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Best of Amtgard Combat:
Like a Blister in the Sun

[12/09/2004] []

This article originally appeared in and was written by Sir Corbin of the Emerald Hills.

Like a Blister in the Sun

The point of all this first aid malarkey that I throw at you people out there is to keep you out there. Nothing is more disappointing to me than seeing a hundred people on the sideline and ten people in a trench. So the point is to keep you on the field, despite all discomfort or inconvenience.

Let Me Go On Like a Blister in the Sun

Two things: First, if you've never had a blister as a result of playing Amtgard, then you're doing something wrong. Second, if it hurts too much for you to continue playing, you're doing something wrong.

Blisters are the inevitable result of friction on skin. They hurt, they burn, they sting, they look worse then they are, and they don't have to stop you from playing. Due to the nature of the game, you'll more than likely get them on your hands and feet, but you might get one on your arms or legs or shoulder as a result of armor or something. Where ever you get them, one thing is for sure: they are an integral part of Amtgard.

Big Hands I know You're the One

Blisters ain't so bad. They bleed, they ooze, they might fester, but they really are more of a nuisance than a wound. Blisters can actually be quite helpful. A blister can help you know how you hold your weapon. For example, if you notice a blister forming on your thumb-print, chances are your thumb plays an important role on how you throw your shots. Not necessarily the secret of life, but helpful info to one who wants to analyze their fighting style.

Another reason that blisters are helpful is that after they dry up, the skin tends to come back thicker, as if your body says: "Hey, there seems to be a whole lotta friction here, maybe we need some hide." Thus a callous is born.

She's at the End, She is Starting to Cry

Okay, so in the future there will be a blister. So I use my thumb. I still have a burning, stinging, gapping wound on my hand. What now?

The brave thing to do would be to rub some dirt on it and get back in the trench. The smart thing to do is to follow this advice:

  1. Wash the area. At any event you'll be getting dirty and most likely hanging out with other Amtgardians (mammoth receptacles of whole and as of yet undiscovered philae of germs). Infection is bad and any wound, no matter how shallow, can get infected. Water is a good place to start. Pour some water on the area and rub the dirt out of it. If the blister is on your hand, suck or lick it clean (spit out the dirt). Hydrogen Peroxide is the best. If it is available, douse the blister in it. Hydrogen Peroxide should be standard fare in any First Aid kit. If your park officials or autocrat can't put their hands on a First Aid kit, kick them in the shin. I suppose you could sterilize the blister with everclear or something, but that seems wasteful to me.

  2. Dry the area completely. Now comes the duct tape. If you can't fashion some medically sanctioned barrier with gauze and athletic/cloth tape, the duct tape will have to do. Peel a strip off that could cover the blister. Stick its sticky side to the sticky side of another, larger piece of tape. It ain't brain surgery, but it will get you right back into that trench.

I Stain the Sheets, I Don't Even Know Why

The best way to handle a blister is to beat it to the punch, to be proactive. Wear gloves. I have gotten blisters through gloves, but not nearly as readily as without (what a Clan _that_ was). If you are wearing new boots, throw on an extra pair of socks. That extra layer will glide smoothly over the heels and toes and keep you in the game longer.

Remember, Corbin can't have you leaving the field because you have a boo-boo. He needs you there to give and take with the rest of us blood-hungery ditch denizens.

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