Holidays and your Feet
Do your toes dream of sandy beaches?
Wouldn't it be nice if your feet could have as much fun on holiday as you? So what should you do and how should you prepare for your holiday?
Wear appropriate shoes. Choose your shoes carefully depending on your activity. Comfort is better than style any day. If you are walking off-road choose sturdy walking shoes, such as Ecco xpedition. If you are walking around a garden then wear flat lace ups like Hotter or Ecco. If you are hanging around on the beach or by the pool all day choose something like FitFlops so you can slip them on and off with ease and they will support your feet extremely well when you walk over to the ice cream stand.
Plantar Fasciitis, heel pain, policeman's heel
If you have plantar fasciitis or heel pain it can make you feel really miserable because it hurts so much. What should you do?
- Wear shoes that you can slip an orthotic/arch support inside or choose shoes that support your arch. What type of shoes will make your heel pain worse – flat flip flops, ballet pumps, deck shoes, soft unsupportive shoes. What type of shoes will make your feet feel better – FitFlops, Hotter, Ecco, and surprisingly Crocs, and any supportive walking shoes and boots.
- Stretch your calf muscles – this is really important. Every time you stand up (when you get up in the morning, when you get up from watching TV, when you get up after eating) you must stretch your calf muscles before starting to walk. See here for how to stretch your calf muscles.
- Put orthotics/arch supports in your shoes – if you can’t afford custom made orthotics, I recommend Superfeet over the counter insoles. They are not expensive for you to buy. See Superfeet
I recommend you purchase some hydrocolloidal plasters (such as compeed blister plasters) and put them in your handbag or pocket so if you are out for the day and get a blister you can put one on immediately. These amazing blister plasters will make your blister on your toe or heel feel much more comfortable and will help to heal the wound faster. How do they do that? These special plasters are designed to keep germs and dirt out of the wound and cushion and protect the area. Whatever fluid leaks from the blister stays underneath the plaster and the gel in the plaster absorbs this fluid allowing the wound and the dressing to merge together until the new skin forms. So important points are to make sure the plaster is large enough to cover your blister completely and don't take the plaster off too soon - leave it on for several days or even a week or longer until the area is healed.
If possible go to a chiropodist or podiatrist before your holiday to have the corn removed or at least reduced in size and depth. What is a corn? A corn is a deep area of hard skin that can cause a sharp pain in the area where the corn touches your shoe or where the corn is pressed into your foot as you walk. Sometimes it will take a couple of treatments to get the corn under control. Sometimes all it takes is one treatment for the area to feel significantly better. If you haven’t got time then as a one off (and only if you have normal healthy skin) you could use a corn plaster on the area however this is not something I would normally recommend. If you do decided to use a corn plaster please take great care because 50% salicylic acid (this is what corn plasters normally contain) can be dangerous to your skin. Warning - if you have diabetes and/or poor circulation you must not use corn plasters – don’t risk it, it isn’t worth losing your foot.
Callus and hard skin
If possible before your holiday have your hard skin removed by a chiropodist or podiatrist. Alternatively if you are careful you could file the area with a foot file or extremely carefully shave off some of the hard skin with a callus shaver such as a Tweezerman shaver. People with diabetes and poor circulation should not use shavers.
This condition can cause numbness, tingling, burning or a sharp stabbing pain if the front of your foot. Why - excessive forefoot movement can cause the metatarsal bones to rub together, which can pinch and irritate your foot nerves. Solution – wear wider shoes, supportive shoes and wear orthotics inside your shoes to control and stop excessive foot movement.
Arch pain and aching feet
You should wear supportive shoes and orthotics such as Superfeet.
If you can't get to a chiropodist or podiatrist – soak your foot for 10 minutes twice a day in warm water (as warm as you can comfortably bear) with a tablespoon of salt added to the water.
This is a fungal infection and can cause redness and flaking of skin, generally between your toes. To clear up the fungal infection I recommend purchasing Lamisil Once (an anti-fungal preparation) from your local chemist. Use the whole tube and apply completely all over both feet, taking particular care to get the lotion between the toes where athletes foot is commonly at its worst. After applying the Lamisil Once do not wash your feet for 24 hours. This allows the Lamisil Once to build up a film on your skin. After about 3 days the film disappears but the active ingredient remains on your skin and goes on working to kill off the fungus.
Use CCS foot cream regularly on your feet. If you apply the foot cream within 10 minutes of getting out of the bath or shower it means that the foot cream will soak into your skin more effectively.
I recommend using CCS heel balm on the area for 7 consecutive days and then go onto the regular CCS foot cream.
The best thing here is prevention. Cover up appropriately at night, go very easy on perfume and apply an insect repellent to stop insects from finding you attractive. Which products are best for you? Jungle Formula provide a range of excellent products including plug-in, roll-on, body spray, pump spray and extra strength. They even have a product called "bite and sting relief" should you not have been as careful as you could have been.
Enjoy your holiday!