If you have ever gone for a long hike in a new pair of shoes, you might know a lot about the pain of a blister. Excess friction over time raises a fluid-filled bump on the skin that may be tender for days. We were fascinated to learn about a new home remedy.
Soy Sauce for a Blister:
Q. From your column I learned about using soy sauce on burns. This weekend I scraped paint for six hours and raised a blister on my thumb. It was quite a bump, almost a quarter inch in diameter, and about 1/8″ high. My thumb hurt, too.
I put soy sauce on a bandage and covered the blister overnight. It looked better in the morning, so I replaced the bandage with a fresh one with soy sauce on the pad. By that evening, the blister was completely gone and so was the pain. I don’t know yet if I will lose the skin on that spot, but it feels healed.
Soy Sauce for a Burn:
A. A decade ago, a radio show listener in Oregon told us about several impressive instances in which he had used soy sauce to avoid damage from a burn.
A reader responded later:
“I listened to your public radio show and heard a man call in recommending soy sauce for burns. ‘How weird is that?’ I thought.
“But then, as I took a loaf of bread out of the oven, the inner edge of my thumb and the fleshy pad underneath hit the metal rim of the pan. I expected a painful burn. Since I had nothing else at hand, I decided to try the soy sauce remedy.
“The pain eased up in less than a minute, the soreness did not materialize and even the redness went away! It may be weird, but it certainly did work!”
Your report is the first we’ve seen about using soy sauce for a friction blister. We are always interested in new home remedies and appreciate your story, though we can’t explain how it works. Needless to say, there isn’t any research on this topic. Anyone who would like to learn more about such intriguing approaches to common ailments may be interested in our book, The People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies.
When you can prevent a blister, it is even better than having a great remedy to use for treatment. Several years ago (pre-COVID), we got this question.
Q. We are going on a family vacation next month and will be hiking the Grand Canyon. I am very excited but a little concerned about what to do if someone develops bad blisters.
Besides breaking in my new boots well in advance, do you have any advice?
A. For blister prevention, we recommend 2nd Skin Blister Kit or 2nd Skin Moist Burn Pads (Spenco.com). These pads contain water in a gel base that offer protection to tender skin. They can be used for prevention or at the first sign of a blister. Stock up before you leave, as not every drugstore carries them.
As you mentioned, breaking in properly-fitting footwear is crucial. Socks that wick moisture away from the foot can be helpful, and some people find that wearing a sock liner helps prevent blisters.