All winter long we hide our feet inside shoes, boots and socks. But now spring has arrived. Now that the weather is warming up, it’s time to show off our feet and toes.
But… your feet may be all dry, rough, and cracked. Even worse you may be sporting some crooked toes and joints.
With a little help and guidance, I can help you can get your feet ready for warmer weather.
1. How to Get Rid of Dry Feet
A lack of oil glands in your feet leaves them prone to dryness. Cold, dry weather, and walking around barefoot also drain away moisture.
Tip: Hydrate and exfoliate daily. After bathing, use a pumice stone or a heel scrub to clean up dry skin. Using a good quality foot scrub (such as mixing almond oil and brown sugar) afterwards will help significantly improve the quality of your skin.
If you’re prone to very dry skin on your feet, applying a medical grade foot cream to your feet and put on a pair of socks before going to bed. Your heels will thank you in the morning.
2. How to Get Rid of Dry Heels
Standing and walking on hard surfaces for long periods can lead to fissures, which are commonly referred to as cracked heels. These can open up and become very deep cracks in the deeper layers of the skin. If left untreated these fissures can open, become very painful and possibly become infected.
Tip: Soak your feet in warm water for no longer than 10-15 minutes at a time; follow this by using a pumice stone or heel scrubber on your heels. Then apply a good moisturizing lotion or cream.
Some patients take a scalpel or a sharp object to the heels to remove hard skin. This is not a good thing. The risk of injury and infection is great if you need the hard skin cleaned up, visit your chiropodist.
3. How to Decrease Arch Pain or Heel Pain
At the first sign of a little bit of sun, we start to increase our activity from shopping to sports to kids to the park. We cannot wait to get outside. We begin to give our feet a sudden workout after the relative rest of the winter months.
The most common cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a broad band of fibrous tissue which runs along the bottom of the foot, from the heel to the toes.
Plantar fasciitis is a condition in which the plantar fascia is inflamed. This condition can be excruciating and cause a considerable amount of suffering.
Tip: One of the most effective treatment options for heel pain is custom orthotics. Also, be sure you have good supportive footwear. It is of utmost importance in treating and preventing this very common problem. If this doesn’t seem to resolve the pain, book an appointment so I can do a full assessment and give you tips to get out of pain.
4. What You Can Do if You Have Calluses
When your feet are subjected to repeated friction and pressure, calluses are formed to protect your feet from further damage. Calluses occur for a variety of reasons such as poor footwear but are more likely to occur due to poor foot biomechanics.
Tip: After soaking your feet, gently file calluses away with a callus pumice stone or emery board. Apply lotions to moisturize the skin generously. Soft skin will tend to develop less callus, as well as be less painful.
Be sure to get proper footwear. Custom orthotics by a chiropodist can treat poor underlying foot and joint mechanics which by causing the calluses. Book an appointment for an assessment if you are unable to resolve the callus on your own.
5. What You Can Do if You Have Blisters
Blisters occur when feet get hot & sweaty, making socks stick to the feet. The sock and foot then rub against each other and the inside of the shoe. Fluid fills up a space between layers of skin to protect the area, like a small balloon.
Tip: In most cases, blisters heal naturally and do not require specialist attention. The body will reabsorb the fluid, and the blister will dry and peel off. The skin that forms on top of the blisters provides a natural defence to infection. Ideally, you should not pierce a blister with a needle and allow it to heal naturally.
You can cover a blister with an adhesive dressing or gauze. If the blister is causing you pain, then cover the area with a soft dressing and change the dressing daily. Once the blister bursts, avoid peeling the skin and cover the exposed skin with a dressing.
If a blister becomes infected, it will be very painful, swollen and possibly red. It is advisable to see your chiropodist foot specialist for a check-up. Visiting a qualified specialist is especially important for those with increased health risks, such as diabetes and poor circulation.
Extra Tip: There are special blister cushions which can be purchased from a local pharmacy that can be used as prevention in areas that are blister prone.
6. What You Can Do if You Have Smelly Feet
Most of us have a friend or relative who can clear a room when they kick off their shoes. And even the sweetest smelling person can do a good job stinking up a pair of shoes by running a few miles in them.
The main thing that feeds foot smell is sweat. With more than 250,000 sweat glands each, your feet are among the most perspiring parts of the body. In one day, each foot can produce more than a pint of sweat. Heat, sweat, moisture, synthetic fibres, closed footwear and hyperhidrosis can all cause smelly feet.
Tip: Keep feet clean and dry. If you wear socks, change them daily. Look for specialized synthetic sports socks, often designed for athletes. These materials are designed to wick moisture away from the skin, thus reducing sweat and odour. Change shoes daily. Alternate between different shoes each day if possible. Give them a chance to dry out. Dust feet frequently with a foot powder (don’t forget between the toes to remove excess moisture). Choose shoes that are made of leather, canvas, mesh or other materials that let the feet breathe.
Extra Tip: You can purchase special antiperspirants for feet over the counter at many pharmacies if the above measures aren’t enough.
7. Remember To Wear Sunscreen
When people are wearing sandals on a really hot day they cover the entire body with sunscreen but forget about their feet.
Your feet are just like the rest of your body – they can burn. Remember to apply sunscreen to the tops of your feet and toes before going outdoors.