If you’re inclined to overlook tender toenails or dried skin on your feet, think again. Neglecting your feet – the most used but often abused part of your body – can lead to chronic problems that can keep you out of action for weeks. While you should always see your doctor for any serious foot foibles, there are some simple steps you can take to keep your feet fit, and the rest of your body healthy.
With more than 250,000 sweat glands on your feet, it’s little wonder things can get a bit rich down there, right? Sweating is the body’s natural way of controlling your foot temperature, but it’s also the perfect environment for bacteria to grow, which is what causes the pong.
The fix: Try wearing natural cotton socks and shoes made from breathable material to reduce the chance of sweat. If symptoms persist, a deodorant like Scholl Fresh Step Anti-Perspirant Foot Spray can work to neutralise odour.
If your shoes are ill-fitting or cause excessive pressure and friction, corns can develop. Hard corns are thickened areas of skin that usually develop on the tops, tips and sides of your toes, causing painful pressure on nerve endings.
The fix: Medicated treatments usually rely on an ingredient called salicylic acid which dissolves a protein present in the corn itself, and in the hard layer of skin that covers it. Try an adhesive pad version, such as Scholl Corn Removal Pads for hard corns. Never attempt to cut a corn yourself as you risk infection. If home treatment isn’t making progress, see a podiatrist. Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist see your healthcare professional.
One of the most common nail nasties is an ingrown toenail. These occur when the sides of the nails start growing into the flesh of the foot. It is as painful as it sounds!
The fix: Avoid ingrown nails by keeping nails square instead of rounded: use toe clippers for a straight edge, rather than the curved blades of the scissors you use to trim your finger nails.
Looking after the skin on your feet is worth the effort. As well as being unsightly, hardened patches of skin can become painful if you ignore them.
The fix: Keep skin soft and supple by moisturising regularly. An ordinary body cream will do, but if you’re prone to dryness, invest in a super-rich cream such as Scholl Dry Skin Instant Recovery Cream. If you have developed thick, hard and even yellowed skin patches, look for products like Scholl Hard Skin Softening Cream that contain salicylic acid, an agent that works to soften the cells of toughened skin.
Also known as athlete’s foot, tinea usually starts with an itch between one toe, before spreading quickly to the rest of your toes, leaving a trail of inflamed, flaking and cracked skin in its wake. This highly contagious fungal infection can be passed from person to person when tiny flakes of infected skin fall off, so be wary of communal showers or sharing towels with someone who has athlete’s foot.
The fix: Antifungal products are an effective treatment for athlete’s foot. There are many products on the market including Scholl Tinea Liquid Spray, Scholl Tinea Powder Spray and Eulactol Antifungal Spray. Good foot hygiene can stop tinea from recurring. Wash your feet every day and be particular about drying them, particularly the skin between your toes, before pulling on your socks. In communal showers and change rooms with wet floors, wear sandals or thongs. Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist see your healthcare professional.
Plantar warts that develop on your feet are called verrucas. Like warts elsewhere on the body, veruccas are usually skin-coloured and can look a little rough with hard skin around the edges. If they’re on the sole of your foot, they can appear softer and flat, with small black spots inside. Veruccas here can be painful because of the pressure put on them by the weight of your body.
The fix: If the verucca isn’t causing pain, you can adopt a wait-and-see approach. Like all warts, they will eventually go away on their own, although it may take anywhere from two months to two years for that to happen. You can opt to treat the verucca at home with a product containing salicylic acid, such as Scholl Wart Removal System. Alternatively, you can have the verucca burnt off with liquid nitrogen by your GP. Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist see your healthcare professional.
LIVE WELL RECOMMENDS
Scholl Fresh Step Anti-Perspirant Foot Spray
Specially developed Tri-Action formula which neutralises odour, reduces wetness and provides 24 hour protection against odour.
Scholl Corn Removal Pads
Suitable for sensitive skin, Scholl Corn Removal Pads are developed for use on hard corns. They contain fast-acting medicated discs which ensure that only the specific problem area is treated, without affecting the surrounding skin. The super soft pads provide cushioning and protection for immediate relief. Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist see your healthcare professional.
Eulactol Antifungal Spray
Provides effective antifungal treatment for athlete's foot. Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist see your healthcare professional.
Scholl Tinea Powder Spray and Scholl Tinea Liquid Spray
Scholl Tinea Powder Spray and Liquid Spray aid in the drying of moist areas and relieves the burning, itching, stinging and soreness of athlete's foot within 24 hours. Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist see your healthcare professional.
Scholl Hard Skin Softening Cream
With salicylic acid to help soften stubborn areas of hard skin, Scholl Hard Skin Softening Cream is specially designed for larger problem areas such as under the heel and ball of the foot.
Scholl Dry Skin Instant Recovery Cream
Scholl Dry Skin Instant Recovery Cream is formulated to exfoliate dead, dry skin cells, allowing special moisture boosters to penetrate deep into the upper layers of the skin. The result is softer, smoother skin.
Scholl Wart Removal System
Specially developed for use on verrucas, Scholl Wart Removal System contains salicylic acid which breaks down hardened skin and ensure that only the specific area is treated, without affecting the surrounding skin. Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist see your healthcare professional.