img_4221Sooner or later, almost everyone’s feet come up with blisters, hot spots, sore toes or bruises along the Camino. And when that happens, your best friend is Compeed, a product you can only buy outside of the United States. It’s the ultimate blister treatment: different sized pieces of a magical composition that closely resembles replacement skin.

                  You remove the paper backing from a Compeed pad, hold it in your hand briefly to warm it up, then gently place it over a cleaned-up blister, kind of like the slickest Bandaid you ever encountered. The Compeed bonds with the skin and gives great comfort. You leave it on till it falls off, and voila, you have a nice smooth foot again, more or less.

                  Wonderful as it is, Compeed is not perfect. It has a tendency to melt into socks on a hot day. When Compeed bonds with your socks, it’s a forever thing. No laundry detergent known to man will remove that pale lumpy knob embedded in your socks.

                  In the time it takes Compeed to fall off your toes, it begins to reek like yogurt way past its sell-by date. It starts to look like mushrooms on the foot, and its edges fray, so I trim them up with a pair of manicure scissors.

                  Despite its drawbacks, many of our feet are securely Compeeded. I’ve made three trips to the pharmacia to add to my stash. The stuff isn’t cheap, but on the Camino, you’ll do anything to take care of your feet.

                  Have you got a favorite treatment for blisters or other foot pains? I’d love to know about them.