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Adrian Smith
07-22-2003, 02:09 AM
OK, so in the past few months I've noticed a few times that the skin on the bottom of my big toes is getting shredded. I mean leaving streaks of blood and lengths of skin on the tatami when I tenkan. I'm attributing it to the roughness of the mats, but I'm open to other interpretations.

Anyway, I'm looking for ideas on how to toughen up the soles of my toes (as silly as that sounds) so that they don't get quite so shredded during training. This seems to occur every so often, and they toughen up after a couple of weeks, but a month later they're doing it again. When it gets really bad I tape them, but does anyone have any other suggestions? By the way, I'm training 5-6 nights a week so that may be part of it.

Thanks!
-Adrian

bluwing27
07-22-2003, 06:00 AM
Ouch...that sounds painful!

I train 4-5 times a week and never really get that problem, so maybe it is your mats? or maybe my feet have just toughened up over the years (7 of them).....(thats years not feet :p). How long have you been training?

Anyway to get bak to the question...

A while back I did a lot of hill walking and to the beginner, like I was , it was hell on your feet! Really bad blisters all the way! :freaky:

So I asked the more experienced and they said that if you bathe your feet in white spirit every day over a period of days (weeks?) then the skin on the bottom of your feet gradually starts to thicken and you dont suffer as much :D

Give it a try....it might help your toes!

JimAde
07-22-2003, 06:59 AM
I'm probably being dense, but what is "white spirit". Is that like rubbing alcohol?

The only white spirits I know are either ghosts or vodka :D

JMCavazos
07-22-2003, 07:41 AM
tabis are a protective footwear. They should be available on the "net" somewhere for a pretty reasonable cost. Of course, taking care of your body is worth the cost.

kung fu hamster
07-22-2003, 07:50 AM
Try going barefoot a lot, walk outdoors in the grass and run along the beach on the sand and pebbles. If you can't do that, maybe get a large flat pan and fill it with gravel or pea size pebbles (or dried peas) and 'walk in place' for a few minutes several times each day...that should toughen up the bottoms of your feet!

Anders Bjonback
07-22-2003, 11:23 PM
Are you dragging your toes at all? I found that I tend to drag my right foot sometimes, or scrape it along the floor, and that has caused my right big toe to get extra layers of pale, whitsh (dead?) skin on one side of it. I usually train three to four times a day, yet my problem has never been as extreme as yours, though. Maybe you should see an orthopod or something.

PeterR
07-23-2003, 02:24 AM
Exactly Linda;

I'm on vacation in Northern Greece and basically am using the time to do just that. First day my toe suffered a casualty because of my shoe reliance but at least I've stopped hobbling now. The bottom of my feet are quite tough in some places through my regular Aikido and Judo training but not in others. I also just want to remind my feet what 1 million years BS (before shoe) was all about.

The great warrior Shaka Zulu had his compatriots toss their sandals and as an army they became invinsible. Hey I know there were other factors but I think of these guys as I walk through the scrub watching real careful like for the snakes.


Try going barefoot a lot, walk outdoors in the grass and run along the beach on the sand and pebbles. If you can't do that, maybe get a large flat pan and fill it with gravel or pea size pebbles (or dried peas) and 'walk in place' for a few minutes several times each day...that should toughen up the bottoms of your feet!

Larry Feldman
07-23-2003, 06:45 AM
If you need something to protect your feet until they can toughen up try ballet slippers.

PeterR
07-23-2003, 06:58 AM
If you need something to protect your feet until they can toughen up try ballet slippers.
Don't do it Adrian - tabi is the way to go. If you do follow the ballet slipper advice - choose the colour real careful and don't wear points. ;)

As the first post mentioned he is training 5-6 times a week so the problem really isn't going to be solved by barefoot walking or tabi. It's part of the process. Even after several years most of us run into phases where the toughened skin just splits. I recently had a nasty one where my big toe joins the foot.

Tape it, sand down the built up skin, enjoy a foot bath. Slippers in fact only delay the situation assuming you don't intend to wear slippers forever.

Qatana
07-23-2003, 07:46 AM
At the risk of throwing yet another thread OT-

ballet shoes? First of all, Peter, i don't think ANybody could accidentally buy a pair of pointe shoes, they take quite some time to fit and days to break in and i can assure you that no person working in dance shoe sales would just sell a pair to just anybody.

That said, even "flat"ballet shoes are restrictive for quite some time. I wouldn't reccommend them for anything but ballet...

and i don't think men's sizes even come in pink..

Walk on gravel, thats the way. Or tabi.

Ron Tisdale
07-23-2003, 08:59 AM
Hi Peter,

On Shaka Zulu, he had an interesting method of enforcing the "no shoe law". Throw a bunch of those three pointed acacia thorns on the ground, make your warriors run across them barefoot, and anyone who falters or shows pain gets an asagai in the back. Worked really well. For a time.

Ron (I'm not fighting any of the ones that made it) Tisdale

kensparrow
07-23-2003, 01:14 PM
I used to use something called tincture of benzoin (sp?) to help build calluses for rock climbing. You should be able to get it at any pharmacy. It works pretty well but it does stain the skin like iodine (not quite as bad). The only other downside is that the skin toughens so much that if it does tear, the whole callus will come off as one large nasty piece!

Good luck.

taras
07-24-2003, 03:58 AM
So I asked the more experienced and they said that if you bathe your feet in white spirit every day over a period of days (weeks?) then the skin on the bottom of your feet gradually starts to thicken and you dont suffer as much :D
I believe in America it is called 'pure grain alcohol' and is available in liquor stores.

BTW, if you decide to try this make sure your toes are not bleeding and that there are no cuts on the skin.

paw
07-24-2003, 07:27 AM
Try UGS (http://www.rmax.tv/ugs.html)

(gotta love the name)

Ramos
07-24-2003, 08:37 AM
Try walking on hot coal for about 1 week, that should do the trick. :-P

Don_Modesto
07-24-2003, 08:45 AM
the skin on the bottom of my big toes is getting shredded....I'm attributing it to the roughness of the mats, but I'm open to other interpretations.
Athlete's foot.

Where is the skin tearing? Down near the joint? Put some Desenex powder in your shoes, some ointment on your feet.

Callouses (already discussed).

My sandals give me callous bigger than Arnold's biceps if I don't stop them.

They thicken, dry, crack, bleed. Solution is to head them off before they grow big enough to dry.

There's always pumice; too slow, clumsy, and labor intensive for me. There are also metal grates with handles made for the purpose in the same section of Target's toiletries as the pumice. There's also a razor operation that's very fast but commensurate care must be taken or you'll score your feet--Ouch!

kung fu hamster
07-24-2003, 09:15 AM
Avon makes a great foot cream that heals cracks right away, comes in a tube - I rubbed some onto a painful crack in my heel and it seemed to close up like magic...even though the skin was rough and bleeding.

Bronson
07-24-2003, 11:58 PM
tabis are a protective footwear. They should be available on the "net" somewhere for a pretty reasonable cost.

Try the House of Rice (http://shop.store.yahoo.com/houserice/cottabsoc.html). Make sure to follow their foot measuring instructions exactly. I wear a size 9 1/2 American but wear something like an 11 on their sizing chart.

Bronson

Adrian Smith
07-29-2003, 10:27 PM
Thanks to all for your thoughts on my shredded toe problem. I know it's not athletes foot - I've had that before. This is on the ball of the toe itself, not the joints. I already have tabi slippers, and I suspect it'd be difficult to find size 13 pointe shoes. I'll try some grain alcohol if I can find it here (I'm in Japan) and continue taping as necessary.

BTW, the problem isn't that the skin on the bottom of my feet is soft - on the contrary, it's callused as all get out! The problem is that the calluses are tearing in long strips, leaving bloody stripes on the tatami.

Thanks!

-Adrian

deepsoup
07-30-2003, 05:15 AM
Hi Adrian,

I get the same thing, but I haven't contributed to the thread because I've never found anything that makes much difference. It just seems to come & go on its own.

Best of luck, and if you do happen to find a cure, would you post again and let everyone know about it?

Sean

x

Paul Laxon
07-30-2003, 08:34 AM
I had a problem with my heal cracking and bleeding. A friend of mine who's in construction and has that problem with his hands recommended Zim's crack cream...despite the many potential jokes about the name it worked wonders. (I'm in Canada, don't know if it's sold internationally).

opherdonchin
07-30-2003, 10:01 AM
Rowers face the problem of hamburger hands, as you can imagine. They generally swear by Aloe Vera. It hurts like hell if your hand (foot) already has open sores, but its worth it anyway. Nothing works better, in my limited experience.

Nancy Mathews
08-12-2003, 11:17 AM
visit a podiatrist, a dermatologist, and even a plastic surgeon and see what they all say. you could have a skin level infection -- doesnt have to be athlete's foot. many plastic surgeons will tell you that skin problems occur where the skin is used over and over again -- occupational hazard -- which makes that particular area of the skin more vulnerable to infections

something as simple as a daily or every other day dose of tetracycline, or other appropriate antibiotic known to inhibit bacteria in the dermatitis may clear up the infection so that the skin returns to its suppleness, and heals from callouses. this has been my experience, please talk to some qualified doctors and get a variety of opinions until someone with a phd starts making some sense to you !

alcohol cleans only the outer dermatitis, of course, and you can do the same with hydrogen peroxide with much less risk of pain to any open cuts. dont be afraid of the fizzing its supposed to do that.

good luck

ross_l
08-13-2003, 06:30 PM
Hello,

I have the exact problem you are describing. I will tell you what I do to help the problem. First, let me state the first rule of Aikido and bandages. There isn't a band-aid or tape made that will stay put on your toes or fingertips while on the mat! Most times it'll fly right off during warm-ups. :)

The only thing that I've found that will stick to toes or fingertips is a product called NuSkin. If you can find it I highly recommend it. It's the only thing that works for me.

You'll want to do a little preparation first. I use a q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol to clean the toe. This may sting a bit. Then I will take ordinary nail clippers and either dip them in the alcohol or swab them down with it to sterilize them. I clip the skin that's hanging off in a small flap. It's easier after showering while the skin is still soft. Be careful to only cut the dead skin off! I find that this helps in preventing the flap catching on the mat, or anything else, and traveling further up the toe.

When the toe is completely dry. I will then put two coats of the NuSkin on the area around were the flap was. This may also sting a bit at first as well. My toe is good for the day's practice after that.

Please keep in mind that I am not a doctor and I am only relating what works for me. If you have any pain or bleeding then I would do as others have suggested and go to a qualified health professional.

SeiserL
08-14-2003, 08:57 AM
IMHO, check with a podiatrist or dermotologist to insure you doen't have some skin condition that will only be aggrevated by self diagnosis and treatment. Follow their instructions.

Nancy Mathews
08-14-2003, 09:44 AM
regarding NuSkin:

proceed with caution. many people (self included) have an allergic reaction to nu skin and other type liquid bandages. plan ahead to try it when you have time to deal with the potential consequences in time before class.

otherwise, sounds pretty reasonable to me !

Adrian Smith
08-14-2003, 02:43 PM
Thanks again to all who've replied to this thread. I appreciate everyone's comments.

Just to set minds at ease, I have no medical condition that's contributing to the problem - my toe skin is simply shredding under the 4-5 nights a week trauma of stepping and turning on tatami... Right now they seem to be okay, so I'm hoping they stay that way.

-drin