Extremely sensitive skin on feet - any cure?

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Jay

Basel, Switzerland

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#1
Jun 29, 2010
 
The skin on my feet and ankles cuts and blisters ridiculously easily. I'm a female but can never ever wear nice shoes, I can only ever wear sports type shoes with socks. If I try anything else, usually within 10 minutes of walking I have cuts all about the tops of my heels and blisters on the backs of my heels or the side of the arch of my foot or on my toes. Sometimes I get all of that together! I've had embarressing times going on dates where I had to wear nice shoes but about 30 minutes in, felt some pain and looked down to find my shoes soaked in blood. It's a nightmare for me as I can't wear nice shoes so I look really frumpy. I can't wear a dress or a skirt as the shoes that go with dresses and skirts cause me these problems. I've wasted SO much money on shoes that feel fine in the shop but always the same old story when I get them home and start wearing them. I have many many pairs of shoes mothballing in my wardrobe :(

I guess it's just the way I am but does anyone have any hints to toughen up the skin on your feet so that this doesn't happen so easily! I'm in my 30s and have been this way my whole life.
Whit

New York, NY

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#2
Mar 6, 2011
 
I have the exact same issue - in my late 20s. I am delighted that flats are popular again, because that helps a lot (they tend to irritate my feet a little less than heels), but I still get blisters within a few minutes of walking unless I have socks or hose on (which is stupid-looking in most cute flats and impossible in the summer!).

Will some doctor help us out? Fashion can always be painful, but it shouldn't be damaging like it is to us!
Moi

Indianapolis, IN

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#3
Jun 3, 2011
 
omg...me too. Took me awhile to figure out this was really the problem. When others are tired from being in heels..it's their arches, balls of feet, "normal" tired. But mine is within about 10-30 minutes and I've finally realized..much of the pain is just my skin (often on top). I have OTHER issues too (back nerve pain that goes down into one or more toe), and ball of foot pain that seems to be those long bones extending from one's toes.

But. I blister if I LOOK wrong at my feet. The tops of my feet are scarred all over from wearing anything that touches the top (ALL flip flips or sandals of any type). No one really wears hose anymore, so I'm never comfy unless, as you say, it's athletic type shoes. I can wear boots & clogs, but nothing with straps unless they're ELASTIC. That's been my life saver. Those are the ONLY "nicer" shoes I can wear. When that style is gone...I'll be back to clunky shoes only. I can't wear pumps at ALL (wide in front and narrow in back, I think). Walk RIGHT OUT of them. So I NEED the strap across the arch. Like y'all, I try them on in the store and they seem fine. Even sometimes for 15 minutes in the house. Then I try to wear them to work (at which point, now they can't be returned). If I have to walk at ALL (such as go into a grocery store on the way home)- HORRORS. Then I've just spent $75-$150 on a pair of shoes that go straight to Goodwill. I have blisters on the bottoms of my toes, on the backs of my heels, on the tops of my feet, between my toes, on the ball of my foot. And, as I said..the top ones SCAR terribly. I was orphaned at age 5, raised a child alone every day for 20 years, and fought cancer. I'm not a wimp. I can stand pain and hardship. Yet...I still can't get a fancy, sexy, girly pair of shoes to wear. What? The? Heck?
Jordan

Carmel, IN

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#4
Jul 16, 2011
 
I found this blog hoping that there would be a solution to this problem at the bottom of the posts, but no such luck yet. I am 25, and for as long as I can remember I have had many of the same problems that are already discussed here. I took a walk yesterday and the tennis shoes that I have had for at least a year, rubbed two extremely painful, raw, blistered spots on the backs of my ankles only after about 15 minutes of walking/jogging for no apparent reason. I wore them with the same socks I always do. I stopped wearing 100% cotton socks because a runner friend told me they create more friction, and therefore more likely to blister.

I keep my shoes until I literally wear them out because it is lucky if a pair of shoes doesn't inflict major pain on my feet. I really just don't know what to do! I have scars on my feet from years of blisters and scratches from shoes. They happen on the tops & sides of my feet, in between my toes with flip flops, and on the backs of my ankles, or basically any place where a shoe would come in contact with a sensitive spot of skin (which is all over!) Why are my feet not used to these problem areas after 25 years of blistering? Am I just doomed forever?:/
Julie

Miamisburg, OH

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#5
Sep 14, 2011
 
I did an internet search, hoping to find a company that manufacturers shoes that wouldn't cause blistering and found this blog posting. Although it didn't give me answers, it did show that there are other women with the same problem as me! I've always known I've had sensitive skin, and clearly that means I blister very easily from shoes rubbing (most of my problem is with my pinky toes). So thanks for sharing...it makes me feel better.

I think I might be able to help some of you. I found one product that can help a lot with ankle blisters. I don't know what you call them, but they are these rubber ovals that you can stick in the heel of your shoe. It creates just enough space between the heel of the shoe and your ankle that the rubbing should cease (at least in some cases). It's worked for most of my shoes. You can even get them for free in some shoe stores if you tell them the shoe is a little tight. Oh, and keep in mind, they will tighten the fit a little. In fact, that's what they're for! But they work great for creating space too.

I'm also trying a Dr Scholl's tape that you place in areas that rub. That in conjunction with a Band-Aid roll-on. The jury is still out. I still have to pre-bandage sensitive areas however. I don't give up my cute shoes, but I try my best to make them as comfortable and wearable as possible.
Lacey

Douglas, Jersey

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#6
Sep 17, 2011
 
I have the same problem, can't count the amount of times I v had to go home early on a night out because my feet were red raw, bleeding and covered in blisters. I live in my trainers because everything else hurts. I v wasted so much cash on sensible looking heels in the hope that they won't hurt. Hope they can start making faux fur lined heels that will look nice and not make me bleed.
Jen

Irvine, CA

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#7
Oct 9, 2011
 
omg, i feel your pain! this totally sucks, i've never really been able to wear heels w/o extreme pain, both all over my feet and in specific spots with quick blisters. For a few years now I've also had a problem walking more than ~20 to 30 min even in 'comfortable' tennis shoes. My feet just ache all over. i went to a physical therapist for awhile, who thought it was related to my feet pronating (turning in) due to tight calf muscles. but i don't know how much i believe that. i also had quite sensitive skin when i was younger, which went away for the most part in college, but has since come back (I'm 30 now) so now I'm trying to see if there's a connection b/w my sensitive skin and feet aching problem. i'm bookmarking this page, if anyone figures out how to help with this, please let me know!(oh, total long shot, but i think i have a b12 deficiency which perhaps has something to do w/ my skin getting more sensitive recently, not sure though it wouldn't hurt to get your vitamins checked anyway (i'm waiting on lab tests now)...about a year ago my hair was falling out a lot and i went to the dr freaking out... turned out i was just low in iron.)
Jules

Dundee, UK

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#8
Jan 24, 2012
 
I too found this blog, while looking for nice shoes to wear to enable me wear nice girly clothes without the skin on my feet peeling off, deep blisters forming and being in agony for days. I am from the UK and there really is not one website or shop that sells anything remotely close to shoes for sensitive skin. I too, have suffered all my life and live in sneakers or boots, but the majority of boots also destroy my feet. I have tried insoles, and ankle protectors. It also doesn't matter if i wear socks or not, my skin still blisters and bleeds. It absolutely sucks that there is no scientists or companies looked into this apparently common problem and come to the rescue of us girls :)
princess feet

Toronto, Canada

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#9
Jul 29, 2012
 
I thought I was the only one! specially when I see the amount of comfortable shoes in the market I wonder how these women do it? I had a friend in university who would go party the whole night long in high heels and by the end of the partying her feet would be just fine!!! How I envied those feet! It's not such a nice thing to have "princess feet".
What I do is to wear exclusively real leather shoes because leather gives and the ones I buy have to be of the softest thinnest skin possible and also shoes that are made of fabric lined in silk or other soft fabric. I wear fancy shoes too, jut not so high.
There are shoes out there for women like us, but it takes a lot of patience and once you buy them, buy more than one pair if possible and try to break them in before using them to go out. I also use those super big and cushioned bandages for the back of my heels when I am in the "breaking in process". Unfortunately, my feet are already scarred and I have got some callouses in both pinkies and second toes plus some ugly pigmentation because of the rubbing.
princess feet

Toronto, Canada

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#10
Jul 29, 2012
 
princess feet wrote:
I thought I was the only one! specially when I see the amount of comfortable shoes in the market I wonder how these women do it? I had a friend in university who would go party the whole night long in high heels and by the end of the partying her feet would be just fine!!! How I envied those feet! It's not such a nice thing to have "princess feet".
What I do is to wear exclusively real leather shoes because leather gives and the ones I buy have to be of the softest thinnest skin possible and also shoes that are made of fabric lined in silk or other soft fabric. I wear fancy shoes too, jut not so high.
There are shoes out there for women like us, but it takes a lot of patience and once you buy them, buy more than one pair if possible and try to break them in before using them to go out. I also use those super big and cushioned bandages for the back of my heels when I am in the "breaking in process". Unfortunately, my feet are already scarred and I have got some callouses in both pinkies and second toes plus some ugly pigmentation because of the rubbing.
Sorry, it should have said "uncomfortable" instead of "comfortable" the keys of this computer are very stubborn and sometimes do not "print" the letters.
stacy deveaux

Nassau, Bahamas

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#11
Aug 27, 2012
 
princess feet wrote:
I thought I was the only one! specially when I see the amount of comfortable shoes in the market I wonder how these women do it? I had a friend in university who would go party the whole night long in high heels and by the end of the partying her feet would be just fine!!! How I envied those feet! It's not such a nice thing to have "princess feet".
What I do is to wear exclusively real leather shoes because leather gives and the ones I buy have to be of the softest thinnest skin possible and also shoes that are made of fabric lined in silk or other soft fabric. I wear fancy shoes too, jut not so high.
There are shoes out there for women like us, but it takes a lot of patience and once you buy them, buy more than one pair if possible and try to break them in before using them to go out. I also use those super big and cushioned bandages for the back of my heels when I am in the "breaking in process". Unfortunately, my feet are already scarred and I have got some callouses in both pinkies and second toes plus some ugly pigmentation because of the rubbing.
same here gerly :)
Overly Sensitive

American Fork, UT

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#12
Sep 3, 2012
 
I am so excited to hear that I am not the only one with these issues. I cannot run, because my feet give out before my body. They blister and bleed and then the skin peels off in huge sheets.

I wore a new pair of $80 flats to school last week thinking expensive shoes would offer more comfort and I only walked a total of 1/4 mile the entire day, but the backs of my heels were shredded and bleeding. I had blisters on the bottoms of my toes and I had blisters anywhere the shoe rubbed on he tops of my feet. I give up!

I wish there was a cure for this.:-( I'm happy to find all of you, but sad that we suffer from this.
SpaceCadet

Fort Myers, FL

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#13
Oct 8, 2012
 
Do any of you have the potential for Diabetes? Diabetics are notorious for having sensitive feet. Cymbalta (an antidepressant) actually has a side effect that helps this specific problem.
ihatemyfeet

Birmingham, UK

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#14
Sep 18, 2013
 
I have all these prblems too! it sucks. I bought such a cute pair of shoes the other day, stupidly I got them in white and within half an hour they were stained with blood. it is so annoying, even material shoes do the backs of my feet in.
serious jealousy towards anyone that can wear heels without tearing their feet right up!
ris

Greenville, NC

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#15
Jan 25, 2014
 
I am a lawyer who wore heels all the time growing up until about 22. At 22 my feet became so sensitive even to heels i had worn for years. Cant figure it out. I just try new ahoes and see what happens. I actually got a paIr of jaclyn smith wedges from kmart. Soooo comfortable. Went and got another pair in a difft color. Saw that they are now on sale on kmart.com .
Ive got EB and so do you

Brisbane, Australia

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#16
Feb 4, 2014
 
Hi all, I came across this blog and was astonished to see so many complaining about blistering easily and commenting that they had been that way their whole life. Not intending to shock anyone but there is a condition that has these characteristics that presents itself in many varying degrees. You are born with it and can pass it on to your children. Some blister by a simple bump to the skin, some only find out when subjected to extreme conditions (joining army) that they have an extremely mild case of the condition. It is called Epidermolysis Bullosa. The association that supports people with EB is D.E.B.R.A. I have lived with it for all of my 40 years and have it to a degree that allows me to walk approximately half of what my peers are capable of with the biggest factor being how hot it is. Hope this gives some of you an answer. There are tests if you want to know for sure if you have it but I'm guessing that if you don't already know then you have a very mild case that will only affect you in minor way such as shoe choice and the inability to participate in things like long distance running or competition tennis etc. live life knowing that it could be infinitely worse.
Maha

London, UK

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#17
Apr 15, 2014
 
Today I had an interview, so I wore a suit with a low heel Carvela shoes. But guess what, I just took them of straight after my interview And came home shoesless . People in underground were looking at this smart lady holding her shoes on hand and walking without , what a shame, so embarassing !
Julie

United States

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#18
May 11, 2014
 
I'm the same! I found this page by googling for "unusually sensitive foot skin." I have all the same problems you all have. People think I'm lazy because I have a horror of walking anywhere for very long. They don't understand. "Get some comfortable shoes, then!" they say. Um... There is no such thing. I wear flats mostly, but even those hurt me. It's not just my skin either; my feet are always achey. It's awful! I tell people to imagine if their feet were made of eyeball. That's how they feel. ALWAYS. I wish there was something to do about it. It's terrible.
Amanda

Fort Worth, TX

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#19
Jun 20, 2014
 
I've had the same problem my whole life too! The best thing I've tried is using strips of moleskin where I'm prone to get blisters. Hope this helps!
Andrea

Delft, Netherlands

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#20
Tuesday Jul 22
 
Hi, I also have that problem and the plastic ovals don't really work for me. They fall out and I would need to plaster my whole feet with them. I found a solution through a friend that is a dancer. Modern dancers often tape the bottoms of their feet and you can get this tape in beige colour.
It is important to use a good quality kinesiologic tape that will not glue to your shoe.
The one I use is called Kintex but there are other brands. It is really a sports tape like the one you see athletes wearing in bright colours, except you can also get it in beige.
Do not try this with Leukotape. It is a good tape for other things but the glue starts to melt with heat and friction and I have ruined a pair of good sandals because of it.
When you put on the kinesiologic tape make sure the skin surface is clean and rub the tape after putting it in place so that it stays. The one I use is so strong that I often leave it for a couple of days, it even stands water.
If your skin colour does not match with the beige of the tape you could look into dancer's supplies. Maybe they have other colors.

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