Your feet have been neglected all winter. So now is the ideal time to start taking care of them. What may be too embarrassing when sunbathing or wearing open-toed shoes are those corny bumps on our toes or unsightly thick yellow hard callus on the balls of our feet and around the heel area . Not only are they unsightly but they may cause pain as soon as we start wearing thinner summer shoes. We may get the feeling of walking on pebbles that is very uncomfortable. You might not have noticed this when you were wearing woolly socks and winter shoes with thicker outer soles. In fact, the older we get the more fat is lost from the bottom of our feet and we have to opt for thicker and more cushioned outer soles when selecting summer shoes.
It is important that you remove all left over nail varnish deposits on your nails (ideally before winter). This may impede normal moisture that collects under the nail to evaporate. Artificial nails or a nail polish impede this natural action. Water gets trapped becoming stagnant and unhealthy – ideal for fungi and similar organisms to thrive. You will notice this if you have discoloured or thickened nails in severe cases. Nail polish should be avoided for a prolonged period of time. If you use them for special occasions, it is advisable to remove your nail polish after your big night outis over. Some elderly people develop thick and long nails that are hard to control. They have been neglected and hidden in shoes. The podiatrist will help to trim and file these stubborn nails and advise on how to better control them.
Summer footwear may not be the most comfortable, especially when you have to wear them in. The odd blister may arise due to sweaty skin rubbing against the stiff new leather. One way to prevent this is by either padding the areas concerned (like the foot instep or heel counter) before such problem arises. Blisters must be kept clean. Do not burst them since they may be easily infected. Not all summer footwear is ideal to keep your feet supported. Having such a long summer in Malta it is may be more comfortable to have a range of footwear for different times and errands. Flip flops are ideal for going to the beach but not to spend all day at work with. Sandals are more functional for prolonged periods of standing or walking. In order to reduce the chance of getting cracked heels, choose shoes that have a correct fit, apply moisturising cream daily to your feet and use a foot file or pumice stone.
A home-made pedicure may not always be enough. So this is a perfect time to have your feet checked and treated accordingly by the podiatrist. You may ask your podiatrist for an opinion on how to control or treat certain problems that come about in summer such as sweaty/smelly feet, swollen feet or extremely dry skin.
One piece of advice for everyone is to drink as much water as possible as the days become hotter. This will increase your health and keep your skin moist. Do not neglect any pain in your feet before it is too late, as this may effect getting the most out of those long summer nights.