Changing from winter shoes to summer footwear can cause concern for many people. Questions on your mind may include
- Are my nails healthy?
- How do I get rid of this hard skin on my heels?
- Do I have tinea?
- Are these shoes right for me?
- My feet are sore, is something wrong?
Having kept your feet hidden away all winter may mean you are in for a few surprises with your feet! Many people visit me after the hibernating in the winter then realizing their nails have changed! What can commonly be seen is tinea in skin or nails. Tinea is a fungal infection often seen in between the toes or soles of the feet. It can be look red, with peeling skin and can be very itchy. The infection in some cases finds it’s way under the nail bed and affects the look and integrity of the nail, it may appear yellow or thickened.
The earlier these issues are found, the earlier treatment can begin resulting in a higher success rate.
Treatments for these conditions include powders, creams and lacquers typically found in chemists, however, oral medications and more advanced therapies such as lasers can be used when appropriate. A professional opinion and management can help guide you on the right treatment plan for you!
Footwear in summertime is typically something all podiatrists need to wrestle with when finding something functionally appropriate but passes the fashion test for each patient.
The reality is when moving to an open-toed or more “summer appropriate” shoe that you often compromise on the characteristics that make a good and support shoe.
Keep in mind features such as a heel counter, ideally a firm one (the backing of the shoe where your heel/achilles sits). A stiff midsole, too much flexibility and torsion through the shoe means you have very little support. Some kind of fixation like laces, a buckle or a strap can hold the foot in the shoe. Without fixation the foot will often claw for balance and gripping, leading to hammertoe or other clawing deformities in the digits.
Arch support is a widely known feature of better shoes and luckily there is a variety of open toed shoes/sandals and thongs that provide some form of arch support.
The skilled and experienced Podiatrists at Pursue Health treat everything foot related. A thorough assessment of your feet will ensure you are ready for summer activities. Professional consultation includes a complimentary footwear assessment.
Written by Podiatrist Riley Irving.