviously for larger blisters such as the massive ones that you can get on your heels, small are for smaller blisters and the compeed for your toes are (drum roll please) for blisters on your toes. Each of the three types retails for around £4. I bought mine from Sainsbury's for £3.90. In boots they were £4.00.
One complaint about the boxes of compeed that you can buy is that you can only buy one size at a time. There are no mixed boxes. I don't know if this is a ploy by the manufacturers to make you buy a box of each size, but I feel that this needs addressing. If you want all 3 sizes it will set you back about £12!
The packaging of the compeed is a turquoise plastic box surrounded with a cardboard border which displays the product information. The packaging certainly stands out which is excellent as it means that you can find it easily whilst shopping. The plastic box is very good as it is water resistant - you wouldn't want a sudden downpour to destroy your expensive compeed plasters! The instructions for use are displayed clearly on the back of the box. The packaging is also recyclable. As a bonus they are manufactured in the UK (we have to support our economy!) by Johnson & Johnson.
I personally would not use compeed to prevent blisters as they are far too expensive. Instead for prevention, I tape up the areas of my feet that are prone to hot spots with 'zinc oxide tape' which is available from many places including boots. Zinc oxide tape is also expensive (about £4 for 8 metres), but a roll will last a lot longer than a pack of compeed. Another prevention method is to wear 2 pairs of socks. The inner pair should be thin and the outer pair should be thick. In theory the 2 pairs should rub against each other and not against your foot, but in practise does not completely prevent blisters. So I would recommend using the zinc oxide tape as well as two pairs of socks. It's also worthwhile remembering that new boots will give you more blisters than 'worn in' boots will.
The methods of prevention that I briefly mentioned above do not always work perfectly, and so I use compeed to treat the blisters. Compeed instantly relieves blister pain and secures itself to your foot. I always pop the blister (using a sterilised needle or knife) before applying the compeed and remove the flap of skin around the wound (using a sterilised knife). I then treat the wound with an antiseptic wipe (which hurts LOTS) and dry the area around the wound well (do not use any form of powder to dry the area otherwise the plaster will not stick). Then it is just a matter of peeling the back off the compeed plaster and smoothing it over the blister. It's important to note however that the compeed have a peelable layer on both sides of the plaster, so it is best to read the instructions so that you put it on properly (imagine the money wasted if you got it wrong!).
The compeed repels water, dirt and germs which help to prevent infection. The plaster will stay firmly in place over the next few days, keeping the blister moist which aids healing. You should ideally leave it in place until it falls off, but I find that the sides start peeling off which then gets caught in my socks, so I just peel it off slowly when I deem necessary (and if it's still not healed then I apply a fresh one).
Its worth mentioning that if I'm not having to go walking again the next day with blistered feet, then I would just wear 'flip flops' (to prevent rubbing) and let the blister heal naturally. It's only when I have to go walking again the next day that I will apply a compeed plaster. With a compeed plaster on a blister it is possible to carry on walking in the same boots that gave you the blister, as the boot will rub against the compeed plaster and not your skin, which means that the blister doesn't hurt. I have tried using normal plasters (the ones used to treat a cut finger) but they don't work at all, so beware.
If you're seriously into hiking, you're in the military or you're just prone to blisters (my girlfriend gets lots of blisters when wearing high heels), these blister plasters will be a sound addition to your arsenal. If your conscious about how your feet look and want to wear a blister plaster to prevent blisters then compeed are ideal as they are quite discreet and don't draw too much attention (for example when wearing high heels, sandals, flip flops etc). They may seem a bit pricy, but surely £4.00 is better than hours and hours of pain.
Overall I think that compeed is the best blister treatment around. It's just a shame that they are ridiculously expensive (at about 80p per plaster for the medium ones). I give them 4 stars (it would have been 5 stars if they were cheaper).
Summary: Essential kit to prevent blisters.
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