Spring is a busy time for a chiropodist-podiatrist. Many feet which have not seen much of the outdoors for several months are suddenly faced with the prospect of sandals and beach holidays, summer and sun. Sometimes, when we take a good look at our feet after the long, cold winter, we may be a little concerned that may not be looking the part: hard skin, callus, dry and cracked heels, that toenail you’ve meant to be doing something about, the verrucae that still hasn’t gone away, or the mysterious bump on your toe that appeared out of the blue.
The old saying – “out of sight, out of mind”, definitely applies to feet during the winter months, wrapped up as they are in warm, snugly socks and heavy winter shoes and boots. Thankfully, we have all the tools, training, and experience to deal swiftly and effectively with these sorts of issues, and can help you get your feet ready for the coming unveiling.
Spring, and the advance towards summer, brings with it a few common concerns for some. The most common question we get asked is why some people have feet that are fine all winter, and the moment spring blooms, they begin to develop hard, dry skin, usually on the heels, which gets worse and worse until late in summer, when it is a rather thick and uncomfortable callus which often cracks, and can even bleed, leading to an increased risk of infection and considerable discomfort. The answer is simple: when we wear sandals, if we have bio-mechanical issues that cause the foot to slide back and forth (such as flat feet), or when we begin walking more in the warmer weather, friction on the foot causes a very, very low level of inflammation and drying of the skin. The reason for this is that feet tend to slide around in sandals, or they rub because the foot is going more flat than is good for it, or if you are at home, you may be walking around barefoot more often, giving that hard skin the conditions needed to accumulate rather rapidly.
Having your feet exposed to the air allows for rapid evaporation of moisture from the skin, which can contribute to the dryness. The most simple method to manage hard, dry skin is to file the hard skin and apply cream often. This is best done daily using a good quality foot cream and a professional quality foot file. This would help reduce the rate of skin dryness and callus formation considerably. In addition to this, choosing footwear that fits correctly is important too, and perhaps seeing us about some medical-grade insoles if you notice that your feet are functional in a way that is “flat”, or if they move around too much in shoes as a consequence of bio-mechanical, alignment and functional issues.
Of course, even with the best of efforts, hard skin can still accumulate, and that is where we can help. So, if your feet are looking a bit worse for wear after a long winter in their snow boots, or if you notice the hard skin building up when the sandals come out, give us a call and we will be happy to help.
Presentable feet are possible for everyone.