Let’s talk Maceration

Tonya Olson

Tonya Olson

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

Certified Manual Physical Therapist

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*each foot has over 125,000 sweat glands that are creating sweat, which drenches your foot with Every Single Step!!



*TIME is the most significant variable in whether feet will macerate

*The longer you are on a course, the longer your feet are exposed to moisture (sweat) CREATED BY YOUR FEET!!

*Skin exposed to moisture over extended periods of time causes it to become fragile, prone to injury and

*Disconnecting (delaminating) from the tender lay underneath OUCH!!!

*If there is a large “blister” on the bottom of your foot, it is more likely a result of maceration and the outer layers (dermis) disconnecting from the dermis (super tender) layers (where nerves and blood vessels live)


**Prevention is Critical!

*Once the skin on your feet is pruned, wrinkly and fragile, the only thing you can do is Manage the situation.

*Consider the amount of time you expect to be on the course

*”this never happens in training” is NOT a reason to neglect preventing maceration

**Do the math-if your training runs are not as long as your race/event, then there is No excuse to Not attempt to prevent maceration.



**Applying a Hydrophobic layer Before the race using lubricants such as Trail Toes, RunGoo, Bag Balm, Squirrel’s Nut Butter, etc will protect the skin from maceration and delay the onset


**If you are pre-taping your feet, use a powder to absorb moisture and delay maceration. Powder will interfere less with tape adhesive. 2Toms Blistershield is my favorite-it is both drying and anti-friction.


**Try all remedies during long training runs to figure out what works best for you and your feet**


**And for the love of all things holey-CHANGE YOUR SOCKS!!!


***disclaimer-this is General advice, not intended to cover All scenarios. Not changing socks can work for some people (usually folks who are on the course for less time)