Get Your Feet Fit for Summer!

Podiatrist Ann Exton’s Hot Hints and Tips:

Fungal Infections  |  Blisters  |  Dry & Cracked Skin

Feet on sandy beach Back and Body PodiatryWith long, hot days just around the corner, most of us will be digging out our summer footwear that has been hidden away since the cold weather took hold. The Back and Body Clinic’s expert Chiropodist/Podiatrist Ann Exton, talks you through her hot hints and tips to help you feel happy about your feet this summer.

During the winter, we have a tendency to neglect our feet as they are hidden under layers of socks and shoes. Consequently, we can develop problems that we don’t tend to think about until we begin to think about our summer flip-flops. The problems are then revealed in their true glory and we wish that we had addressed them earlier!!

Heel Fissures

Heel Fissures Back and Body ClinicOver the winter, our skin can dry out as a result of turning up the central heating and neglecting to moisturise our skin regularly.

The skin can become dry, cracked and stressed and this can lead to deep fissures forming around the edges of the heels that can, if neglected, become infected.

Hot Tip for Heel Fissures

Try using a foot file on dry hard skin for a couple of minutes, two to three times weekly, followed by a moisturising cream containing urea. The urea content will help to exfoliate rough and dry skin and helps the skin to retain water.

 

Fungal infections: (Athletes Foot and nail infections)

Fungal infections can be present in the skin or the nails. Fungal spores thrive in warm, moist, dark areas, therefore closed in footwear provides an ideal environment for them to spread. These infections can be more prevalent in the summer months due to the warmer weather and increased moisture in the shoes

Fungal Infection on footObviously, we don’t really get toadstools growing between the toes as the above picture shows!! However, in the skin, the fungi can cause symptoms of red, itchy and peeling skin, which can be between and around the toes and around the arch area most commonly.

In the nail, the infection is first noticed usually at the tip of the nail as a small discoloured patch which, if left untreated can gradually spread through the whole nail, making it thick, discoloured and unsightly.

Treatment of fungal skin infections is generally straightforward by application of an anti-fungal cream available from your local Pharmacist.

Treatment of nail infection can be more difficult, therefore see your chiropodist/podiatrist as soon as you notice the first signs of fungal nail infection for advice regarding treatment.

Hot tip for prevention of fungal infection:

Try not to wear the same shoes every day. Allow them to dry out between episodes of wear. If the shoe has a removable insole, take this out to dry too. This will make the shoes less attractive to fungal spores and help to avoid re-infection.

Blistering

Blisters occur due to areas of friction on the feet. Fluid builds up between the layers of the skin which acts as a buffer in order to prevent further damage; this is the body’s amazing way of dealing with irritation and helps protect the affected area to prevent damage to the deeper, more sensitive skin layers.

Heel Blisters Back and Body ClinicTo prevent blisters, be sure that footwear fits properly. If a shoe is either too loose, allowing for excess motion of the foot, or too tight, creating pressure points, blisters and discomfort will occur sooner or later.

Keep feet dry at all times. If socks become wet from excessive perspiration, change them.

Hot tip for blister prevention:

Wear the right shoes for the right job! Don’t go for long walks in the heat  in ill-fitting, unsupportive or new shoes.

Carry some blister plasters with you (available from most pharmacies) if you are wearing new shoes-just in case!

So for fit summer feet, follow the advice, grab your sun cream and get ready for fun in the sun!

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