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April 23, 2020: Looking after your feet during lockdown

Looking after your feet during lockdown

Looking after your feet (foot care) and treating common foot problems – such as corns, calluses is vitally important especially at this difficult time.

Wearing footwear that’s safe, appropriate and in good repair can also help to keep your feet healthy.

How can I best look after my feet?

This can be split in two. Footcare and footwear.

Care for and check your feet regularly and wear appropriate footwear for the activity you’re doing. For example, suitable shoes for dog walking or gardening, slippers for indoors.

Footcare

What should I do?

Good foot care is easy to do, doesn’t need to be too laboured, and should include:

  • keeping your feet clean and dry — especially between your toes (be careful with talcum powder as this can hold moisture between the toes)
  • checking your feet regularly for cuts or sores, redness, swelling or bruising. Get to know your feet well and know what’s normal. Once every few days for healthy feet and every day for diabetics or anyone with peripheral vascular disease.
  • Trim and file your nails carefully to prevent them becoming ragged or too long
  • applying moisturiser if your skin is dry to prevent it from cracking and improve its texture. If you can’t reach your feet see if you can get someone to do it for you.
  • filing dry or hard skin using a foot file (avoid using pumice stone as it is unhygienic and impossible to clean after each use) 

How often?

You should check, and care for, your feet regularly — including cutting and filing your toenails if needed. Schedule a regular time once a week is sufficient and it really doesn’t take long.

If you have impaired circulation or diabetes (medium or high risk), or peripheral vascular disease, it’s recommended that you check your feet every day.

What do I do if I find a problem I can’t deal with?

If you experience any problems with your feet – such as cuts or sores or fluid/blood leaking from any area – speak to your GP or a Health and Care Professions Council registered podiatrist for advice about what to do.

Maidenhead Podiatry is currently closed in accordance with government guidelines but we are still taking phone calls and can offer care, treatment and advice in cases of emergency or where urgent care is required.

If you are concerned about something on or to do with your feet send well lit and in focus pictures to info@maidenheadpodiatry.co.uk and we can advise accordingly.

 

Footwear

As well as caring for your feet, you should pay some attention to your footwear as this can also affect your walking and balance. It is doubly important at this time when routine professional care is unavailable.

Ask yourself – am I wearing the right shoes for the activity I am about to engage in?

Shoes

A good shoe should support and protect your foot and allow natural movement during walking. Poorly fitting shoes can cause foot problems — such as corns, calluses, bunions and ingrown toenails.

When replacing your shoes, look for:

  • an upper made of leather or breathable natural or synthetic materials with seam-free linings
  • a deep and roomy toe-box at the front of the shoe to prevent pressure on the toes and joints on the side of the foot
  • a cushioned and flexible light rubber sole with good grip
  • a heel no more than 3 centimetres (one and a half inches) high and broad enough to provide stability
  • laces, buckles or Velcro strap fastenings that hold the shoe comfortably and securely on the foot. Avoid slip on shoes and always tie laces.

shoes to avoid

  • too big or small, or with squashed backs
  • smooth leather or plastic soles, and thick rubber soles that extend over the toe
  • high heeled or backless shoes

Socks and tights    

Socks should contain a high proportion of natural materials such as cotton or wool as this allows sweat to evaporate from the skin. As a rule, wear wool in winter for warmth and cotton to keep you cool during the summer.

When dressing, make sure your socks and tights aren’t too tight, or pulled up too high that they cut into the skin or restrict the circulation. Tight socks and tights can also put excessive pressure on toes and nails leading to discomfort or even pain.

Slippers

You should replace your slippers regularly as they become worn and loose over time.

When replacing your slippers buy slippers with

  • straps, laces or some kind of fastening
  • backs
  • broad heel of modest height

Slippers should only be worn for short periods and shouldn’t be worn all day in the same way you would regular footwear as generally they don’t offer the same support.

Where to start

Think about how you currently look after your feet:

  • what positive things do you already do to keep your feet healthy?
  • what changes can you make that might help?
  • how will you make these changes?
  • who do you need to talk to?

 

Help and support

If you’re looking for foot care advice, visit maidenheadpodiatry.co.uk where you will find an abundance of information on footcare and footwear or send us an email to info@maidenheadpodiatry.co.uk and we will do our best to answer your questions.