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I walk and train barefoot a lot and the last year or so I've been getting a skin tear under each big toe. It's like a tiny flap of dead skin but it rips deeper into where it gets painful.

Anyone here with experience of this? What helps? Am I moving incorrectly? The skin under my feet is pretty tough so I don't think that's the problem. I wear sport tape on it but it doesn't help the cause of the problem.

Thankful for any input.

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do your feet stink? is the skin porous?

sounds like a simple foot fungus, if it is. if it isn't, i'd just say sensitive skin, but(the only other reason in my head that would make sense is) it could also be happening if you "flick" off the floor with your big toes when you walk. not quite sure if you get what i mean by that but by walking on reef and sand to avoid urchins and glass, I learned learn how to "cup" your feet when you feel something underneath it(or just as a safety to first check with the thicker parts of my foot before i expose the tender spots)and sometime's that can mean you try to grab with your feet which would be why you have the piece of skin coming off, from sensitive skin.

also, im more accustomed to warmer climates(I live in the equator, in the tropics) so maybe it could also just be dry skin that then feels like beef jerky when you rip it off. I get that on my hands.

what do you think is causing it? is the piece of skin coming off from right underneath the toe? more in between the digits? have a photo?

Edited by Keilani Gutierrez
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Joakim, I do whole body moisturise (especially feet) after shower & also concentrate a bit (short time) on tighter bits of skin eg my hipflexor area actually stretching the skin.

My feet, are relatively lovely and supple, if I do say so myself. They were cracked and not that nice.

Self love!

Maybe this will help? My cracked heels are gone and were getting pretty bad with barefooting. I got this tip from one of the prominent internet barefooters, but don't have time to find the link.

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What shoes do you wear when you're not training bare foot? If you wear shoes that don't let your feet breath, the skin can get to moist with the humidity and it get's easier to tear.

Is there a calus where the skin tears?

Do your feet pronate?

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I have had the same issue on and off for quite a while - but only on the right big toe? It is hugely annoying/ painful/ unpractical to bleed on the floor - The cause is probably too much calloused skin, that gets too dry and crack under load. I am in Denmark, perhaps this is also related to our climate and related lifestyle changes?

My ideas so far:

a. I think sports tape is a great a idea to prevent further injury (or using shoes in activities that make the issue worse -

b.Make sure to keep cutting of any loose skin to prevent further injury - perhaps use a file or something similar to remove excess calloused skin layers in the area.

c. Skin care seems like a reasonable idea.

d. Perhaps there is an underlying tendency to pronation? (watch Kits video on the anti-pronation exercise?) - I have a fair amount of callous on the inside of the big toes.

take care,

Frederik

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Joakim, can you take an image of one of the cracks? There are quite a few bare footers in the larger group (I wear Five Fingers most of the time myself, so this doesn't happen to me), so one of them might have something useful to say at some point.

In my experience, skin getting too dry is the problem (the opposite of most people's feet problems which come from excessive moisture). It could be that you will need to wear the FFs until that heals, then soften the skin as Andrew suggests (and use the YT foot sequence too, to make sure that skin stays supple). Any other ideas out there?

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Thanks everyone for all the replies.

Here is a close-up of it (which brought my attention to the dryness, hadn't really thought about that before):

bild.jpg

I've cut the skin flap off here with a nail cutter. Will take your advice of giving the feet some care and treatment. Really miss walking and running around barefoot without this annoying little thing.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ah: those little fuckers; I definitely have had some of those. Yes, cut the flap as close to the surface (or even below) as you can, then do whatever's needed to keep the skin supple. I thought you meant between the big toe and the foot, but the ones you show above can be healed the way you are doing, in my experience.

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  • 7 years later...

Everything I sit on my knees and feet are by ur bottom,  the skin feels like its tearing and feels painful  by side of my big toe but there's no sign of tearing , what causes this and why 

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