Summer 2021 is taking a while to kick in, but fingers crossed temperatures will be soaring and the sun shining soon….are your feet ready!
We have had our feet tucked away inside our shoes and boots over the last few months and it is true to say that out of sight is sometimes out of mind. Take a good look at them – do you noticed any changes? Look especially for areas that are sore, any breaks in the skin or where there might be any signs of infection – if you spot any of these changes you should seek advice straight away from your Podiatrist.
Less urgent maybe, but for most of us the appearance of our feet in sandals, flip-flops or bare foot is important to us. Get your feet out with pride! Are there areas of hard skin, problem toe nails, fungal infections or other problems that need attention before your feet are summer ready? The beginning of the summer is a great time to get a good ‘MOT’ for our feet.
A visit to your Podiatrist might get your feet looking and feeling tip-top but it doesn’t end there. Our feet work especially hard during the summer. Most of us tend to be much more active in the summer and summer footwear is usually much less supportive and shock absorbing. Open footwear in dry, warm summer weather can also cause the skin to dry, become hard and uncomfortable and even crack, often around the heels.
Flip-flops are particularly tough on the feet, our muscles and tendons work hard as the toes grip the footwear to hold it in place. If you wear flip-flops most of the time repetitive strain can cause pain in the foot, the heel and the calf muscles. Mixing up your footwear can help but if you get persistent pain you might want to talk to a specialist in Musculoskeletal Podiatry.
Some types of summer footwear reduce the strain on the foot. Sandals with straps and specially shaped soles can help, and particular brands, such as Fit-Flop aid the function of the foot.
To keep your feet summer fit just follow these simple self-care steps, and you know we are always here for when you might need some extra advice or treatment.
Self-care for summer feet:
- Wash and thoroughly dry your feet every day. As you do so, check for any changes and ask your Podiatrist for advice if you need to.
- Use a simple foot file to reduce and smooth any rough, hard, dry skin.
- Trim the toe nails regularly to avoid any discomfort and keep them looking tidy for the summer. Be careful not to trim too short or down the sides of the nail, and If you have diabetes you might want regular Podiatry treatment to look after this for you and to watch out for any changes that need monitoring.
- Moisturise your feet daily using a urea based foot care cream, brands such as CCS, Flexitol or Ureka are recommended. A 10% urea content is excellent for general use or if your feet get very dry or crack a higher urea content of 25% or 30% might be a better choice. Make sure you apply cream especially around the heels where the skin can become very hard and dry during the summer – do not apply these creams between the toes!
- Mix up your foot wear and choose the right shoe for each activity – try not to live in your flip-flops 24/7!! No one will tell you not to wear them but think about what you might be doing each day. If you are going to be on your feet or walking for longer periods of time, think about a sandal with a strap or more supportive footwear.
If you have any concerns about your foot health, or if you develop any pain or discomfort then contact your Podiatrist for advice.