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Cut pad - how to keep it dry?

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My eldest, Ben (will be 15 in 4 months) cut one of his front toe pads a couple of months ago (it's a small gash, about 5mm long). Ever since then it's been a real battle to get it to heal, involving a few vet visits, the wearing of socks, a special boot when he goes outside, etc, etc, etc.

It's healing but very slowly and he has the odd set-back (usually self inflicted when he chews it!).

My main problem is keeping it dry - I CAN'T leave the socks off him at any time because he'll just chew and lick it. When outside he walks through long, wet grass so the water gets into the boot that he wears. Every time he comes in I thoroughly dry the foot and put on dry socks, but it's impossible to get out all of the moisture.

So what's the best way to keep the paw dry when he's inside? I'd like to air it but then he'll lick/chew it so it needs to be covered.

Perhaps put talcum powder on the paw every time I change his socks?

Or is there another way?

Thanks! :)