Moleskin is a thin but heavy cotton fabric. It’s soft on one side and has a sticky adhesive backing on the other. It’s often applied to the inside of shoes to improve fit or make them more comfortable. You can also use it to protect a blister from irritation.
You can find moleskin in most drugstores or on Amazon.
Moleskin is very durable, which makes it a good option for protecting blisters in high-friction areas, including your feet.
If you’ve ever applied a bandage to a blister on the back of your heel, you probably noticed that it came off shortly after you put on shoes. Moleskin tends to stay in place better than traditional bandages. It’s also thicker, which adds more support and cushioning.
To use moleskin for blisters, follow these steps:
- Gently clean and dry the area around the blister.
- Cut a piece of moleskin that’s about 3/4-inch larger than your blister.
- Fold the nonadhesive sides together. Now cut a half-circle out of the moleskin. The half-circle should be roughly half the size of your blister. When you unfold it, you should have one blister-sized hole in the center of the moleskin.
- Remove the backing from the adhesive side and place the moleskin over your blister, aligning your blister with the hole you made.
If your blister sticks out above the moleskin, cut and apply a second layer to make the moleskin thicker. For very large blisters, consider using moleskin with a thick foam backing, which you can also find on Amazon.
Keeping your blister surrounded by padding helps to reduce friction and irritation. It also helps to protect the blister from popping, which is usually painful and also increases your risk of infection.
If you’re breaking in a new pair of shoes or planning to walk or run for a long period of time, you can also place some moleskin on areas that tend to develop blisters. This protects the skin underneath from friction, which causes blisters.
You can also individually wrap your toes in moleskin to prevent them from rubbing against each other.
As an alternative, you can also apply moleskin directly to the inside of your shoes. This is particularly useful if your shoes have an uncomfortable seam or narrow heel that tends to dig into your skin.
Make sure you don’t put moleskin directly over a blister. The strong adhesive on the back can easily rip off the top of your blister (known as the roof) when you remove it. A blister’s roof protects it from developing an infection.
Moleskin is an effective way to protect existing blisters and prevent new ones from forming. You can even apply it to the inside of your shoes if they tend to rub against your skin in certain places. Just make sure you don’t place it directly over a blister, which can damage the roof of the blister.