Ok so now that summer is officially in full swing (well kind of) it may be time to actually take some time to pamper those little puppies walking around in flip-flops and going bare in the sand. Not only are your feet much more visible than they are in other seasons during the hot summer months, but they can also suffer more from increased walking and from less than supportive shoes.
This being the case, it might be a good time to think about giving your feet a little R and R.
Basic foot care involves some, well, basic tips.
First of all it is important to wash your feet every day in order to insure that bacteria and fungus don’t get a chance to grow. Even when you are not showering, you should take the time therefore to wash your feet. This is even more important when walking around in flip flops or sporting bare feet on the beach because your feet will be exposed to a great deal more of these unpleasant germs.
Always be sure to wash between the toes as well as over the foot itself. You also should avoid trimming or shaving off calluses no matter how tempting that little shaver at the pedicurists might be. While your feet may be smoother than ever for a few days, thick layers of dry skin will grow back and you may be exposing yourself to a risk of infection.
Consult The Podiatrist if you are having trouble with stubborn corns and calluses.
Always wear shoes that fit properly. Walking around in tight fighting shoes will leave you at least hobbling. Because your feet swell and sweat in the heat, shoes without socks can become especially uncomfortable as your feet slip and rub against the shoe. Make sure you have broken in your shoes before taking a long walk and make sure that they fit before buying them. No matter how cute that little pair of ballet flats might be, if they don’t have your size then do let them go.
Tips on how to take care of our feet during these hot and sticky summer months.
It’s easy to forget that feet can get sunburned. Be sure to apply sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 50 when barefoot or if feet are exposed through open sandals, and don’t forget to apply to both the tops and bottoms of your feet.
With sandals and open shoe styles, feet are exposed to the elements. Dry, cracked heels are common during the summer months so make an effort to moisturize daily. The Gehwol Fussfraft foot care range have a balm for every skin type.
Keep Feet Clean: Foot perspiration is typical in the summer and can lead to fungal infection and unwanted odor. Wash feet daily, and let them dry thoroughly before putting shoes on. Also, consider using a foot powder to minimize odour. Why not try the Gehwol Herb Bath Salts, and use the Gehwol Fussfraft Mint balm- ideal for cooling the feet.
Add Cushion: When wearing high heels, your feet are feeling the pressure. Cushion the impact with an insole like Podsoft Foot Angles.
Sandals and jandals: with warmer weather, people tend to be more active and on their feet. To relieve tired, achy feet add extra support in your shoes. The Vasyli range of medical sandals are ideal for the summer.
Having perfectly manicured toes can make for a nice beach time public display but if you forget to follow these basic guidelines your feet will be more disaster than delight. Remember always that your feet are important so to treat your them to a little basic pampering every day.If you have any concerns, please feel free to contact us.
Get started on resolving your foot problem today.
Senior foot care is a specialty that has been a part of podiatry since its beginnings. This is because senior adults have the same foot problems as youth, but with a greater sense of urgency and frequency. For example, plantar fasciitis, the inflammation of the ligament on the bottom of the foot and arch and attaching to the heel bone, can affect anyone at any age. But, because seniors tend to be less flexible and subject to considerable change in weight and activity level, they are very vulnerable to this condition. And, because they may have other medical conditions and taking medications, treatment becomes more challenging.
Diabetes is a major factor in foot care. Maturity onset diabetes is all too common, requiring special attention to co-existing foot conditions such as neuropathy (decreased sensitivity), circulatory compromise and ulcerations. Other conditions include brittle, fungal or ingrown nails and dry, cracking and peeling feet.
We know that bunions and hammer toe are associated with foot types present at birth but most manifest later in life as the tendon and ligaments become less giving and more rigid. If we consider that feet are the foundation of our bodies, gravity and longevity take their toll on the foot and lower leg. That is why we are more susceptible to fibromas of the arch ligament, neuromas, ganglion cysts of the tendons and joints and, of course, arthritis of the 31 joints and 28 bones of the foot, including the two sesamoid joints under the big toe joint.
So, what to do? First, practice good foot hygiene. Bathe, soak, dry and powder your feet daily. Wear the best shoes you can afford and make sure they fit well. Wear clean, soft socks, preferably those which have moisture wicking materials in them.
Next, see The Podiatrist yearly or more frequently if you are diabetic (every three months is recommended). Try to walk every day to the best of your ability, however, when resting, elevate your feet to reduce swelling.
Keep your nails trimmed but not too short. This may be difficult with aging, so find a family member who can do this for you or see The Podiatrist.
Has the summer left you with dry and cracked skin on your heels?
Dry and cracked skin on your heels can lead straight to severe heel pain if you don’t do something about it. If your heels are so badly cracked that they are bleeding, talk to your doctor to make sure you don’t have other underlying problems. For run-of-the-mill dry skin, you can try taming the problem yourself.
Showers and Baths
Use only warm water for showers and baths. Hot water may feel great while you’re in it, but it dries out your skin even more. You should also avoid harsh soaps and body washes. Instead, use unfragranced gentle soaps that can help clean your skin without stripping away essential oils and moisture.
Moisturize Your Skin
Immediately after your shower or bath, pat your skin dry and apply a moisturizer. Moisturizers with urea are much better for severely dry skin because they keep the moisture from evaporating before it can sink into your skin. Apply moisturizer to your skin regularly, especially when your skin is repairing itself.
Severely Dry or Cracked Heels
If your heel pain is caused by severely dry or cracked heels, moisturizer alone may not be enough. Keep up with your regular after-shower routine, but at night slather your feet with petroleum jelly. Add a pair of socks to keep the jelly from rubbing off your feet and leave them on overnight. In the morning you should notice a big difference. I’ve found that doing this for a few nights a week, especially in winter, keeps heels from cracking.
We have an extensive range of Gehwol foot creams for all foot types.
See The Podiatrist for any foot problems.
Complications due to diabetes are the No. 1 cause of lower-leg amputations and account for nearly 86,000 amputations per year. Doctors estimate almost 50 percent of these amputations could have been prevented if the person had taken better care of their feet.
One cannot emphasize enough how important it is for a person with diabetes to pay rigorous attention to their feet. Foot infections are the most common issue for a person with diabetes and are more severe and take longer to heal than in a person without diabetes.
Proper foot care is simple and includes things like using an antifungal daily, not only to heal, but also to prevent fungal infections, and using a moisturizer daily to heal and prevent dry, cracked skin.
Are you being thorough enough in your foot care? Read on to find out:
* Whether indoors on plush rugs or outdoors on white sand, never walk barefoot. The Podiatrist recommends wide, closed-toed shoes with socks that fit very well. Shoes should not require “breaking in.” Why not come and see the Dr Comfort range of shoes designed for those with Diabetes.
* Clean feet daily with warm water and mild soap, but don’t soak them for more than three or four minutes. Skin submerged for too long will become macerated and more vulnerable to bacteria.
* Cracks in dry skin provide ideal openings for bacteria. Look for moisturizing creams which have natural ingredients such as the Gehwol foot care range available from The Podiatrist.
* Under no circumstances should you shave or attempt to remove calluses or corns. Instead, show them to The Podiatrist and ask about specially prescribed shoes. Even before your appointment, buy a cream made especially for people with diabetes that specifies it helps soften calluses, and apply it every day.
* Meticulously inspect feet, toes and toenails for swelling, cuts, blisters, redness, fungal build up or any type of irritation on a daily basis. If you have thickened toenails, have The Podiatrist see to your problematic nails.
It is important to keep your feet clean and as dry as you can. However, the sole of the foot contains thousands of sweat glands so feet which have been kept hidden away in winter shoes and boots during cold and rainy days are prone to problems because warm, dark moist places encourage such as athlete’s foot, fungal nail infections and verrucas. On top of this, bacteria that cause smelly feet flourish on warm, moist skin.
Make sure your shoes and socks are made from natural fibres and try and let your feet ‘breathe’ as much as possible.
The simplest way to deal with sweaty feet is to use a foot powder or antiperspirant. However, this may be insufficient in some people who have truly sweaty feet and have a condition called hyperhidrosis.
The most important thing is to vary the type of shoe and heel that you wear in order to reduce the repetitive strain on any one particular area of the foot. A low-heeled shoe will help with Achilles tendon problems and also plantar fasciitis.
Heel pain (called plantar fasciitis) can be caused by summery shoes such as flip-flops or ballet pumps. If you suffer from any of these see your Podiatrist.
If you have bunions (an enlargement of tissue around the big toe) or hammer toes (when your second, third or fourth toes are permanently bent) winter shoes can be very unforgiving. If you are having regular problems seek advice from a Podiatrist who will be able to give you different treatment options, and recommend a surgeon if needed.
Thick cracked skin on the heels is very common and the best way to deal with this is to start off with a visit to your Podiatrist who will remove the hard skin, and then advise on a home maintenance regime, which will involve the use of a foot cream (Gehwol foot care products).
Home maintenance will also include regular use of pumice to keep the skin smooth. Make sure the foot is nice and dry and gradually file the skin. If you are diabetic the skin loses its ability to sweat which is very important in naturally moisturising your feet and preventing cracking. If you have also lost skin sensation, these cracks may not be noticed or healed and this can lead on to significant problems. In this situation it is essential that you see a Podiatrist (chiropodist) regularly for your foot care rather than taking it on yourself. This is also true if you have circulatory problems in your feet.
Make sure you cut your toenails properly as painful conditions can occur without care.
Keep your nails trimmed. Undercutting the end of the nail in this way increases the risk of the nail edge growing forward into the nail – a so-called ‘in-growing toe nail’. Cutting them too short also encourages this to occur.
Thickened, yellow, brittle nails are a sign of a fungal nail infection. Treating this infection can be very difficult and it is best to make sure that you get nail clippings sent off to the lab before starting any anti-fungals.
Identification of the exact cause and targeted anti-fungal treatment increases the chance of success but beware as this can take several months. Sweaty feet make this more difficult.
It’s a good idea to have a regular foot care routine to keep you feet healthy.
If you are diabetic, make sure you inspect them regularly, especially if you have lost the feeling in them.
Firstly wash your feet in warm water, preferably with an anti-bacterial soap. Make sure you dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes as the skin here is prone to a fungal infection called athlete’s foot. When dried, moisturise your feet.
Hard skin can be rubbed with a pumice stone when you are washing your feet. Severe hard skin on the sole is usually down to excessive pressure and you really ought to see a Podiatrist (chiropodist) to have this removed or protected with insoles.”
A verruca on the other hand has a dark centre and is more discrete. It is caused by the human papilloma virus.
Scaly, itchy feet can be due to athlete’s foot and it is actually quite common for this to be resistant to treatment with the standard over-the-counter preparations.
If this is the case you should see you GP as oral medications may be required.
Make sure that you treat your socks and shoes with powder as well as these can harbour the fungus and cause re-infection.
Please seek professional advice if you are diabetic, have circulatory problems, or want more information.