Care of feet

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by clanker, Jun 4, 2006.

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  1. Right here we go, probaby opening myself up for a shed load of abuse, but any way, my self and my cadets have just done a 24k sponsored walk, I had nice thick socks well worn in assault boots, correctly sized,with insoles, yet have some fantastic blisters, the question is to the professional soldiers out there, what is the tip / trick to blister free feet, I am assuming it is because mine are soft civvy feet and not issue hard bas-tard ones.
  2. Soft feet is always going to be a problem, plenty of walking will sort that out though. Make sure you talc up your feet, socks and boots also. Despite what people may say, DO NOT ever use white spirits to harden your the soles of your feet!!!
  3. Cheers, Skinn_Full, never heard of the white spirit thing, sounds like some apetite for eczema to me!
  4. Despite the best precautions, it's always possible to develop blisters, especially on long tabs. Your lads have learned a valuable lesson - when to recognise that a blister's beginning to form. That's the time to act. Stop immediately and apply Teflon plasters liberally. Failing that, the next best thing is adhesive silk strapping. At a pinch, Zinc Oxide tape will do it too.
    Skinn_Full is ablsolutely correct in saying that white spirit will do nothing to harden your feet.
    To prevent blisters, the two most important aspects are well-fitted and run in boots and socks which are as finely kintted as possible, with the heels and toes being knitted on to avoid seams and ridges. Most cheap Blackpool rocks simply have the toes overlocked together forming a seam which will cripple you on a tab of any length. It might seem extravagent to pay £6 or more for a pair of Blackpool rocks, but believe me you'll realise what a good investment it was after hobbling around in pain and discomfort for a week or two.

  5. Working on the principle that by the time I start to get a blister it's too late, rather than stopping half way through to apply plasters, before starting I always put a strip of wide (2 1/2 inch) elastoplast along the whole sole of my feet from over the heel to toes, finishing just under the toes (leaving them free to move). Very important to make sure it is crease free, if you have to take it off, replace with a fresh strip, but it should be good for the day. Lots of mycel talc between the toes after the elastoplast is on stops fungus growing (and in the crotch, but that's another story!)

    I've always found double-lined "1000 mile" socks work very well, they sit better than two pairs. If you are going for two pairs, one thin and one thick works better than two thick.

    Also, get everybody to say as soon as they start to get a "hot-spot", and stop IMMEDIATLY to sort it out by straightening sock, etc (as Bugsy says).

    If you are in charge of the squad, do boot & sock off foot inspections before, during and after a tab (not forgetting between the toes)- it concentrates everybodys minds on the importance of feet.

  6. I agree that one should never use white spirit (from B&Q) on your skin - it will strip away every last trace of your natural protective oils! However, I understood that surgical spirit (from any chemist) can be used to harden the skin. As I have very soft skin, I have used it in the past for that purpose, but still acquired blisters which is why it isn't in my current toolkit!

  7. it really is about time we consigned this old chestnut to the back corner of the bottom drawer, where it belongs!

    You're right, Litotes, when you say that white spirit will remove the natural oils from the skin, but you're wrong with surgical spirit. Surgical spirit is ethyl alcohol, which is even more effective than white spirit in dissolving fats and oils. It leaves the skin dry and brittle, not harder.

    And in any case, it's not harder (and brittle) skin that's needed, but thicker skin. That's why flamingo's ploy with the Elastoplast strip (see his post above) is a much better tactic, since it basically "thickens" the skin and thus provides the required protective layer. This protective layer absorbs the friction (and consequent heat) generated by tabbing. It's this which causes the blisters.

    The most effective method to increase the thickness (and protection) of the soles of the feet is to stagger around on fine gravel. If you've the possibility, lay down a short stretch of a couple of metres in the back-garden and stomp around on it for ten minutes per day. The desired result manifests itself very quickly, i.e. within a week, and progressive and continued use will produce even better results.

    Just a thought. :D :D :D

  8. If you have walked any distance before at all, you should know where the hot spots on your feet are. Just get some 'moleskin' or one of those blisterguard plasters from scholl and stick it on your foot where the hot spots are. These are better than normal plasters because the adhesive is stronger.

    I've walked 24k before, and they really helped. No blisters at all. As mentioned above, you should be looking to prevent blisters from even forming.
  9. I've got no problem with blisters, learned the hard way to stick stuff on the bits I know get worked hard. My problem is shitty fungal infections which no-matter how hard I try will not go away. Is there some secret cure that I need to go to a doctor for? I've only tried over-the-counter methods.
  10. You mean anti-fungal cream did not work? Did you continue to apply for 2 weeks after the symptoms have gone away?

    I used to have problems with fungal infections as well. All I did was powder my feet, change my socks daily and apply cream liberally on the infected areas regardless if there were symptoms. Lastly, I threw a pair of boots away when it became obvious they were the problem (The infection came back whenever I wore those boots for any length of time).
  11. That might be the problem. I'll be spending alot of time in my boots this summer as well, about a month everyday. Maybe I'll speak to my doctor about it.
  12. I agree with Bugsy7, lets put this one to bed, thanks guys for all your tips and advice I think I will leave the white / surgical spirit well alone, once again many thanks.
  13. Right! So let's get a few things clear here, while we're at it!

    You've got three basic (army) methods of getting rid of fungal infections: the first is iodine, which has amassed a furious debate in the last twenty or thirty years about its long-term effects on the pictuatry gland and the thyroid gland. As far as I know, it's been indicted as having long-term negative effects upon the organs.However, it's still by far the most effective method of getting rid of Athletes' Foot and also crotch-rot!

    Secondly, we have so-called anti-mycotic agents. These include such well known names as Canesten (of which the German firm Stada produces a generic version at something like one-third of the price, since Bayer's patent ran out a long time ago. I don't know if it's available in the UK), Mycotan and other such products in general usage in the British Army, i.e. Mycota powder and cream. If you go to your local chemist's and ask for the cheapest product with the words "Clotrimizole Cream B.P. 1% w/w" from PLUVA, you'll save a ton of money!

    The third opportunity is to use nature! Applying raw garlic to such infections will curtail them in the blink of a (veritable) eye and the continued application will ensure these infections never return

    Of course, nobody in their right mind is going to smear garlic on their plates on a nightly basis - it does appear to have a negative effect on the opposite sex.

    So, what to do to banish all this to the past? Take garlic tablets (non-smelling) on a daily basis. Whether you get your garlic tablets from Boots for loadsa dosh or from for a small fraction of that, it doesn't matter. Take them! Take them regularly!