It seems that Band Aid has come out with a new product: Hydroseal bandages. (New to me, anyhow; I’d not heard of them before.) I had read an article about these on Section Hiker, so when I saw them at the pharmacy today...well, “ooh, shiny” and now they’re in my first aid kit (replacing plain old moleskin.)
They are touted to be a blister/wound treatment that is somewhat “fire and forget.” After draining and cleaning a blister, you apply the bandage (they come in all-purpose and specific heel, toe, finger, etc., shapes) and then leave it in place for several days. You are not supposed to apply Neosporin or other first aid creams; the bandage is pre-treated, I’m guessing. It absorbs the seepage from the wound, forming a slight bump in the bandage, which indicates “healing has begun.” You leave it in place for a few days (it is supposedly waterproof and highly adhesive, so it won’t wrinkle or fall off), and you’re good as new.
I would say that I’m anxious to see how they work, but I’m really not - at least not personally. I’m one of the leaders of a beginner trip next month, which is usually good for at least one blister. One of the other leaders will have moleskin or Spenco Second Skin, so we’re covered if Hydroseal doesn’t work as promised. I’ll try to remember to come back and post our results, if we get some “volunteers.”
They come one shape to a box, with 6-10 bandages per box, and cost about $4.50 - $5.00 a box.
Anyone use these, or have any questions I can keep in mind?
Sounds like the 3M Nexcare Tegaderm bandages that I've used before. Been out for quite awhile. Never used them on a blister, but have used them on cuts and such. Work fine.
I don't think the bandages are treated with anything, they're simply designed to let your skin 'breathe' while sealing out moisture and dirt, allowing new skin to grow over the wound. The Nexcare bandages I've used have stayed on through showers and such.
As an aside, I had a bit o' skin cancer removed recently, and the post-op instructions had me cleaning and bandaging the surgery site daily, but specifically indicated not to use neosporin or other antibiotic ointments, just soap and water, dry, then apply a bandage.
Loc: Portland, OR
Although you say they are specifically designed for use on feet I would be surprised if they stood up well to the sort of battering they'd get over the course of a day's trail hiking. Compared to the amount and type of walking the average American does in a day, a long day's hike with plenty of elevation gain and loss is like comparing freeway driving to the Baja 500.
I would test them out by hiking with one on my foot without a blister to protect, then see how long it lasts before it falls off or gets shredded. I'd be surprised if one lasted even half a day of that kind of rough treatment. But new and surprising things do happen with modern technology, so let us know how it turns out.
I’m a bit skeptical, too - but the tester at SectionHiker said they do last (he was using them to treat a bad blister of his own.) However, he didn’t say if his several days were trail days or town days.
I’ll let you know what I find out. (The little devil perched on one shoulder is telling me my instructions to participants should be, “...And the best way to hike is with the laces untied - gives your feet plenty of room to breathe...”
Loc: Eastern MA, USA
If your Hydrogel are the same or nearly the same as something I saw maybe 15 years ago, the stuff is WONDERFUL. Another Scouter cut a piece to put on my blistered foot. The stinging stopped instantly and the blister healed quickly.
Loc: Kitsap Peninsula, WA
Just Walking... Yes, the use of antibiotics and antiseptics seems to be discouraged because they are cytotoxic, meaning they can kill good living cells. Cleaning the wound (or trying to) in the field is most important. I saw where someone recommended treating some water, putting some in a zip-lock bag and poking a pin hole it the bag. So you get a thin stream like you would from a syringe to irrigate the wound. Because cleaning is so important and so hard to do in the field it is not recommended that you ever stitch up a wound in the field. Just stop the bleeding, clean and close it up the best you can and put a sterile dressing on it. Sorry for the rant. Retired EMT here.