As the weather finally starts to improve, we are focussing this month on summer feet and in particular your skin and nails. After some time locked away in tights, socks and boots our feet can sometimes need a little bit of extra attention to look summer ready.
Here are our top footcare tips, products and services for beautiful feet just in time for summer.
If you suffer with thickened or discoloured toenails there are a number of things that can be done to improve their appearance. Firstly, check with your podiatrist whether you have a fungal nail infection. A fungal infection in the toenails will need appropriate treatment to clear. Your podiatrist will be able to test your nails to confirm whether a fungal infection is present, usually using an in-house test and getting the results in under ten minutes.
Thick nails can be filed down; if they are very thickened and difficult to manage yourself, visit your podiatrist who has the right equipment to thin these quickly and painlessly.
Products, for example Emtrix®, can be used to give you healthier looking nails. The treatment improves the appearance of discoloured and deformed nails, the first signs of improvement normally being seen after just one to two weeks of treatment. Emtrix® contains propylene glycol, urea and lactic acid which work together to treat mild nail fungal infections in addition to thickened nails. It softens and smooths nails that may have become brittle or thick as the result of infection or trauma.
Once those toenails are able to peep out of your sandals, it is nice to get a bit of colour on them. If you do paint your toenails, we recommend applying a base coat first, especially with darker colours that can stain the nails leaving a yellowing tinge. Don’t leave your nail varnish on for too long, particularly if you do have a fungal infection as it will worsen underneath the seal of the varnish. Give your nails a few days varnish-free as often as possible.
Wilde Pedique nail reconstruction
If you are concerned with the appearance of your toenails due to discolouration or damage; a Wilde Pedique prosthetic nail may be an option for you.
Pedique is a nail correction procedure designed for damaged toenails and uses a special gel resin that is cured under an ultraviolet light. It can be used on nails that have been damaged are thickened due to age or trauma. It can be used for nails with a fungal infection, but should not be left on for too long in these circumstances. The gel is elastic which adjusts to the movement of the underlying nail meaning that it is long lasting, flexible and durable.
Callus on the feet can develop from repeated friction, rubbing or irritation and pressure on the skin, causing discomfort. Factors causing callus build up include foot structure abnormalities, heightened activity level and footwear.
Hard skin (callus) can be improved by using specialised foot moisturising creams which contain a certain percentage of urea.
Urea helps break down hard skin instead of common moisturiser just softening the skin. Coupled with this, use a pumice stone or foot file a couple of times a week to reduce the amount of hard skin.
As the pressure on a particular point increases, the callus can form a corn, which is where callus is rolled into a ball and pushed against the skin on the foot making an indent. When these form under the foot, it can feel like you are always standing on a small stone.
Corns are best removed professionally so reduce the risk of further damage to the skin or infection.
When choosing footwear, it is very important to have well-fitting, supportive and cushioned shoes. There needs to be enough room at the front of the shoe to allow for any forward movement so that there is no excessive force on your toes. A supportive shoe is also preferred so that the foot is held in a good position, giving an even distribution of pressure and stopping the foot from ‘rolling over’.
Well cushioned footwear helps with callus formation as the cushioning can reduce the amount of friction and pressure on the foot. It is important to avoid narrow fitting footwear, which can put a lot of pressure on the outer aspects of the feet and increase the speed that callus forms.
When choosing footwear it is always important to try then on to see how they fit. All shoes are different and a certain size in one type of shoe may not correlate to the same size in another!
Following these tips will get your toes in tip top condition to enjoy the summer. If you need help with any foot condition, call us to make an appointment on 020 8693 6000 or book online at https://dulwichpodiatry.bookmyappointment.co.uk/