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Six Tips for Runners and Walkers on Foot Health: From a Dermatologist;

Did you ever consider taking up running, jogging, or walking for health? Running and walking are excellent health activities that reduce stress, improve cardiovascular resiliency, and improve sleep.

Integral to successful running and walking is having healthy feet. Being a 30-miles-a-week runner myself, and a Board-certified Dermatologist, here are some of helpful tips on foot health:

Tip #1: Be sure to reduce friction on your feet to ward off blisters. Wear comfortable socks, too, and use an antifungal powder. A personal favorite to reduce foot friction is over-the-counter Zeasorb® AF Powder, to both reduce foot friction and to hinder fungal growth on your feet.

Tip #2: Definitely select comfortably-fitting athletic shoes with adequate foot arch support.

Tip #3: Remember that your muscles need to rebuild themselves after extra stress. Be kind to yourself, and condition yourself gradually. Work out a weekly running workout strategy that fits your schedule. And space longer running days with “off days,” or days of rest, to enable your muscles to rebuild gently.

Tip #4: Dermatologists have long helped runners with three commons skin problems – warts, athletes foot, and eczema. Here are photos of all three. Warts are rough skin thickenings due to contagious viral infections that are best treated by liquid nitrogen before they spread to other areas of your feet, or to other family members. And athletes foot fungus is best managed with one of about a dozen topical (meaning “on top of” the skin) creams, particularly before it spreads into the nails and requires one of five oral antifungal medications. And eczema often responds to prescription topical steroid creams and ointments.

The person in the photo below has plantar warts.

The person in the photo below has athletes foot.

Tip #5: Remember that being outdoors can put you at increased risk of skin cancer. So regular skin checkups are helpful. An overall skin exam can reveal precancerous growths (called solar keratoses) and atypical moles. Remember that the most common location for melanoma, a type of skin cancer that takes one American life every 54 minutes, is the back of men and the legs of women. Remember that everyone is at risk of melanoma, from fair-complected people who burn easily and freckle, to darker-complected people, so ample use of broad-spectrum sunscreen rated SPF 30 or higher is essential.

The photo below is of a melanoma.

Tip #6: Find a soap or cleanser and a moisturizer that works well with your skin type, be it oily, combination skin, or dry skin. Four years ago, I became President of Big River Silk Skincare to make available nationally several helpful skincare products for runners and walkers. We distribute cleansers, moisturizers, and sunscreen. For more, check out our blog posts at for more.


My own Dermatology practice is in Cordova, TN, with Rheumatology and Dermatology ( You can find a Dermatologist close to you by going to the American Academy of Dermatology web site,, then plugging your zip code into the “Find a Dermatologist” tab. Don’t delay. Get checked today.

George Woodbury Jr. M.D.

8143 Walnut Grove Road

Cordova TN 38018


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