These are REAL clinical experiences and 10 pet peeves that podiatrists wish you wouldn’t do:

1. Wear shoes without socks

Not wearing socks with shoes increases the chances of fungal and bacterial infection which can result in foot malodour. When you don’t wear socks, there is no physical barrier between your feet and your shoes, therefore all the sweat is absorbed into your shoes. Another reason to wear socks with your shoes is that it will prevent blisters and sores from forming.

2. Picking your toenails

We usually see this in teenagers and children who tend to pick their toenails and have needed to see the podiatrist because they have caused their own ingrown toenails This is common. This is because when you tear your nails they tend to break and leave sharp edges which can grow into the skin. So next time you see your children or grandchildren pick their toenails stop them before it’s too late!

3. Wearing your socks more than once without washing them

Feet sweat more than every other part of the body producing on average half a glass of sweat a day! So to prevent infections, stinky feet and fungus please wear clean socks every day!

4. Going to the nail salon to get your nails done

This is a no no. We have patients who have been to the nail salon and have experienced fungal nail infection. If you are going to go to the nail salon anyway, please spray your feet with antifungal spray after treatment. Make sure to investigate the salon you are going to and find out their hygiene procedures. We recommend using The Nail Lab in Burleigh.

5. Wearing high heels on a regular basis

We have seen a lot of long term complications of people wearing high heels on a regular basis, which is easily avoidable by not wearing high heels in the first place. These include hammer toes, bunions and complicated corns. If you are going to wear high heels, opt for something with a wide toe box and wedge style. If you are over 65 years old, we think it is time to let them go, as the risk of having a fall increases and wearing high heels does not help.

6. Wearing narrow shoes with incorrect fitting

A lot of people wear shoes that are too narrow for them at the toe box. This can result in painful corn around the toes and overtime can cause bunions on the big toe and little toe. A good way to avoid this is to take out the innersole of the shoe and stand on the innersole. If the side of your feet are hanging over the side, the shoes are probably too narrow for you.

7. Not airing your feet enough

Your feet need to breathe. If you wear shoes all day try to air them out during lunch time and when you get home.

8. Not looking after your feet in between visits

Often there are a few things you can do at home to keep your feet happy between visits. If you are prescribed an anti-fungal cream, please use it. Moisturise your feet daily to prevent cracking and dry heels. Wear your orthotics! The list goes on.

9. Not cleaning your sandals if they are grubby

Take a scrub, warm water and soap and scrub those sandals. If you have innersoles in sandals that you can remove, you can line them with a socket to protect them and prevent them from getting dirty.

10. Putting on your shoes inappropriately by not using a shoe horn

The back of a good shoe will have a heel counter which is stiff and provides support about the heel. By not using a shoe horn or untying your shoelaces you are at risk of ruining the heel counter. With the counter bent or snapped, it will not support your heel appropriately.

There you have it. A few tips to keep your feet in tip top shape!

Vanessa Diep
(Podiatrist)

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