DEAR DOCTOR K: I wore a new pair of hiking boots on my vacation and now have several painful blisters on my feet. What's the best way to treat them?
DEAR READER: It sounds like you have friction blisters. A friction blister is a soft pocket of raised skin filled with clear fluid, caused by irritation from continuous rubbing or pressure. The irritation -- in your case caused by new hiking boots -- slightly damages the skin. The uppermost layer of skin separates from the layer beneath, and fluid accumulates in the space that's left.