Pinch Callous: Graphic Evidence Of Toe Blister Pre-Taping Gone Wrong

See the ridge of white skin on this pinky toe

This started as a pinch callous - a ridge of thickened skin.

 Why you shouldn't stick tape directly to blisters

Why you shouldn't stick tape directly to blisters

The ridge of thick skin became macerated and blistered after having Fixomull (CoverRoll) tape on it. It could have been any adhesive tape or plaster, like Compeed or Moleskin, RockTape or KT tape, paper tape or Micropore, Leukotape or Duct Tape.

Macerated and blistered skin is weakened. It has lost it’s anchoring to deeper layers. So with tape stuck to it, this is what can happen as you peel the tape off. The weak skin tears because the adhesion of tape to skin exceeds the skin’s weakened resistance to the pulling force.

This pinch callous was always going to turn into a blister

If you’ve got a pinch callous on one of your toes, it is very likely to blister in a race or endurance situation. In this 6-day ultramarathon race, it was bound to happen. Taping just doesn’t do enough to nullify the blister-causing forces surrounding a pinch callous.

The better approach is to apply an island dressing to blistered and macerated skin.

Island dressing: A non-adherent island surrounded by a sea of adhesive to secure the dressing in place:

  • The island is non-adhesive.

  • The island is absorbant and will absorb moisture.

  • It’s also slightly padded so it will provide a little more cushioning than tape alone.

  • And it will simply lift away from the weakened skin without damaging it further.

A bandaid is an island dressing. Here are some other fancier “bandaids”. I’ve packed 24 of them into the Ultra Blister Kit to cover all sorts of blister scenarios.

  • 6 x Cutiplast island dressings - Great for heels and the ball of the foot.

  • 6 x Joint island dressings - Great for toes and other curvy areas of the foot.

  • 12 x Finger island dressings - Great for toes, especially the tip of the toe.

 Island dressings - a non-adherent island surrounded by a sea of adhesive to secure the dressing in place.

Island dressings - a non-adherent island surrounded by a sea of adhesive to secure the dressing in place.

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Rebecca Rushton

Rebecca is an Australian podiatrist with over 20 years experience. She has spent a lifetime dealing with her own blister prone feet in her sporting and everyday life. Rebecca specialises in helping athletes and sports medicine professionals figure out how to manage foot blisters with ease. And for kicks, she enjoys providing blister care at multiday ultramarathon events. Rebecca is the founder of Blister Prevention and author of both "The Blister Prone Athlete's Guide To Preventing Foot Blisters" and "The Advanced Guide to Blister Prevention".