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Peeling feet??? - The Original Live Journal Runners Club
Peeling feet???
I've been running about 16 to 20 miles a week and a few weeks ago, I got a huge blister on one toe. But since then, that toe has been peeling where a callous is. And now my other toes are all peeling too, on both feet, on the sides and near the toenails. Some of it is dry skin but some of it is still really soft. On the balls of my feet, I'm starting to get peeling too.

Does this happen to anyone else? And does anyone know what causes it and what I can do to make my feet stop peeling? It happens every now and then but this is just getting annoying. (And it grosses out my parents.)
12 miles | run a mile
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utlawgirl From: utlawgirl Date: August 4th, 2008 07:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
I get peeling skin sometimes on the tips of my toes -- no idea what causes it, but it usually goes away on its own.
katie_keysburg From: katie_keysburg Date: August 4th, 2008 08:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
+1 on the pumice stone
also, apply a thick lotion after you shower and put on cotton socks until the lotion is absorbed

I haven't been able to get it all to go away but this helps.
swingbug21 From: swingbug21 Date: August 4th, 2008 08:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
happens to me every summer, whether i run or not. i usually just peel it off, but using a pumice stone regularly might help.
zrzuce From: zrzuce Date: August 4th, 2008 08:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's caused by sweat in your shoes and socks. Your skin absorbs the water, and the keratin breaks down. Then, the back-and-forth grinding of your body weight on the bottoms of your feet against the wet sock and/or shoe sands the skin right off.

It has happened to me before.
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zrzuce From: zrzuce Date: August 5th, 2008 12:42 am (UTC) (Link)
I like the icon :-)
brianrunner From: brianrunner Date: August 4th, 2008 09:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Solution = drymax socks,

or.......running barefoot!
runninggirl77 From: runninggirl77 Date: August 4th, 2008 09:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Brianrunner has a good point. Do you run in tech socks that are designed to wick away the excess moisture? This might not totally do away with the peeling, but it can significately scale back the effect. I peel a lot less these days, than the time period in college when all I had for running were cotton socks. (No tech gear in those days...sigh...we're spoiled now.)
clintpatty From: clintpatty Date: August 4th, 2008 09:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
I ran like 25 miles last week and didn't get that. I haven't gotten that in the past either. I always wear tech socks. I've started to get blisters on longer runs before due to the moisture, but I haven't run long enough for them to really get started. Are you letting your shoes dry thoroughly between runs? Are you letting your feet dry quickly after the runs and starting the runs with dry feet? I've only had 1 run with so much sweat that my shoes and socks got squishy from sweat like I'd run through a puddle.
mayabutta From: mayabutta Date: August 5th, 2008 05:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
I wear tech socks. My shoes are dry. I get this all the time.

I think just some people get it, and some people don't, but you could try switching brands of shoe if it bothers you that much.
topbaby From: topbaby Date: August 4th, 2008 11:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was thinking along the lines of fungus. O_o It depends on what kind of peeling. When my feet are wet I can rub off skin. It is kind of weird and gross. O_O I blame it for rubbing olive oil on my feet before putting on socks and shoes.
demeth From: demeth Date: August 5th, 2008 12:47 am (UTC) (Link)
If the skin is soft, it's probably too moist for too long. (Yeah, it'll dry out later, but odds are the damage was done when they were wet). I'd had problems with callouses tearing in the past when my feet were consistenty too damp (from a day on my feet in "sealed" shoes) and therefore softened. Sometimes when I'd do a quickchange and get right into a martial arts class, a fast pivot would cause a rip on a still sweatsoft foot.

My advice? Allow your feet to dry well after showering (I typically shower pre-run to help me warm up and wake up, so I walk around barefoot as long as possible and shoe up last), wear moisture wicking socks, experiment with powders, and pay attention to how much of your running shoe is actually breathable mesh - I was looking at some new brands lately and can't believe how much some of them are sealed up in leather and plastic! Pumice stones work well on the minor peely stuff (even a washcloth or scrunchy will clear up little stuff with some elbow grease), I know some people were raving about the PedEgg here recently, and various heel/foot creams help you heal faster. I haven't had a tear recently, but I used to clip them with my nailclippers as the edges dried out to make them go away faster.
12 miles | run a mile