New Year; new feet; new you

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It is a new year, and with a new year comes New Year’s resolutions. If you have had foot trouble that has been bothering you for a while and you have been putting off doing something about it, the start of a new year is a great time to think about getting something done. Use this new year to take some time for self-care and put your feet first!  Sometimes the treatments for these conditions can take a little while, but if they are started now, your feet will be looking and feeling much better by the summer.

Many New Year resolutions focus on better eating habits, fitness, or better self-care.  A big part of taking care of your body is taking care of your feet.  They really are the foundation of your body.  Here are some tips to help you help your feet in 2021!

New Shoes – wear shoes that are appropriate to the activity you are doing.  Look for shoes that are not completely flat and that has a slightly raised heel.  Ideally the shoes will have a good fastening, preferably lace up to support the ankle.  Slip on shoes tend to be tight fitting or your feet can move about in them when walking; neither of these scenarios are good for your feet.  Room in the toe box and depth is also important for a comfortable shoe.  Old shoes give less support, have less cushioning, and may contain fungi spores that can cause Athlete’s Foot.  Podiatrists recommend you have new shoes every 300 – 500 miles, which is roughly every 6 months.  If you have an active lifestyle you may reach those miles much sooner.

New Socks – much like shoes, socks have a limited lifespan.  If your socks have holes in them it is time to replace them.  When purchasing new socks try to opt for moisture wicking materials, such as merino wool or polyester.  Cotton socks can trap moisture against the skin, which can lead to Athlete’s foot.

Wash your feet regularly – just getting them wet is not quite good enough!   Ensure that you clean around the nails and between the toes and rinse them well.  After the shower make sure you thoroughly dry your feet all over, paying particular attention to spaces in-between the toes.  Drying between toes can help to prevent fungal infections developing.  If you are prone to moistness between the toes, regular use of surgical spirit will help.

After the shower, when your feet are clean and soft, is a great time to use a foot file with an abrasive surface.  Use this to pay particular attention to areas of the feet that might have a build-up of hard skin such as the heels and ball of the foot.  Just gently rubbing over the areas of dry, rough, hard skin.  Try and do this a couple of times a week and this will easily lift off the dry skin with ease.

Foot cream – after your feet are dry we would suggest applying a foot cream.  In the clinic we use CCS Cream©, we love it and have used it for years, however there are lots great foot creams available on the market.  We recommend a foot cream containing 10% urea: urea binds to water and pulls it into the skin.  The skin on the soles of your feet is different to everywhere else on your body as it is much thicker, it is hairless and it does a massive amount of work.  A bit like oiling a machine, by keeping the skin moisturised and well lubricated it enables it to do the fantastic job it does for us every day.  Treat your feet to a relaxing, moisturising massage.  Apply cream regularly and your feet will look and feel amazing.

Foot pain – if being newly active or starting a new sport is part of your New Year resolutions, you may find you develop pain in your feet or legs.  Ensuring that you build up your exercise regime, warm up beforehand and have the right shoes for the right exercise will help.  Sometimes an orthotic device will be needed to help your muscles work effectively, particularly if you are prone to injury.  

See a podiatrist – if you or a family member are experiencing foot pain or any other foot problem then please make an appointment with your local podiatrist.  When it comes to the feet, the sooner you seek professional attention then the easier it is to get them on the road to recovery.  A podiatrist is an expert in all aspects of the foot, so you know you can trust them to get to the root of the problem.  We will soon have you back on your feet and bounding into 2021!

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Royal College of Podiatry HCPC registered Podiatrist