Foot problems can be a bit embarrassing. A lot of us are guilty of hoping they’ll go away without actually doing anything about them. Well, we’re here to tell you that most foot problems are super common and nothing to be ashamed of! Just think: either you pop to the shop and treat the problem in a day, or you leave it to manifest to barbaric extremes – leaving the doctors no choice but to amputate. Okay, we’re being a tad dramatic, but it is better to treat them!
Here’s a handy guide to the 5 most common foot problems and how to treat them…
No, you don’t need to be a dedicated runner to get it. Athlete’s foot is a fungus infection which causes an inflamed rash on the skin. If that isn’t unpleasant enough, this can lead to peeling, itching, and even burning. To top it all off, athlete’s foot can also cause an, ahem, odour. Not goals.
Can I get rid of athlete's foot?
Yes - you don’t need to be stuck with athlete’s foot forever! An anti-fungal foot cream, gel, or spray should clear up symptoms within two weeks. If symptoms persist after that, you should seek medical advice. To avoid athlete’s foot altogether, remember it thrives in moist environments. Make sure you dry your feet properly and keep your socks clean!
Well, there’s a reason your feet decide to dry up like the Sahara Desert just when you want to show them off. In the summer, we wear sandals and flip flops. No longer safe in your shoe, your heels are exposed to the harsh reality of the real world. This dries your skin up, which is problematic for the skin on your heel which is designed to be supple to support your movements. If stripped of moisture, your skin is going to crack under the pressure. If left untreated, cracked heels can get nasty infections. Yikes.
How do I smooth over cracked heels?
To avoid cracked heels altogether, make sure you moisturise your feet regularly. In the summer months, up your moisturising routine to twice-a-day if you wear sandals. If it’s too late, opt for a super nourishing foot cream and apply twice daily. If your heels are in need serious SOS treatment, opt for nourishing foot masks to repair and heal them. If your heels become infected or unbearable, seek professional help.
Verrucas are small, flat bumps that can be found on the soles of your feet. If you have trouble identifying them, it’s good to remember they usually have a visible blood vessel (giving them a dark circle in the centre). We do recommend you treat them otherwise you can spread the virus to other areas of your body, or even to others. No one wants that.
How do I banish verrucas?
Verrucas thrive in damp conditions. Those people you see wearing plastic bags on their feet at the pool? It's not for the love of quirky fashion - they don’t want veruccas. So, to avoid getting them, you could always wear said plastic bags (if that’s your thing). However, if you’ve already got one, salicylic acid is your secret weapon. It works by gently removing all layers of infected skin. Simply find an anti-verruca gel or plaster containing salicylic acid, and you’ll be verruca-free in no time.
Toenail fungus occurs when funghi gets under the nail and begins to grow. While pretty harmless at first (if you don’t mind discoloured nails ruining your pedi), eventually your nail with grow thicker until it starts crumbling. Ouch.
How to get rid of it?
Surprise, surprise, fungus also thrives in humid conditions. Avoid the risk of infection by always wearing clean socks and not going swimming when you have broken skin. If you’re trying to get rid of nail fungus, there are lots of treatments available. Using a lacquer, cream, or gel, apply treatment directly onto the infected nail. This will not only banish the infection, but prevent it coming back. If it is unmanageable, seek medical advice.
Bunions are caused by a crooked joint in the toe. While often hereditary, they can be worsened, or even formed by your footwear. If you constantly force your feet into shoes that are too narrow and pointy, you may end up with painful bunions.
How do I treat them?
If you have a super painful, persistent bunion, we have bad news for you. A lot of bunions require surgery. However, if yours isn’t under-the-knife level bad, treatment is pretty simple. Invest in pads and sleeves which are designed to cushion the bunion, preventing it from further irritation (and you from a lot of pain). Good fitting shoes are also a necessity – stop forcing your feet into shoes that are too small!