For happy, healthy feet

Sensible shoes

It is summer and the perfect reason to kick off your shoes and relax! However, it’s not always the best time of the year for foot health.

All that heat and humidity paired with the desire to go barefoot or step out in unsupportive shoes, such as flip-flops and sandals, can lead to a lot of problems for the feet. Apeksha Pant, a business development executive says, “I prefer peep toes in summer because it’s comfortable and I’m conscious about sun tanning. Besides, in office I cannot wear causal footwear.”

Even with flip-flops and sandals during warm weather, feet are often exposed and more vulnerable to irritation and injury. “One of the most common summertime foot problems are cracked heels. These are normally caused by open-back shoes such as sandals and flip flops rubbing around the edge of the heel, as the fat pad under the heel expands sideways on weight-bearing areas and therefore increases the likelihood of the skin to crack,” says Mimi, beautician at Toni and Guy, a beauty salon at Green Park.

“Summer can be tough on toes too. Some other  summer problems for the feet are fungal and nail infections. People who wear ill fitting shoes can suffer from blisters and ingrown toenails,” says Dr Sonia Mangal, dermatologist and hair expert at Myra skin and hair solution, in the city.

“Foot problems can be especially troublesome in the summer, but you can avoid many sources of foot pain by choosing the right shoes,” says Lily Chishi an expert and manager at The Oak Spa. “People should choose their shoes keeping in mind their job profile and body structure. Overweight people should wear comfortable shoes and avoid wearing pointed shoes which can suppress the toes and create problems later. To prevent excessive foot sweating and odour in the summer, wear open sandals when you can,” adds Dr Mangal.

In natural materials “Leather is best for summer. Avoid rubber and plastic material footwear during summer because it doesn’t absorb moisture. Wear cotton socks than those made from synthetic materials” advises Preeti Seth, nutritionist, cosmetologist and wellness expert, Pachoulli Spa and Wellness Centre.

Chishi says, “You can still wear sandals and at the same time prevent or relieve some of the heel pain issues. A simple massage in the foot in round motion at the end of the day near the toes and heel would relieve your stress.”

“The pungent odour and feet infections can be taken care of by soaking the feet in warm water with salt and vinegar for 20-30 minutes. You can even put used tea bags with warm water which helps in closing the pores. Baking soda can be sprinkled in shoes which reduces the growth of bacteria in feet” suggests Seth. “There are anti-fungal powders available in medical stores or one can even use normal powder to keep the feet dry,” adds Dr Mangal.

Following some basic tips as a daily routine to keep the feet healthy could be “change your socks daily; after the shower dry your feet and then wear the shoes,” says Seth.

The best way is to “examine your sole and feet daily, if there is an ingrown toenail because of the tight shoes consult a dermatologist; wash your feet daily before going to bed and apply some foot cream and moisturiser,” says Dr  Mangal.

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