Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Love your feet

Published:Monday | February 22, 2016 | 2:00 AMJody-Anne Lawrence

You cannot walk towards greatness with bunions and corns. You need to take care of your feet as if they were your beautiful face.

You need to know your feet like we know our skin. What is your size? Is it wide? Do you have a high arch? You need to know the answers to these questions to ensure that you keep your feet healthy.

According to podiatrist Eva Reid, the shape and size of your feet influence the type of shoes you wear. An individual's feet are unique to that person. When picking out a pair of shoes, you must fit them as you would wear them. So if you are going to wear them with socks, then you should fit them with socks, noted Reid.

She also noted that you should fit both feet and walk around in the shoes to ensure that they are comfortable and that not only do your toes have wiggle room, but that the back does not have a gap and gives the support that you need. It is also important that you wear shoes that fit the curves of your feet.

If you are flat-footed, then a flat pair of shoes might be comfortable for you. If your instep has a high curve, then your shoes will need a little elevation, and flat shoes and slippers will hurt your feet.

For daily wear, Reid said that shoes no higher than two inches are best. While she would not tell women to toss their sky-high

stilettos, she advised against

wearing them daily.

Like a pair of shoes that is not your size or that may rub against your feet, causing bunions and calluses, so do high heels for some. Also, the fact that you are so high might be putting excess pressure on your knees, back, and even your neck.

"You might not feel it now, but later, when you have pain in these areas, it might be as a result of you wearing high heels daily. However, if you want to wear them for special events, I will not tell you no," states Reid.

When one has corns or bunions, she advises one to go straight to a podiatrist and avoid home remedies because it is likely that one would pick at the areas and make them worse.

"Some use over-the-counter treatments that have a lot of salicylic acid, and that can discolour the feet. When this occurs, it is sometimes permanent, and many come after their skin gets discoloured and expect us to fix it but we cannot," she explained.

Women who love to wear sandals should take special care of their feet. Leaving your heels exposed to the elements can give you cracked heels. You would be required to moisturise properly and frequently.

For people who have diabetes and poor

circulation, Reid recommends that they not do their nails themselves, but ensure that they are professionally done so that they do not get an infection.

 

Tips for your feet:

 

1. Wash and dry between your toes.

2. Moisturise properly. Do not neglect the heels and soles of your feet.

3. When you have bought a new pair of shoes, walk around in them at home so that your feet get used to them.

4. Cut your toe nails straight across and do not go down into the nail as this promotes ingrown nails and infections.

5. Do not use nail polish to hide a fungus that might come under the nails. Get it treated as soon as possible because the longer you wait, the worse it will get and the podiatrist might have to remove that nail.

Note: A fungus likes dark, warm places, so give your feet some air and avoid using dark polishes as these promote fungus growth.

6. Rotate your shoes because no matter how much you think your feet do not sweat, they do. Give your shoes adequate time to dry (every other day is fine) to avoid athlete's feet.

7. A pedicure every three to four weeks is fine but not more frequently as the digging and prodding involved in the process can cause infections. Give your feet a break.