Here are some simple tips to help your feet stay healthy:
- Do use a foot file to keep hard skin at bay.
- Do use moisture cream to keep the skin soft and supple.
- Do use appropriate padding to help reduce pressure on prominent joints.
- Do wear appropriate footwear for your foot shape.
- Do go for a walk even if it is just around the house. This will help your circulation and keep your joints moving. When resting or sitting, put your feet up as this helps reduce swollen ankles. Avoid sitting with your legs crossed.
Wash your feet daily in warm not hot water. Use mild toilet soap. There is no need to soak your feet as this tends to dry the skin.
Dry your feet well by gently rubbing them with a towel. Take care to dry well between the toes – rub very gently so as not to split the skin.
If your skin tends to be moist between the toes, use a cotton bud moistened with surgical spirit every day at first, then reduce as necessary.
If your skin tends to be dry, rub moisturising cream into your feet daily. This will keep your skin soft and supple. Avoid putting cream between your toes as skin here is soft enough already.
Cut your toenails straight across following the curve of the end of the toe. Do not cut them down the sides as this may result in ingrown toenails. If your nails are thick or you find them difficult to cut, use a foot file weekly.
Hosiery (socks and hosiery)
- Change your socks or stockings every day.
- Choose cotton mix or wool mix socks. Man-made fibres tend to encourage sweaty feet.
- Take care that socks or stockings are not too tight and that the seams are not too thick.
- Avoid thick darns.
- Avoid using tight garters as these will reduce circulation. Your Podiatrist can advise on comfort top socks to alleviate this problem
Hard skin (callus) and corns
These are accumulated layers of hard skin caused by pressure, often from shoes or slippers which are too tight. If you do have corns and callus a podiatrist will be able to treat the corns/callus and advise you on prevention.
- Use corn plasters or paste as these contain acids which break the skin down and can lead to infection
- Use razor blades or sharp instruments as they are not sterile and use of these may also lead to infection.
- Be tempted to pick at corns and callus as this may again lead to infection
- Apply moisturising cream to corns between the toes
- file the hard skin or corn gently with an emery board when the skin is dry before a bath or shower
- apply a thick moisturising cream to the hard skin after your bath or shower
- wear shoes that are well fitting and do not cause pressure on your toes. Shoes that are either too big or too small can cause corns and calluses
- wear shoes with cushioned soles if you have corns or calluses on the bottom of your feet