Do It Yourself

How To Treat Blisters And Itches Naturally



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When you find yourself in the middle of nowhere for days, trying to stay alive, there are a lot of things you and your loved ones need to protect yourselves from.

You might first think of keeping safe from large and dangerous animals, having enough to eat and to drink, not to freeze to death if it’s really cold…

But experiencing the wild also means dealing with sunburns, coming in contact with toxic plants or being bitten by insects. This can happen while camping, too. So be prepared for anything, in any situation, that’s what I always say.

The best part is that all of these problems can be treated naturally and I`ll show you exactly what to do to ease the pain from itches and nasty blisters. Here some of the natural remedies you can use:

#1: Remedies for blisters

Blisters can have multiple causes. For example, sunburn causes painful blisters – tender spots that fill up with fluid and burst very easily as a result of skin damage. Blisters can also come from insect bites that you scratch too much or from shoes rubbing up against your skin (but you can prevent this by buying comfortable, good quality shoes. Remember that you might have to walk for miles in search for a shelter or safe place).

Here are some natural, cheap home remedies you can use to relieve the pain and itch from blisters:

–          Wash the area with a mild soap and tap it gently with a soft clean towel, to keep the area sanitized (or use the alcohol you’ve packed in your bug-out bag).

–          For soothing and quicker healing use aloe. Squeeze the gel directly on the blister; works for itches and bites, too. Make sure you pack in your bag-out bag a natural aloe vera gel or cream bought from your drugstore or health food store.

–          Vinegar, sprayed directly on the blister, is great to cool the skin and feel some ease.

–          Baking soda mixed with water sprayed on the spot has the same effect (and it’s best to leave the baking soda mix on the blister overnight)

Warning: Don’t scratch or pop the blister – there` s a high risk of infection! My advice is to cover the area to keep yourself from scratching it.

#2: Remedies for itches

Itching is something you should definitely be prepared for as it may be caused by numerous plants, flea bites and even unfit clothing (made of wool or acrylic), and it’s really dangerous.

Spots, blisters, rashes, and red skin may accompany itchy skin. Also, due to constant scratching, your skin can get dry or it can crack.

Constant itching can also cause anxiety. And you surely don’t need the extra stress while already having a lot of physical pressure and nervousness to deal with in a survival or emergency situation.

In most cases you can contact an itchy rash (that can last for 1-3 weeks!) from poison ivy, oak, and sumac. Touching their toxic leaves (roots, stems, flowers and berries, too) can give you contact dermatitis. This reaction is caused by contact with the irritant urushiol, resin found in poison ivy plants.

Now here`s what you can do to ease down that fiery itching:

–          Apply moist compresses on the itchy area.

–          If the rash is on your hand, arm, leg, or foot, soak the area in cold water and leave it there for a few minutes (make sure the water is not TOO cold, however).

–          Avoid excessive heat and humidity – sweating can aggravate your itchiness.

–          Wear comfortable clothes. Wear the softest ones you have, and make sure they`re either large or tight enough not to rub on your skin.

–          Keep the itchy area covered, so you don`t feel tempted to scratch it.

Other tips, do’s and don’ts

–          Stay out of the sun, wear sun protection cream, caps and sunglasses

–          Dress appropriately, preferably in smooth breathable fabrics like cotton (wear long sleeved-shirts, long pants and socks)

–          Try and keep your skin covered with clothing at most times, this offers protection against insects (and also keeps you from scratching it)

–          Don’t touch plants you can’t identify

–          Keep both eyes open for plants or insects that fight back

–          Cold compresses on the skin are always beneficial, even pouring cool running water on the affected areas for a quick relief

–          Pack antiseptic soap and oral nonprescription antihistamines that contain diphenhydramine or chlorphenamine maleate (to reduce swelling) in your bug-out bag

–          Take immediate care of your skin, especially if the itching and pain get worse

–          Watch for signs of infection (red skin or streaks, fever, weakness)

There are a lot of “home” remedies, but you only need to remember the essential ones or to make a list with DIY treatments and instructions. Better yet, print the list and put that in your bug-out bag, as well.

It might save your life.

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Editors Note: The best cure for a blister is to prevent it from happening in the first place. It doesn't sound very Macho, but there is a surprising “secret weapon” to keep in your BOB that can help…

The slideshow below is mainly meant for marathon runners but the tips it gives to prevent blisters and chafing could work just as well, out on the trail:


Want more tips? Check out these great articles on our site:

How To Treat Everyday First Aid Issues

Spider Bites: How to Identify and Treat Them

What to Include in a Home First Aid Kit

Continue Reading


  1. left Coast Chuck

    January 6, 2014 at 10:38 AM

    Some years ago the Marine Corps experimented with antiperspirant to guard against foot blisters on long marches. They found it works quite well. Not 100%, but sufficiently to make use of it on marches. I tried it on a 7 day hike that covered more than 25 miles a day. I got hot spots but no blisters. I also changed my socks three times a day during the march. You don’t have to have clean socks, just dry socks. Of course, if they have become soaked with sweat, there is a good chance they won’t be dry when you go to put them on again. A great many people on that hike had huge blisters, but I only had hot spots. I haven’t had an opportunity to do something like that since, so it is a one time experience. The trick is antiperspirant, not deodorant. The antiperspirant keeps your feet from sweating.

    • Var

      January 6, 2014 at 11:42 AM

      Just a helpful note in connection with the blisters article, especially your feet (Above Average Joe – Jan. 6, 2014):
      I have done high altitude backpacking all my life and, regardless of the quality and fit of the boot or shoe used for backpacking, certain conditions, such as heavy rain, or slight size changes over time, can cause the boot or shoe to generate blisters. The following method really works well. The best cure I have found for this or any blisters on the feet, is this:
      1. Be consciously aware of your feet and how they feel continuously, from the first step to the last. Blisters will usually give you some tingling or faint pain even before they become full-blown blisters.
      2. Once you notice this tingle, stop immediately. That is the best time to begin treatment. However, this method works well regardless of the stage of blister development, even for broken blisters.
      3. Remove your boot or shoe, and your sock, and clean the area.
      4. Dry your foot well. If the blister is broken, use a topical antibiotic (gel types work best for this). With a broken blister, gauze or bandage should be used to cover where the blister was.
      5. Use a layer of athletic tape to cover the area, making sure to use enough tape to prevent it from pealing-off while hiking. Wrap the tape around your foot, both laterally and vertically to cover the affected area. These two layers are usually sufficient. This will prevent further damage and start the healing process. I would recommend leaving the tape in place for several days, but it can be replaced as desired.
      6. However, once your boot or shoe initiates blister formation, it will likely continue to do so, especially on long hikes.

  2. David A Fox

    January 6, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    Too add to your article on #2: Remedies for itches. I was informed that a Stick Antiperspirant when rubbed on the bite, sting or rash from foliage stops the itch almost immediately. But if you have already scratched it you can still apply it, but it will take up to a few minutes to take effect.

  3. Hutch

    January 6, 2014 at 3:48 PM

    For bug bites, poisonous plants and the like make this home remedy paste and keep it in an old Vaseline plastic container. Mix Campho Phenique, crushed aspirin, cortizone cream, rubbing alcohol and Vaseline into a thoroughly mixed paste. It will treat the symptoms of a variety of cuts, bites, rashes and blisters. It is cheap, easy and may save you a lot of misery out in the woods. I was a US Army Ranger with 2 tours in Viet Nam and used this mixture extensively and it did in fact save me a lot of misery in the field. (at the time cortizone creams were not readily available and I have since added it to the mixture). It helped with jungle rot, trench foot and a lot of various other things.

    • Linda

      January 6, 2014 at 7:49 PM

      What proportions do you add to the mixture?

      • Izzy

        August 30, 2014 at 9:28 AM

        Linda; I am just guessing based on the ingredients as to ratios from mixing my own ‘potions’.

        I would use equal parts of the Campho, cortizone cream. Mix these together first and thoroughly. Depending on the size of each product, I would add an aspirin (500 mgs each) for each ingredient used. Crush the aspirin to a very fine powder, or dissolve in a bit of VERY hot, sterile water. Add alcohol a little at a time so your paste doesn’t become too runny.

        Remember also, not everyone can tolerate aspirin, likewise Tylenol.

  4. anne marvin

    January 6, 2014 at 9:56 PM

    This may sound crazy, but I found by accident, if a blister has not broken, that put just a little of tincture of iodine covering the blister at night when I go to bed. When I wake up in the morning, the blister is gone!

  5. Stephen

    January 9, 2014 at 4:42 PM

    Old Foriegn Legion trick: Needle and thread, lance the blister skin only, no pain, pull 6 inches thru and cut 6 inches each side. Leave in place 24-48 hours. Drains blister and leaves dead skin to protect the wound, callouse in 4-10 days. Use white thread or you will ahve a permanent color streak. Can be done on multiple spots at the same time. it works.

  6. Bear

    January 22, 2014 at 2:23 PM

    The best remedy for foot blisters is not to get them in the first place. I learned at a young age from my dad to wear two pair of socks, a thin pair neat to your skin and a heaver pair next to your shoes/boots. The “slippage” will be between the thin and thick socks and not your feet. I am not saying this a 100% cure but it has always worked for me.


    March 21, 2014 at 9:48 PM

    I have always used heat to stop the itching. I’m 64 and have had Poison Ivy numerous times as a youth. In Nam I would place a cigarette close to the bite and let the heat sting the bite! Even today I have an allergy to soaps and will developed a rash if I don’t rinse my clothes or body enough to remove all the soap. I still get the rash though because sometimes I forget to rinse enough .I.E. Say my legs are itching really badly, I will place my leg in the running shower gradually making the water hotter and hotter or take a cloth and microwave it and then place the heated cloth on my leg or other area. It stings, but the itch stops. This way I don’t have to scratch it, I let the HEAT Agitate the nerves that are causing the itch. At times my hands break out terribly. I place them under a running faucet and gradually let the water get hotter and hotter until I can hardly stand it. The heat feels so good that I get drowsy as the nerves are itched by the heat; I actually get weak as the feeling is so good. I have used this technique all my life and it works. I never get an infection from bites or rash of any kind.

    • eduard

      July 30, 2018 at 2:07 AM

      I also use hair blower to blow heat on the area that is itchy until I cant stand the heat anymore on my skin and the itchiness is gone…

  8. Pingback: Home Remedies For Preppers | SHTF First Aid | Survival Life - Survival Life | Preppers | Survival Gear | Blog

  9. Izzy

    August 30, 2014 at 10:18 AM

    As a burn victim, I learned some several decades ago home remedies.

    Corn starch works wonders on all manner of burns, blisters, and itches. I lost count of the many dozens and dozens of boxes I shipped to our troops in the sandbox when Iraq first started up. The troops used it for a natural flea repellent, jock itch, blisters and sunburns. It is VERY soothing and healing. Cheap to purchase and easy to carry in a plastic bag.

    Another item I use for all manner of minor issues is a common weed….Plantain. I pick several (maybe 7-8 large leaves and let it dry. Then I crush them very fine and add them to a small jar of Vaseline. I also add several capsules (broken) of vitamin E. You can store this in original jar, a prescription bottle or buy a new plastic jar with a screw on lid. This will last a very long time. You can also simply pick a few leaves, bruise them a little to release their properties and apply directly to problem areas. Just one of nature’s many healers.

    Lastly, TEA bags. Throw some tea bags in your medicinal supplies. If you are burned, you make a strong solution of tea (black tea) cooled and bath the burns with it. It is not only soothing as it takes the pain out of the burns, it is also healing. Use a soft cloth to gently apply and try not to disturb any blisters. The same applies to blisters.

    Tea is also good for tooth aches if you have nothing else.

    Btw: Never EVER, ever use rolled gauze to cover a burn (or blister). As these injuries heal, they produce fluids. The tiny strings in gauze adhere to these fluids and can literally pull the skin off. Been there and felt it. Always keep a few roll of plain old muslin cloth in your kits. Muslin is a very tight woven fabric and removes fairly easily. It can also be sterilized and reused. However, NEVER cover more than simple burns. Third degree burns should never be bandaged tight. If you are out in the wilds, wear a long sleeve, loose fitting shirt. This will protect your injury from the elements while allowing air to get to burn to help the healing.

    I speak from experience on burns. Nothing is more painful save for labor pains.

  10. Kathleen Schaefer

    November 7, 2014 at 6:54 PM

    When it comes to making bug bites stop itching my go-to favorite is broad-leaf plantain, a very common yard weed
    I pick a leaf, fold in half, tear between the “ribs” and rub the heck out of the bug bite fo 5-10 seconds- get the plant juice on the bite and around it a bit. And wa-laa! Itch is gone! Often for the ” life of the bite!” So awesome! If not, simple to re-apply. Also is awesome for wasp/bee stings, tear up several leaves and apply as a “poultice”/ mounded wad. Tie on with string/ stems of grass/ self adhesive bandaging,etc. stops the pain(!), stops the swelling progressing! ( know this one works personally from encountering a bee while walking barefoot through the clover patch in the lawn…grrrrrrrrrh, duh,
    And oh thank heaven!
    Remember- Not for severe allergic reaction!

  11. eduard

    July 30, 2018 at 2:11 AM

    I also use hair blower to blow heat on the area that is itchy until I cant stand the heat anymore on my skin and the itchiness is gone…

  12. Pingback: How To Prevent And Treat Poison Ivy, Oak, And Sumac | Survival Life

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