Save your skin

Running can be rough on your outer layer, from blisters to sunburn. Here's our skin-saving plan.

by Denise Schipani & Ruth Emmett

Feet illustration
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Feet of strength

Runners tend not to have pretty feet, thanks to blisters, calluses and fungus. You're battling the twin enemies of moisture and friction.

"Blisters pop up with what's called fast friction," says podiatrist Gary Pichney. "Slow friction – rubbing in the same spot over time – builds calluses."

Meanwhile trapped moisture (such as between the toes) can cause maceration, where the skin looks paler and is prone to fungal infections.

Protect yourself: Polypropylene or wool socks wick away moisture, and you can use talc to prevent moisture-triggered fungus attacks. To prevent blisters, you could try doubling up on socks or investing in a pair of Twin Skins (see our Toolkit on slide 5).

A dab of Vaseline on blister-prone hotspots may also help. After your run, air your feet and treat popped blisters with a dab of TCP. Gently soften calluses with a pumice; if you can see a dark bruise underneath, this could indicate a wound or infection – so see your doctor or podiatrist.

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