🦶🦶Footcare Tip🤓

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Tonya Olson

Dr. Tonya Olson, MSPT, DPT
Board Certified in Orthopedic Physical Therapy

Certified Manual Physical Therapist

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The skin of this toe has been torn off! In the middle of running a 100-mile trail race😳😧😵 Ouch!!

This painful, preventable and unfortunate situation was caused by using the wrong material for the conditions at hand. A hydrocolloid dressing, also known as blister patches or Compeed was applied to a blister during the race.


The package says it’s For blisters, why should they not be used?

I’m not saying they should Never be used, just not during the running of a 100-mile trail race like the Western States 100.

Understanding the qualities and intended purposes of supplies used in footcare is very important for ensuring success and the desired results.


Hydrocolloid dressings are intended to adhere strongly to the skin providing a protective layer that stays on for 3-7 days. This is the great strength of blister patches, you put them on and they stay on until the blister is healed. Yay!


The strength of hydrocolloid dressings is their weakness in the challenging environment of running a mountainous trail race. The conditions cause them to slip, adhere to itself and creates a gelatinous lump of bandage. This bandage lump takes up space and creates more friction and shear to be transferred to the blister. The top layer of skin is torn loose from the tender underlying skin and you have a whole heck of a mess😫


The best way to address this situation is to carefully cut away as much of the hydrocolloid lump that you can and tape over it. Do NOT try to pull the blister patch off! You will take All of the remaining skin underneath with it!


Doing so is rather painful to the runner and you may just get kicked in the head in reaction to the pain(I‘ve actually seen this happen) 🤭


Hydrocolloid dressings/blister patches are best suited to be used in low-intensity, predictable conditions such as daily life, hiking, and recovery from ultra-distance trail races.


Thank you for joining my Footcare nerdfest 🙏🙏☺️🦶🦶💖