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Foot Care

We were delighted to welcome Katy Andrews to our Nordic Natter on March 13th. Katy is a foot health care practitioner and gave us some great tips on how to look after our feet, so important for walkers.

Top Tips from Katy

Our feet are one of the most well used parts of our body so it’s really important that they are kept in really good condition and looked after so that we feel comfortable in everything we do day to day. However, for a lot of people, they are the most neglected part of the body!  We need to ensure both our nails and skin are in tip top condition.

Nails – we need to ensure that we trim our nails correctly. This means the right length and shape.  Length should be to the end of our toe.  Shape should be straight across.  Trim with nippers or clippers and file to ensure there are no rough edges.  Why?  So we don’t get an ingrown toenail (where rough edges or shards of nail dig into the surrounding skin).  How often?  As often as you need (as a runner I do bi-weekly, little and often) but it could be every 3-4 weeks if you’re not doing sport or other hard on your feet exercise.

Callus (hard skin) – use a foot file as often as required. Finish with foot cream daily.  If you’re prone to hard skin, you won’t stop it coming, but you can keep on top of it.  Various callus gadgets are also available (eg Pedi-egg, etc) – find one that you find easy to use or you won’t use it!

Other tips – use ‘foot booties’ that you can get from the supermarket or drugstore (some are for callus removal, some to moisturise, etc) or simply use lots of foot cream and put some cosy socks on!

Corns – These are balls of compressed skin, from pressure (could be toes rubbing together or the way you walk). Treatment – file, medicated corn plasters, etc.  (if persistent, seek advice from a foot practitioner, who can scalpel them out for you).

Verrucas – are a virus (same as warts on hands). If you have a verruca, take care not to spread to other members of your household.  Treatment – over the counter medication, foot file, perseverance!  They may go quickly or they could take months to clear up.

Toes nails falling off – if your nails start to loosen or come away from the nail bed, if they are still attached both sides, trim carefully and let them grow out, if they become more detached, then trim the loose part of the nail off carefully (or seek a foot practitioner to do this for you if you’re not confident). Take care not to catch any loose nail as it will be painful if you accidentally rip it off!

Athletes Foot – is a fungal infection. Use over the counter remedies but be persistent to ensure it clears up fully.  Ensure you dry between your toes carefully and use anti-fungal foot powder or spray both on your feet and in your shoes.  Let your feet air (wear flip flops, etc) and change your sock regularly (also consider if you’re wearing the right socks – Eg cotton vs synthetic).

Fungal nails – as with Athletes Foot, use a fungal remedy and ensure that you keep using it until the infection is clear. Bear in mind your nail takes approx. 8 months to grow out, so you won’t see quick results.  Persistence is key.  A lot of the treatments contain a bleach or lightening agent in them now so you may see a slight colour improvement in the yellow nail, but probably not much.  Take care not to spread to other members of the household.

Wear the right footwear – what foorwear do you regularly wear? Walking boots, running shoes, wellies, shoes, etc.  How do you choose your shoes?  When do you need a specialist to help you?  When did you last measure your feet?

Nail polish – No issue with wearing all year round. Always use a base and top coat as the base will protect your nail from staining and help the polish to stay put for longer.  A variety of different polishes are on the market, but I like to use a ‘breathable’ polish.

Contact Katy

Kathryn Andrews
Foot Health Practitioner
Complete Feet
+44 7512 866099