Or feet are rather important and we often neglect them so with Foot health week upon us I would like to share a few tips to keeping our feet healthy.
1. Athlete’s Foot otherwise known as Tinea Pedis is a fungal infection and loves warm moist dark areas (like between your toes and bottom of your feet).
To lower the risk of developing Athlete’s foot there are a few things you can do:
• Keep feet clean and dry
• Change socks / hosiery daily and if you have sweaty feet, it may even be wise to change them more often.
• Dry in between toes, especially when they are tight and close together. It may be necessary to use a thin dry cloth to get down between the toes.
• Avoid going bare foot in public places such as gym showers and pools as this condition is contagious.
2. Blisters are caused by friction and are pockets of raised skin with clear fluid between the layers of skin. It is best to cover them with a bandage and antibiotic liquid or lotion and not burst them to prevent infection. You will need to remove the source of friction such as pair of shoes or tight straps. There may be biomechanical reasons for reoccurring blisters on the feet and it is advisable to seek the advice from a podiatrist.
3. Corns and callous form after repeated rubbing of bony area of the foot against shoes and hard surfaces. These hard dead patches of skin cells can be quite painful to walk on and some calloused skin around heels can split open and bleed.
To care for these areas, you can soak and exfoliate off dead skin cells and use a pumice stone or a foot file to smooth out the hard skin. Apply a well hydrating foot moisturizer regularly.
4. Ingrown toenails can be caused by poor nail cutting, tight shoes pressing toes together or unusually curved nails that can dig into the skin on the sided of the nails and become painful or cause a bacterial infection.
If an ingrown nail occurs a warm salt foot soak for 10-15 min daily can help reduce the inflammation and infection. If a nail edge presses into your toe and the edge and can be safely lifted a piece of cotton can be used to keep the nail away from digging in the corners.
This is not always achievable and a visit to the podiatrist who can safely shape the nail can be an instant pain relief.
Article by Podiatrist Janine Frampton