Sore point – how to treat and prevent blisters

Blister! Arghhh! You know when you’ve got one, you feel it before you see it. That burning, stinging pain that just gets worse every time you land your foot. At the least they’re uncomfortable, at worst they can stop you in your tracks. Here’s how you can prevent getting blisters – and what you can do about them if those nasty little bumps do appear.

How to avoid getting blisters

1. Let’s make the obvious point first – wear good-fitting footwear! The problem with buying walking shoes is you only get to wander round in a shop when trying them on. Or not wear them at all if buying online. What’s comfy and well-fitting parading around a flat shop floor for five minutes is no substitute for tramping them along a rocky ridge all day. Wear thick socks, or two pairs of thinner socks, to provide some cushioning if needed.

2. Wear the right socks. Socks provide extra support, reduce friction and can keep moisture away. Avoid cotton because it soaks up sweat. Nylon is better. Better still are wool-blend socks that wick moisture away from your skin – much like base-layer materials do (read our blog on clothing). As we point out above, there’s no harm in wearing two pairs of socks, so long as there’s sufficient space in your boots

3. Use tapes and bandages. Apply soft bandages and tape to those parts of your feet you have felt rubbing before or you know are prone to blisters. Make sure they’re designed to stay on sweaty feet, as you don’t want them coming lose and making the problem worse

4. Reduce friction with creams and powders. You can buy a range of products to help reduce the friction between your feet, socks and shoes. Even a dab of Vaseline will do the trick

How to treat blisters

If your blister isn’t bothering you too much, your best bet is to leave it be. The body will do its thing and heal the blister for you. Sometimes, leaving it alone isn’t an option. It’s too big, at risk of infection, or in that really awkward spot that means you can’t avoid putting pressure on it.

Here’s what you need to do to deal with that annoying blister:

  1. 1. Wash your hands. You don’t want a blister getting infected!
  2. 2. Clean the blister. Use a clean swab with water and soap, rubbing alcohol or iodine.
  3. 3. Sterilise a needle Use rubbing alcohol and a clean swab or pad.
  4. 4. Take a deep breath. Come on, now. You can do it!
  5. 5. Puncture the side of the blister Aim for several spots close to the blister’s edge if you can. Soak up the draining fluid with a clean piece of cotton or gauze.
  6. 6. Apply antibiotic ointment. Then place gauze and/or an adhesive bandage over the area and secure it with a plaster or medical tape.
  7. 7. Give it two or three days. Cut away and remove dead skin using sterilised tweezers or small scissors.
  8. 8. Apply more antibiotic ointment if needed.

If you keep getting blisters in the same place, it’s a sign your footwear isn’t right. Take some of the measures above and you can make the problem go away. If you do get them, don’t worry. Most will heal themselves while others will be gone in days if you take care of them. Don’t let blisters spoil your trip to North Wales!

Delicious food to try on your next visit to North Wales

As well as having a burgeoning reputation as an adventure capital of the world, North Wales is also making its name as a foodie destination. It’s no surprise, really; with lush forests, plentiful farmland and lots of coastline we’ve got access to some of the very best ingredients.

On your next visit here you’ll naturally be making plenty of time for the natural scenery and historic and local landmarks, but you definitely shouldn’t miss out on our foodie highlights! We’ve put together some of the unmissable gourmet treats in our region so you can plan your menu ahead of time.

It’s also worth noting that during your stay at the Royal Victoria you’ll be able to dine on our seasonally changing menu, inspired by Welsh influences and classic flavours – wherever possible, we source locally from only the finest producers.

Snowdon Honey Farm & Winery

With a staggering selection of honeys and always friendly service, the Snowdon Honey Farm & Winery in Llanberis is a real gem. Well worth a visit, here the proprietors are incredibly knowledgeable and encourage visitors to ‘try before you buy’, allowing for a real understanding of the top-quality wares on offer.

As well as honey, you’ll find mead, truffles, liqueurs, fruit wines, chutneys and a range of other local treats to tempt you. The tearoom here is a great place to stop for homemade cakes and bara brith, and is easily accessed from the hotel.

Dinorwig Distillery

Gin is very in fashion at the moment, and there’s nothing more trendy than small-batch gin. At Dinorwig Distillery (based in a tiny village above Llanberis), each distillment of Blue Slate Gin (Jin Llechen Las) only produces enough for 65 standard bottles, and is made with no ingredients that can’t be harvested from the North Wales countryside.

The combination of seasoned Welsh oak bark, raw heather honey and fresh water drawn from the distillery’s own well is truly exceptional. Dinorwig also produces seasonal gins, according to which botanicals are in season in Wales.

Dylan’s

You know a restaurant is good when it opens a second location – but when it opens a third you know you’re in for some exceptional eats! Dylan’s in Menai Bridge is the original restaurant, with other outposts in Llandudno and Criccieth.

The menu here showcases the very best in local produce, and is particularly famous for top-notch seafood. Some of the highlights include Roasted Local Lobster, Dolmeinir Lamb Shoulder and the Menai Strait pizza – topped with prawns and crab meat.

Pant Du Farm

A beautiful location in the Nantlle Valley is complemented by a rich array of produce at Pant Du Farm. The vineyard was established in 2007 and, to date, eight different grape varieties have been grown here – leading to several awards.

The vast orchard also produces cider and apple juice, though the most remarkable thing about Pant Du may be its commitment to sustainability; this was the first solar-powered farm in Wales. To really sample farm life, there are open Wine Tasting sessions held at various times throughout the year.

Olif

Think of Betws-y-Coed and you likely picture babbling streams, outdoor specialist stores and awe-inspiring natural views. You might be surprised, then, to learn that the town is also home to spectacular tapas.

Olif offers two menus – by day you can sample gourmet burgers, afternoon tea and a range of brunch options; by night, a Welsh-themed tapas menu is a unique fusion of local and Spanish cuisine. Combined with a selection of local ciders and Welsh wines, this is a great pitstop for a one-of-a-kind meal.

Halen Môn

Halen Môn is a true global icon; the pure Anglesey sea salt famously tops Barack Obama’s favourite sweets, was served as part of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding meal, and is a favoured ingredient of superstar chefs including Heston Blumenthal.

Alison and David Lea-Wilson were best-known as the founders of the Anglesey Sea Zoo until they boiled a pan of Menai Strait water and discovered perfect salt crystals. Head to Brynsiencyn on the island to tour the facility and browse the excellent on-site shop.

The Marram Grass

When you first arrive, you could be forgiven for thinking the Marram Grass’ beautiful Newborough location can’t be beaten. But then you’ll try the food. A seasonal, weekly menu uses only the very freshest ingredients – a heady combination of local stars and imported highlights.

An eccentric building and incredibly friendly service add to the unique experience of dining here; whether its Welsh lamb, local fish or Baked Alaska flavoured with yuzu, this is a place not to be missed.

The Royal Victoria is the perfect base for exploring these Welsh gourmet highlights, and many more besides. Browse our rooms here, and get in touch to start planning your perfect getaway.