By Dominique Di Vincenzo , Head Doctor for UTAT
We are all different. Some trailers will be able to run hours and days without the slightest friction pathology while other runners will suffer repeated blisters despite having taken all the necessary precautions to safeguard their feet.
Tanning aims at repairing the injustices of nature and allowing runners with fragile skin tolimit the risk of blisters. It is a protocol of prevention more and more used by the runners, trailers in particular.
The goal is simple: to harden and strengthen the sole of the foot so that it better resists to friction, sliding, pressure and maceration during the race.
Tanning in practice
It starts from 2 weeks to 1 month before the competition depending the length of the race. The tanning of the feet consists then in 2 daily steps of a few minutes which will allow your feet to fight through the race. Two products are needed:
A tanning product: As it is acid-based, it will harden your plantar cap. Several products exist, the most ancient is lemon (citric acid); Brush each foot with half a lemon each morning.
A moisturizing product. If the tanning agent is used alone, there is a risk of burning the skin which would then be weakened; It is therefore necessary in parallel with this morning operation to cream your feet every night with the NOK® anti-friction cream (from Laboratoires Sports Akiléïne). Based on shea butter, it will hydrate the skin hardened by the lemon.
Beware of calluses and excessive perspiration!
The famous horn present under the feet (calluses, corns …) is the sign of a hyperpress that will become a privileged zone of irritation during the race, favouring blisters. It is therefore advisable to have these
hyperkeratoses removed by your podiatrist between one week and 10 days before D-Day. Avoid last minute care that does not leave the skin enough time to regenerate!
In the same way, hyperhidrosis (excess of perspiration) is a factor predisposing to the blisters because by weakening the skin, it makes it more vulnerable. It is then necessary to regulate the perspiration with the aid of a suitable treatment. Ask your podiatrist or dermatologist for advice.
The trick of the D-day
Before the start of the event, cream your feet without moderation with the NOK®! The first few kilometers will be a little bit soggy but forcing on doses will allow your socks and the sole of your shoes to absorb the excess of cream and then behave like a feed pump gradually returning the cream to your feet during the Trail. On the Ultras events, take a tube of cream in your backpack to “Nok” again your feet according to the needs …
Except in the case of an existing skin lesion, it is always advisable to avoid preventive dressings. Indeed, they are often used abusively, but are not the trailer’best friend. A corner often ends up loosening, especially after running through a wet area or after a descent; Then a pocket is formed which will create a localized friction in the shoe … and end up in a blister! Prefer the anti-friction cream. Put on in sufficient quantity, it avoids the use of dressing.
A few minutes a day! This is all your feet require for you to save additional pain during the race … A spray, cream, common sense and above all the will to prevent rather than cure; will allow you to relax and enjoy your run. And do not hesitate to ask your podiatrist for advice, his role is to guide you in this preparation!
This post is also available in: French