To understand the evolution of our feet, it helps to look at footwear trends – particularly when it relates to women.
Back in the days when humans wore flat sandals, animal skins or went barefoot, our feet were happy and strong.
In the 16th century though, the 14 year-old Queen of France Catherine de Medici introduced what has become a staple fashion item ever since: the high heel.
To this day, women all around the world are willing to endure pain and disfigurement all in the name of looking good, which means that many of us have fallen victim to some of the common foot ailments we experience today like corns, bunions, callouses, ingrown toenails and fallen arches.
When you consider that the pressure on the ball of your foot when wearing three-inch heels is 100% more than when wearing flats, it’s not hard to see that our feet may need a bit TLC than we currently give them.
It’s not all evolution though - some of our foot problems come down to environment too. Australian pharmacist Nick Logan knows all too well about the state of Australian feet and says that the most common problem he sees is cracked heel.
“About 30% of adults in Australia have had a cracked heel in the last month and it’s purely dehydration”, says Nick. “When you wear heeled shoes or bare feet or you’re in a dry environment, the callous on the back of your heel loses hydration and you get splits there”.
So what can we do to keep our feet in good health? Here are some tips for troubled toes.
- Moisturise and exfoliate your feet daily to soften painful affected areas
- Hard, creamy coloured skin can be removed over time using pedicure rollers
- Exfoliate with a corn pen which releases a urea based liquid that gets absorbed into the top layer and softens it
- Blister shields protect from friction and rubbing, keeping the blister moisturised and flexible
- Remember that most foot problems are the result of badly fitting footwear, so get some advice on proper-fitting shoes to avoid problems in the first place
- If you just can’t give up those heels (which face it, we don’t want to) consider using cushioning pads in your heels to ease that burning, sensation of pressure