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General Footcare Advice
These are the best ways to keep your feet healthy
• Wash your feet often – ideally daily
You should wash your feet every day with soap and water. You should also dry them very well especially in between the toes. You can use the cold setting on a hair dryer to help to fry these.
• Moisturise and file
The best time to file your feet ideally is before you bathe or shower using a proper foot file. Once you have washed and dried your feet properly then use a good quality emollient or moisturising cream on any parts that get dry. Avoid putting lots of cream in between your toes.
• Change socks daily to avoid foot odour
You should always change your socks each day. Your socks will absorb the sweat produced by the foot so this can become a breeding ground for fungi and bacteria if they are worn two days in a row. Many people recommend natural fibres (cotton,wool, bamboo).
• Footwear and hygiene
Rotate the shoes you wear daily to allow them to dry out. Your feet can release huge amounts of sweat, especially in the summer months. If possible remove the inner liners of the shoes to help with the drying process. This is why we recommend you always wear socks with your shoes. If you don’t wish to wear socks, you should clean/wipe the inside of the shoes with an anti-microbial wet wipes to reduce the microbial load. You should also make sure your feet are clean before wearing shoes without socks.
Please note: Don’t put your shoes in the washing machine unless the manufacturer allows it. This can really damage your footwear.
• Sweaty / smelly feet
If you have sweaty feet you can buy products like antiperspirants. These can be effective. Be careful when applying anything to your foot. It’s best to test any products in a small area before using them on the whole sole of your foot.
Potassium permanganate crystals and surgical spirits may also be helpful to reduce sweating and bacterial buildup that causes the bad smell coming from your feet but use these with advice from a podiatrist
If the smell is difficult to control, a podiatrist will be able to advise what you should do and help to work out what is causing the bad smells.
Most often we find the smell is coming from the footwear when people don’t wear socks with their shoes.
• Nail and skin and general foot care
It is important to keep a check on your skin and nails generally. Fungal infections and other skin and nail issues can creep up on you without any symptoms.
If you see a change in your skin or nail colour, notice a change in the skin or nail quality or start experiencing itching then you should seek advice to “nip it in the bud” as quickly as possible. If you can’t monitor your feet easily due to poor eyesight or you can’t reach to examine them you can ask a friend or partner to help you or grab a mirror to have a look yourself.
Read our self care blogs on nail cutting techniques and how to file your hard skin and how to file thickened nails