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Old 07-22-2003, 02:09 AM   #1
Adrian Smith
 
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Toughening my toes?

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
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Old 07-22-2003, 06:00 AM   #2
bluwing27
 
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Confused

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 ). 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!

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

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

'The truth is that which is true, whether you know it or not and whether you like it or not'
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Old 07-22-2003, 06:59 AM   #3
JimAde
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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

Remember: No matter where you go...There you are.
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Old 07-22-2003, 07:41 AM   #4
JMCavazos
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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.
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Old 07-22-2003, 07:50 AM   #5
kung fu hamster
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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!
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Old 07-22-2003, 11:23 PM   #6
Anders Bjonback
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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.

"For peace and happiness are presences, not objects we can grasp and hold onto."
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Old 07-23-2003, 02:24 AM   #7
PeterR
 
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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.


Quote:
Linda Morimoto (kung fu hamster) wrote:
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!

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 07-23-2003, 06:45 AM   #8
Larry Feldman
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If you need something to protect your feet until they can toughen up try ballet slippers.
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Old 07-23-2003, 06:58 AM   #9
PeterR
 
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Quote:
Larry Feldman wrote:
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.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 07-23-2003, 07:46 AM   #10
Qatana
 
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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.

Q
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"It is not wise to be incautious when confronting a little smiling bald man"'- Rule #1
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Old 07-23-2003, 08:59 AM   #11
Ron Tisdale
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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

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 07-23-2003, 01:14 PM   #12
kensparrow
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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.
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Old 07-24-2003, 03:58 AM   #13
taras
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Quote:
Christopher Thompson (bluwing27) wrote:
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
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.
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Old 07-24-2003, 07:27 AM   #14
paw
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Try UGS

(gotta love the name)
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Old 07-24-2003, 08:37 AM   #15
Ramos
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Try walking on hot coal for about 1 week, that should do the trick. :-P
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Old 07-24-2003, 08:45 AM   #16
Don_Modesto
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Re: Toughening my toes?

Quote:
Adrian Smith wrote:
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!

Don J. Modesto
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Old 07-24-2003, 09:15 AM   #17
kung fu hamster
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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.
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Old 07-24-2003, 11:58 PM   #18
Bronson
 
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Quote:
tabis are a protective footwear. They should be available on the "net" somewhere for a pretty reasonable cost.
Try the House of Rice. 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

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 07-29-2003, 10:27 PM   #19
Adrian Smith
 
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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
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Old 07-30-2003, 05:15 AM   #20
deepsoup
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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
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Old 07-30-2003, 08:34 AM   #21
Paul Laxon
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Crack Cream

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).
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Old 07-30-2003, 10:01 AM   #22
opherdonchin
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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.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 08-12-2003, 11:17 AM   #23
Nancy Mathews
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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
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Old 08-13-2003, 06:30 PM   #24
ross_l
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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.
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Old 08-14-2003, 08:57 AM   #25
SeiserL
 
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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.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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