The rise in temperature during the summer months along with flip flops, sandals and summer activities can cause extra problems for your feet, just at the time you want them to look their best.
Fortunately, its easy to keep your feet healthy and pain free throughout the summer months, if you know how.
1. Say Goodbye to sweaty feet. Your feet have over 250,000 sweat glands in each foot, so its hardly surprising that sweaty feet – and the smell that goes with them – is one of the most common problems people face during hot weather. To avoid sweaty feet and reduce your chances of fungal infections : Wash your feet every day in warm soapy water. Don’t soak them as this may destroy the natural oils and cause dryness.
Dry them throughly, especially between the toes.
2. Wear good quality socks made from fibres that wick away sweat from the skin. This will help to keep your skin dry and allow the feet to “breath”. Change the socks every day.
3. Wear well ventilated shoes and change them often. Wearing the same shoes every day transfers decomposing bacteria onto your feet so to keep them smelling sweet, alternate your footwear. Always keep your trainers well aired, before and after exercise to prevent the build up of fungal spores and bacteria.
4. Cracked heels Dry skin and cracked heels are all too common during the summer months. These are normally caused by wearing open-backed shoes and sandals which allow the fat pad under the heel to expand sideways, increasing the likelihood of the skin to crack. To prevent cracked heels keep your feet well moisturised by applying a moisturiser twice a day. Use an abrasive stone such as a pumice stone or a none-metal footfile when in the shower or taking a bath to exfoliate the build up of skin which can occur.
5. Change the type of footwear you wear. Constantly wearing flip-flops or flimsy sandals increases your likelihood of unsightly and sometimes painful cracked heels. If cracked heels become a serious problem, they can be “strapped” by a chiropodist or podiatrist. This holds the cracks together to help them to heal.
6. Blister agony New sandals can lead to blisters, caused by skin rubbing against a rough surface such as a sock, flip-flop thong or the seam of a shoe. The rubbing creates heat which can lead to blisters developing. Any kind of moisture is bad news for blisters. Sweaty feet or wet shoes soften the skin and make them more prone to blistering. To prevent blisters in hot weather: Keep feet dry at all times. If you have sweaty socks, change them. If buying new summer sandals or shoes, make sure they fit properly. Shoes which are too tight or too loose will create pressure points and lead to rubbing. Put your feet up! Your feet need a rest. Over-working feet increases heat and moisture in footwear and increases the likelihood of blisters. Blisters should be left to dry out on their own, so don’t try to burst them. However if they do burst, apply a clean dressing.
7. Flip-flop pain We are all guilty of it, but try not to wear flip-flops continuously when the weather is hot. They don’t provide adequate support for you feet and can cause arch and heel pain if you wear them regularly. When choosing flip-flops, look for ones with arch and heel support.
8. Sunburn Your feet are most exposed during the summer, so don’t forget the suncream. Use SPF30 and above, and reapply regularly to protect against skin cancer and leathery skin due to premature ageing.
9. Swimming and paddling pools, gym showers and hotel bathrooms are breeding grounds for athlete’s foot and verrucas. Wear flip-flops or Crocs to avoid catching them.
10. Don’t hide “ugly” toenails with polish. A thick, discoloured, cracked or crumbling nail could mean you have a fungal infection. It won’t go away by itself, so get it checked out. We do have a laser treatment for this condition at the clinic which is very successful.
Extra tip: Feet tend to swell during the day so buy new shoes or sandals later in the day when your feet are at their largest. Try to vary your shoe type and heel height from day to day; one day with low heels, the next with slightly higher ones. Heel heights should be kept to about 3 cm for everyday use.