Summer Footcare Advice(July 14, 2011)
A few useful tips to help keep your feet in good condition during the summer.
Judy Suter BSc(pod.med) FPSPract.
We all love to paint our nails and slip into our sandals come the warmer weather,but this is the time of year out feet suffer the most from excess dry skin or callus,nail damage,muscle damage, and even possible fungal nail infections and verrucas.
Wearing nail polish can weaken the nails if it is left on for long periods. Always remove it regularly and allow your nails some time without any polish to recover. Nails are just hardened skin and need to be able to breath. Don’t be tempted to put layer on layer of polish on or you will find when you finaly remove it your nails can be discoloured and weakened.
If you see suspicious marks on your nails, yellow or creamy coloured and find you nails thickening or crumbly to cut you may have a fungal infection. Best to get expert advice as the nails can also be a window to your general health and all sorts of underlying conditions can be detected from the nails by a trained eye.
If, for any reason you are unable to use a medical treatment for a fungal infection( I personally recommend Phytex paint which can be used for fungal nail and athlete’s foot and costs arounds £5 per bottle), a natural alternative which may help is tea tree oil. Most important when treating fungal nail infections is to continue treatment until nail is completely clear, also remember to thoroughly clean footwear to prevent the spores from reinfecting.
During the summer wear a supportive type of sandal, by this I mean something that at least gives your arch muscles a little help. A completely flat pump or sandal will put enormous strain on your arch muscles and can lead to long term damage.
More manufacturers are at last giving this consideration and you can find a much better selection of fashionable styles than used to be available that will help with arch support. If you ever feel any prolonged pain in your arches do seek professional advice as physiotherapy exercises can sometimes save you muscles from giving in long term.
Always keep your nails tidily trimmed and gently file away any areas of hard skin that form and use a good footcare cream several times a week to prevent build up of areas of callus that can form far quicker in the summer months.
Try not to walk around with bare feet as this puts you at risk of infection or cuts.
People often assume that they couldn’t possible have an infection or fungus as they don’t go swimming, but think, especially if you have a pet, they dig in the earth and then come indoors without wiping their feet!!
Remember, Love your feet and take care of them as they carry you many miles throughout your life!