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What is happening to the bottom of my foot?

Posted by Donna G on 2/07/05 at 20:37 (168724)

I have been taping my foot for about 3 months. It is the first relief that I have had in a long time. I thought I had finally found the solution to my pf problem. Now the skin on the bottom of my foot is getting circular spots (about the size of a quarter) that turn white and the skin peels off. I presently have 3 of these on my foot. One in the center of the heel, one on the outer edge of the ball of my foot, and one in the center of the arch. They are sore, but don't itch. Is this a reaction to keeping my foot taped? Is there any tape that won't cause this? Thank you for your help.

Re: What is happening to the bottom of my foot?

Julie on 2/08/05 at 02:41 (168730)

Donna, what tape are you using? The medical quality tapes are of course easier on the skin than the cheaper industrial tapes. I used Leuko tape for a year or so, and never had problems with it.

The peeling-off of the skin does sound like a reaction, but it might not necessarily be to the tape itself. How long do you leave the tape on? You really should remove it every night to let the skin breathe. If it's left on for several days, and gets wet, the skin can soften and degenerate. The 'white spots' could be due to that - the skin getting wet under the tape and not getting a chance to dry out.

Finally, are you pulling the tape off too quickly, and/or in the wrong direction? Either can take bits of skin with it. Peel it back slowly and carefully, from the ball of the foot to the heel.

So to summarise:

Rest from taping until the skin heals
Switch to a better quality tape: Leuko tape is recommended.
Remove the tape every night and reapply the next morning.
Peel slowly towards the heel.

I hope this is helpful.

Re: What is happening to the bottom of my foot?

Donna G on 2/08/05 at 07:56 (168737)

Thanks Julie. I was basically leaving the tape on all the time. I would remove the old, shower, and put on new tape. I have been using sports tape. Can you buy leuko tape at a pharmacy? I am sure that you are right, because I didn't have this problem for the first couple of months. I taped it yesterday while I exercised for 45 minutes, then removed the tape for the rest of the day and night. My foot was a little sore last night, but not as sore as I expected it to be. I am going to continue to do this for a couple of weeks and see if the places heal. If that doesn't do it, I guess I will have to quit taping all together. :( Thanks again for the help.

Re: What is happening to the bottom of my foot?

Julie on 2/08/05 at 10:01 (168740)

It looks as though we've found the reason for your problem, Donna! Now you can address it.

Your skin really needs 'time off' taping to heal and toughen up. I would go for several days, up to a week, without taping at all. If you can't stand or walk without tape, substitute non-weightbearing exercise for your usual routine.

When your skin has recovered and you start taping again, I would suggest you apply tape in the morning, leave it on during the day, and take it off at night - carefully. :)

Never let the tape get wet. I think this is really important. My introduction to taping was done by my podiatrist.He did a great full-wrap strapping job, and it stayed on for four days. It helped. But when I took it off my foot looked like nothing on earth: soft, white, and wrinkled. I then found heelspurs, absorbed the section on taping in the heel pain book, and from then on used the simplest of the techniques described: two strips of tape connecting the ball and the heel. It never let me down.

Leuko tape is a sports tape: very high quality. It should be available in pharmacies, but you can buy it on line easily enough: just google on 'Leuko tape'. I found the 3.75mm width effective for the technique I was using. John H bought a lifetime's supply on eBay for a song.

But if the only problem is over- taping, the sports tape you're using may be all right - give it a try again once your feet have recovered. No point in wasting a supply if it's all right.

Re: What is happening to the bottom of my foot?

Donna G on 2/08/05 at 10:10 (168742)

Thanks again. I will try to go without the tape for a while and let my foot heal. I have checked a few pharmacies in our area and so far have not been able to find the leuko tape. I found it on ebay, but the shipping is almost as much as the tape. I will continue to try to find it locally first. Once I heal, I may try the sports tape again, since I didn't have a problem for quite awhile. Keep your fingers crossed for me. :)