A Wart Story

August 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Foot Care, Health 

I’d bet most of us think we are immune to warts. Or we simply never think about them.

But we can pick them up in communal showers at the gym, the local pool, or anywhere where people go barefoot.I found an email where the sender told the story of his wart – and included a picture. Here is Brad’s story.

Excised depression after a large wart on the bottom of the heel

Excised depression after a large wart on the bottom of the heel

I used to be that guy who didn’t wear shoes.  I played volleyball barefoot.  Went around the house/yard barefoot.  Took showers at the gym barefoot.  I’m not sure where it happened, but somewhere I picked up a wart.  Not just any wart, but the wart that wouldn’t respond to any treatment kind.

Did the salicylic drops.  Moved to salicylic acid patches.  Then to the podiatrist:  three rounds of blistering agents, four rounds of bleomycin injections.  While waiting for surgery, did the duct tape method. Needless to say, nothing worked, and the wart just kept growing and shooting off satellites.  Finally, after an incision of about 3 cms wide by several mms deep, and 7 weeks of recovery later, I think I’m finally wart free. 

Needless to say, at least in the gym showers and other questionable patches of real estate, I’m keeping my thongs (zorries) on, thank you very much… 

So there you have it. It could happen to you if you are not careful. Wear clogs, flip-flops, or sandals in common areas. Check your feet after showering for any signs of a wart beginning. Then take care of them before they become too large for localized over the counter treatments.

If you think about how this would affect your training and running/hiking/walking, you’ll be careful in communal areas.

The Case for Flip-Flops!

August 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Footwear, Health 

Last week I worked the Gold Rush Adventure Race. We had 11 teams working their way through paddle, trek, bike, trek, bike, trek, ropes, raft, and finally a last trek. The full course was 285 miles, although some of the teams were short-coursed because of time.

I started at TA2 (transition) where racers went from trek to bike, then TA3 – from bike to trek, TA4 – from trek to bike, and lastly, TA5 – from bike to trek. I saw the same teams, TA after TA.

I did not count the number of racers on whose feet I worked. I didn’t matter. My goal, as always, is to get the racer back in the race. I worked on some of the racers feet multiple times.

I quickly noticed a problem.

Racers would come into the TA and remove their shoes. They needed to change footwear – from bike shoes to shoes for trekking and visa versa – and change clothes too. TAs also meant dismantling and packing their bikes, or unpacking and assembling them. This was often done in the sun – and it was hot.

We had tarps set up for the teams to change on. It kept some of the dirt off their feet – but not all the dirt. The tarps were dirty and there was small twigs, bits of leaves, pinecone pods and seeds, and small stones. A lot of stuff to be walked on and stick to socks.

I usually patched blisters and applied tape as a preventive measure. I advised them to keep the tape as clean as possible and not get it wet.

Then I watched as they worked on their bikes, walked around, and sometimes went down into the river. They walked as gingerly as possible over the rocks and sticks. I don’t fault them; they did what needed to be done. I would have done the same.

The problem I noticed was that racers were compromising their feet, and any patch or tape job, by walking around without anything on their feet.

They had bike boxes for their expensive bikes and large gearboxes for their footwear, clothes, food, and whatever gear they wanted to pack. Of all the racers, I remember only a few who had the foresight to pack flip-flops. An inexpensive set of flip-flops might cost $5 – that can easily help your feet.

Flip flops can save your feet

Flip flops can save your feet

So here’s my recommendation. If you are involved in a multi-day race, any race with transitions, or even a one day event where you will have rest times, invest in a pair of flip-flops to protect your feet and any patch job or tape on them.

The same goes for hikers and backpackers. Lightweight flip-flops weigh next to nothing. Another option is to wear Crocs. They provide protection of one’s toes and tops of the feet, which flips-flops do not offer.

There is something to be said for taking your shoes and socks off when resting during a race, multi-day run, or long hike. Your feet like to be aired and if there is macerated because of water, airing them will help dry out the skin. But do yourself a favor and pack a pair of flip-flops or Crocs.

 

Lubricants – One Bad and Lots of Good

August 4, 2012 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: blister care, Foot Care Products, Health, Sports 

This post came about because of a Backpacker magazine article about skills. One of the items was about endurance and was for, “Blistered feet during a high-mileage trek.”

The tip was to, “… protect against hot spots by applying a skin lubricant like Vaseline to high-friction areas…”

I’m sorry, but I think Vaseline is a bad choice.

When I ran my first ultra, back around 1982, there was not a huge choice in lubricants so Vaseline was commonly used. But I learned very quickly that its stickiness helped it collect dust and grit, sand and dirt, and other things that found their way into your socks and shoes. Once absorbed into my socks, it also became stiff. I looked for an alternative and discovered Bag Balm, which I used for years.

Over the years, Vaseline has been surpassed by lubricants that are slicker without attracting “stuff’ that can cause hot spots and blisters, that last longer, that don’t cake up on your socks, and that are much more effective.

So, here’s my choice for a bad lubricant: Vaseline.

And here are my choices for good lubricants:

Sportslick Skin Lubricant 

  •             Tube
  •             Solid Stick
  •             Pocket Slick

BodyGlide 

  •             The Original Anti-Chafe Balm
  •             FootGlide Foot Formula
  •             Ant-Chafe with SPF 25 Balm
  •             BodyGlide Anti-Chafe for Her
  •             Liquefied Powder
  •             WarmFX Anti-Pain Balm

BlisterShield

  •             Powder
  •             Roll-On
  •             Towelettes

RunGuard

  •             Anti-Chafe Stick
  •             Anti-Chafe Stick, Sensitive Formula

Hydropel Sports Ointment

Bag Balm

Many of these are available through ZombieRunner. Click on “Anti-chafing & Skin Care.” I you are looking for a new lubricant, or want to try one of these, check them out through  ZombieRunner.

Disclosure: Clicking through to ZombieRunner and making a purchase credits me with a few pennies to support this website.

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