We have now had several consecutive days with maximum recorded temperatures over 30 degrees centigrade.
Typical of the UK, the heat comes on quickly, with no smooth transition, and then we feel uncomfortable for days while we try to get used to it. And, of course, our feet can feel really hot and throbbing locked in shoes while we work.
What actually happens to your feet?
As temperatures soar, the quarter of a million sweat glands in your feet start working hard. The job of the sweat glands is to make the skin cooler but can leave it damp and a little whiffy. This is often accompanied with swelling.
One of the functions of your skin is temperature regulation. Blood vessels dilate to help heat escape and fluid floods the tissues causing the skin goes pink or red – erythema. If you have a job that involves standing or sitting for long periods, gravity encourages fluid to collect in the lowest point of the body – your feet, helping to make them feel tired and achy.
Sweaty, swollen feet aren’t just uncomfortable – they also increase your risk of foot health issues, such as blisters, foot odour and athlete’s foot fungal infections.
The fungi and bacteria that cause foot odour just love these moist, warm and dark conditions come with a heat wave.
So, how do you look after your feet in a heatwave?
Simple, reliable ways to cool your feet
At the end of your working day, you get home and your feet are so hot and throbbing that they feel like they might explode. there are some simple choices using items that can easily be found in most households.
• A hot water bottle can be used to cool as well as heat. Fill it with water and crushed ice and sit with your feet on it like a cold cushion.
• No hot water bottle? A cold, damp towel draped over your feet can work wonders.
• If you can, get outside and put your feet up on a footstool. They’ll soon feel cooler and less swollen.
• Peppermint is a popular essential oil to add to a foot spray, with a lovely cooling effect.
• A nice bowl of cold water and ice also goes a long way towards making your feet feel better.
Keep your feet comfortable
Comfortable feet aren’t something that just happens, you need to put some work into it.
• Keep your feet clean – wash and thoroughly dry your feet morning and night. This removes or neutralises sweat and odour-causing bacteria and fungi.
• Use antiperspirant on your feet daily to reduce excessive sweating and odour.
• Wear ‘wicking’ socks and change them at least daily. These draw sweat away from the skin which is why they’ve long been favoured by runners.
• Choose footwear made to breathe and if you are at work, buy shoes for comfort, not for fashion.
It is typical of the UK as a nation to grumble about poor weather and then to complain loudly when it improves, but sore feet are no joke. If you are concerned that your foot pain may have a deeper cause, then give us a call. Your first visit includes a consultation, discussion of concerns and the construction of a treatment plan.
Consult a professional.
If you would like more specific advice, if you experience sweaty, smelly or uncomfortable feet, then the first step is to consult a professional for the best advice and a treatment plan.
If you would like more information or to speak to one of our Podiatrists, or to make an appointment, give us a call on 01628 773588 or email email@example.com.