Saving your soles for summer – Tips for foot repair

By: Health Local Staff Jul 15, 2013
  Article
foot pain

Take care of your feet and they will take care of you, no matter what season or temperature.

Everyone loves open-aired shoes for summer. From sandals to flip flops, showing off your feet means appearance is everything. The problem with summer is that overexposure to heat can do a number on those soles.

Fashionable trends in summer footwear can leave the feet looking awful. Unsightly cracks, corns, blisters and rough spots are anything but beautiful. To help prevent your feet from requiring a cover-up, follow these helpful tips for foot repair.

Heal the cracks

Heel cracks need healing. If left untreated, the cracks can grow deeper and become infected. Heel cracks start out small and creep across the skin. Sometimes the cracks cause pain and make walking unbearable. Standing puts additional pressure on the skin tissues, which leads to excessive cracks and skin integrity breakdown.

Treatment for heel cracks involves washing your feet regularly in warm soapy water for at least 15 minutes. A pumice stone can be used to soften the rough spots and remove any dead skin. The feet become rehydrated and viable after a warm bath or soak. Applying moisturizing cream to the affected area helps rejuvenate the skin.

Watch for blisters

Ill-fitting shoes often lead to blisters. Tight sandals and summer footwear rubs along the skin and causes raw spots. Blisters can be extremely painful, especially when they pop. It is important to keep the blister clean and as much intact as possible.

Soaking the feet helps prevent the blister from popping and helps clean the area to ward off infection. After the area has been cleaned, apply a bandage to prevent dirt or bacteria from being introduced. It is helpful to wear shoes that fit properly and do not rub against areas of the feet and ankles.

Care for calluses

While nobody cares for calluses, they should be cared for. A callus is more than a rough patch of skin on the foot, but an unsightly thick skin that builds up and develops under pressure points. This means that when shoes do not fit your feet properly or there is a genetically predisposed foot condition (such as a bone protrusion) calluses may form.

Avoid using a razor to shave off the thickened skin, but implement a warm foot soak and pumice stone. File the area gently once the skin has softened. Calluses can result in painful foot conditions. When self-care doesn’t work, be sure to see a professional podiatrist or doctor to help treat the area.

Treat the corns

Corns are known as small sized calluses that have a hardened and often painful center. The skin becomes inflamed and painful when shoes are worn. Corns may occur in between the toes or under the balls of the feet. They are not large in size, but can become quite irritated and painful if not cared for.

Over-the-counter corn removal treatment is available, but not recommended. The acidic medication can cause damage to healthy tissues that surround the corn. Professional care is often needed to remove the corn from the foot. Wearing roomy shoes that do not put pressure on the foot helps prevent corns from developing.

Most foot problems arise due to neglect and can be prevented with proper home-care. Take care of your feet and they will take care of you, no matter what season or temperature.

The Health Local Staff is a team of writers and experts dedicated to bringing you the latest health, nutrition and lifestyle information at www.healthlocal.ca.