Blisters at the Siachen glacier

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Watch out for the blisters arising at high altitudes.

Ladakhis say that if somebody reaches you all the way there it has to be a thickest friend or the fiercest enemy. The Indian Army is on its toes at the world's highest battlefield, Siachen, so that the nation has its peaceful days and nights. Oxygen levels plummet in this rarified atmosphere making it difficult to breathe.The commonest problem arising at that altitude is a small blister on the hands or feet which could form an ulcer and if the complexity continues, could lead to amputation too. It is blood circulation that maintains our body temperature. The increased sensitivity of the nervous system due to low temperatures causes constriction of the blood vessels and thereby the tissues of hands and feet are not replenished with oxygen thereby resulting in decreased sensation and function. Even a minor injury to feet or internally to the blood vessels can initiate rapid clotting that can travel anywhere along the vessels to cause strokes. The fluid between body tissues and cellular spaces also freezes and crystallise leading to reduced oxygen supply to the injured areas.

As the numbness ensues in fingers and toes, it is difficult to feel the amount of heat of water that could lead to scalds and blisters again. To say the least even a blister is not a good development as it can lead all the way to necrosis. In addition, repeated warming and freezing of an injured part can accentuate necrosis.


If the skin over the extremities is red and swollen with tingling and burning sensation, the injury is only superficial. If there is blister formation, peeling off skin from the area, the injury is partially thick withburning sensation, and sensitiveness to cold gets worse. In full thickness injuries the degeneration spreads beneath the skin and there is a thick, hard, dry, blackish border appearing at the ulcer and friction while holding things and walking makes all this worse. Clothing made of wool, polyester substitutes and water-repellent materials, mittens for hands, boots and so on only provide basic protection.



Homoeopathic medicine has good remedies to improve circulation to the extremities thereby reducing the probability of blisters and ulcers. If there has already been an impairment of circulation and thereby nutrition to the tissues an improvement can be done too. Nicotine and alcohol tend to lessen circulation and add to the injury. So they are better avoided. Carbo Veg prevents stagnation of blood in capillaries and improves circulation. The burning pain, numbness of soles and pain in calf muscles is remedied by Arsenic . Euphorbium and Lachesis help in healing of tissues under the skin and prevent further degeneration. Coldness, numbness and bleeding under the skin and later gangrene are all under control with Secale Cor.


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