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A photo of feet in top condition

A healthy base: keeping your feet in top condition

Just like fashion changes as the weather gets warmer or colder, so do our feet.

As a result there are a few points to consider to keep your feet healthy through the change in season.

ACH Group podiatrist Shari Madden explains how to take care of your feet.

Keep your feet healthy all year round.

Feet are your body’s foundation, so keeping them healthy is vital to your overall health.

No matter if it’s summer or winter, here are key steps to looking after your feet.

  • Carefully wash and dry in between toes to check for and prevent tinea.
  • Moisturise feet with a good quality foot cream to keep the skin on your feet supple. Cracked dry skin is more prone to fungal and bacterial infections.
  • If you have a condition like diabetes, keep your blood sugar levels under control to ensure that you avoid nerve damage and risk of infection.
  • Mobilise and massage your feet to keep all the joints moving. This will help you to walk and remain active without pain.
Once a month
  • Treat your feet to a good soak and use a pumice stone to reduce any hard skin.
  • Trim nails to avoid trauma to the nails and to adjacent toes. This will also help to prevent ingrown nails. Note, your nails may grow slowly so this can be done when required.

If you have difficulty reaching your feet, a podiatrist can help to check for infections and provide advice about footwear. They can also give your feet the pampering they deserve.

Check the fit.

While the weather is cold, we struggle to keep our feet warm and tend to wear thick socks and covered boots or shoes. Whereas during the warmer months, it’s time for lighter shoes or sandals.

The fit of shoes is so important to prevent trauma.

Especially straps on sandals can rub and thongs can leave feet vulnerable to damage from stubbing toes.

In summer, choose a shoe that provides some protection for your feet while keeping them cool and comfortable. A shoe with a closed heel counter and a strap across the ankle will prevent feet sliding forward and blisters forming. This will also prevent the clawing of toes, which many people experience when trying to hold on to thongs.

Make sure your toes have space to wriggle in a closed shoe, as this will help prevent corns and tinea. A rounded toe box is a better choice as it allows toes to spread and provides better air flow.

Feet can swell, causing blisters when shoes rub.

Plan ahead if you are going to be on your feet for long periods in warm weather by wearing shoes that can be adjusted to accommodate any swelling.

Also, if you get the chance, put your feet up to reduce swelling.

As our feet sweat more in summer, air out footwear in between wears to prevent tinea.

Also, minimise the amount of time spent with nail polish on as it can conceal a fungal nail infection that can be difficult to treat later.

This article was published in Good Lives Magazine – Issue 11. ACH Group offers a range of allied health services, including podiatry, at its three Health Studio 50+ locations at Glenelg, Christie Downs, and Gilles Plains. Learn more about ACH Group’s health & wellbeing services, contact us today.

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