Get your tootsies summer-ready: 9 tips for neat feet

1. Keep your toenails neatly trimmed by cutting straight across your nails, before gently filing any rough edges but don’t cut them too short or down the sides, as this increases the risk of developing a painful ingrowing nail. If you wear nail varnish, it’s a good idea to have a break for a few days a month to allow the nails to breathe.

2. Wash and thoroughly dry your feet every day and let them get some air but if you have to wear socks, remember to change them every day and choose ones made from a natural fibre like cotton, to keep your feet dry and smelling fresh.

3. Flip flops and flat summer sandals lack arch support and cushioning. Instead, try sandals with inbuilt arch support, to reduce the chance of suffering with pain in your heels or arches.

4. Sweaty smelly feet can be a source of embarrassment, wash your feet every morning and evening using an antibacterial soap, followed by a foot powder or antiperspirant to banish the odour. This may not work if you have a medical condition called hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating). Consider seeing your GP if the simple measures above don’t help to reduce your foot odour, or if you are worried that your level of sweating is unusually high.

5. Sweaty feet combined with wearing the same shoes everyday can cause smelly feet, so alternate the shoes you wear to give them a chance to dry out.

6. Summer heat and humidity can cause feet to swell, so try soaking them in cold or chilled water for fifteen minutes to help reduce the swelling, remembering to dry thoroughly afterwards. You should also remember to drink plenty of water, keep active and elevate your feet when relaxing.

7. Don’t forget your feet are just as likely to get sunburnt as the rest of your body, so apply a protective sunscreen whenever they are exposed to the sun and don’t forget to reapply after you’ve been in the water.

8. Don’t walk around public swimming pools or communal shower and changing facilities barefoot, wear flip-flops to protect your tootsies from infections like athletes foot and verrucae and remember, even the most luxurious hotels harbour the bacteria and viruses that cause foot infections.

9. Whilst it’s great to feel the air on your feet, strappy summer shoes and flimsy flip flops can rub and cause blisters. If you get a blister don’t be tempted to pop it, instead cover it with a plaster and if it bursts apply some antiseptic.

If your feet are causing you a problem don’t despair, book a consultation with Lynne or Poppy at the C3 podiatry clinic in the heart of Rhiwbina for friendly professional advice and treatment.