Podiatry and Chiropody

Foot health Guide

Looking after your feet is one of the most important things you can do, so here is some advice on how to keep yours in tip top condition. 

Wash your feet every day in warm soapy water (don’t soak them, as this might destroy the natural oils) and dry thoroughly; especially between the toes

  • Trim your toenails regularly using nail clippers. Cut them to the shape of the toe. Not too  short, and try not to cut down at the corners as this can lead to in-growing nails
  • When your skin is dry apply a good quality moisturiser all over the foot, except for between the toes. You can use a pumice stone or a non-metal foot file after a shower or bath to exfoliate the build-up of skin that can occur on the heels
  •  Regularly exercise them to improve circulation and to keep them supple.
  • Don’t hide “ugly” toenails with polish. A discoloured, thick, cracked, or crumbling nail could signal a nail fungus. Applying nail polish to an infected nail could make the problem worse

Think about your footwear. It should never cause discomfort.

  • Always wear the right shoe for the job. Not all foot problems can be prevented but many exacerbated from incorrect or poor footwear.
  • Ladies: vary your shoe type and heel heights from day to day, one-day wearing low heels, and the next day slightly higher heels if you wish. For everyday use, keep heel heights no more than around 3cm
  • Consider wearing shoes with a strap or lace over the instep rather than slip-ons.  This will help stop your foot sliding forward.
  • Feet tend to swell during the day, so buy shoes later in the afternoon when your feet are at their largest.
  • Try on both shoes and walk around the shop to check if they pinch or rub.
  • Make sure there is 1cm between the longest toe and the end of the shoe and make sure the shoes have enough width and depth to accommodate your foot. Choose leather shoes with a rounded or square toe. If you choose a pointed shoe ensure that your toes are not constricted at all.
  • Try not to wear flip-flops continuously when the weather is hot. They don’t provide adequate support for your feet and can cause arch and heel pain if you wear them regularly
  • Your feet have over 250,000 sweat glands in each foot .It’s vital that good quality socks are worn at all times and that they are changed every day, opt for fibres that wick sweat away from the skin as these keep your skin dry and allow your feet to ‘breathe’
  • Wear flip-flops or crocs to avoid catching athlete’s foot and verrucae when you use public areas such as gym showers, swimming pools or hotel bathrooms

Problems?

  • Any minor cuts or abrasions should be covered with a clean dry dressing, and blisters should be left to dry out on their own. If they burst, apply a clean dry dressing, but do not burst them yourself. Seek professional treatment if they do not heal quickly
  • Corns? Don’t cut corns yourself, or apply ‘over the counter’ lotions or acids unless prescribed by your Podiatrist.
  • To help combat foot odour try to wear well ventilated shoes and wash your feet daily with antibacterial soap. Wearing the same shoes every day transfers decomposing bacteria onto your feet, so to keep them smelling sweet, alternate your footwear