Blister-Blastin’ Healing Hints

I’ve been spending lots of time in the garden these days, cleaning up my flower beds, and harvesting the last of my vegetables. And wouldn’t you know it, I’ve gotten a few blisters on my fingers in the process. But I’m not going to let the sores keep me from my gardening tasks—and you shouldn’t let ‘em sideline you, either. Just keep in mind these blister-blastin’ healing hints:

·        The only time a blister is really dangerous is when it gets infected, so the best way to keep nasty germs at bay is to clean it (and the surrounding skin) once or twice a day. Wash the area well with soap and water, then dry it thoroughly. Too much moisture will soften the blister and make it more likely to break open before it’s ready.

·        Even though it’s good to protect a blister with a bandage, you should keep it uncovered for at least 20 minutes a day. A little air circulation will help protect the area from infection-causing bacteria, which thrive in dark, moist places.

·        If you’re still worried about infection, do what my Grandma Putt did for me: Add a teaspoon each of rosemary and thyme to a cup of hot water and steep for about 10 minutes. Let the liquid cool to room temperature, pour some on a cloth, and hold it against your blister for about 20 minutes. Repeat once or twice daily until the blister is gone.

·        Big blisters sometimes take a long time to heal. You can speed things along by applying yarrow, an herb that naturally (and safely) draws out the fluid. Chop or crumble fresh or dried yarrow (available at health food stores), then add enough water to make a paste. Apply the paste to the blister and cover it with an adhesive or gauze bandage. Replace the dressing once a day until the blister is gone.

·        Above all else, avoid blisters next time you head out to the garden by slipping on a pair of gardening gloves first!

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