Rating: 5 / 5
I am surprised nobody has rated tincture of benzoin. Whats it used for? A whole bunch of stuff, but backpackers use it to prevent and to help treat hot spots and blisters.
You use tincture of benzoin to help prevent skin breakdown if you have not been doing much trail time. You put the stuff on the soles of your feet and on your heels and let it air dry for fifteen or twenty minutes. It is a sappy substance that once dry, toughens up your feet and helps to prevent hot spots and blisters from developing.
Treatment of hot spots and blisters:
If you feel a hot spot coming on or if a blister has already developed, stop and take your boots and socks off. If you have a blister, pop it and drain it with a sterilized needle. Then apply tincture of benzoin all over the sole of your foot, the heel area, etc. Let it air dry thoroughly.
Then apply moleskin or second skin over the hot spot or drained blister. You will find the moleskin sticks to your skin much better if tincture of benzoine has been applied first. And the tincture of benzoin will possibly help prevent additional skin breakdown.
You can buy tincture of benzoine at most drug stores, its OTC no prescription is needed. You can buy it in bottle form and repackage it into small lightweight plastic bottles. Or you can buy it in cotton swab sticks that you "snap" when you need it and apply thru the dampened cotton.
For guys who have been doing regular backpacking and are toughened up, tincture of benzoin is normally NOT needed, as your feet will already be toughened up.
I should also note that tincture of benzoin is not a shortcut to having well fitted, well broken in boots with good quality socks. Tincture of benzoine is one of those little known tricks of the trade that can make trail life easier and happier.