We can often overlook our feet or ignore their niggles and pains. National Feet Week (7th-13th March), takes place every year, to remind us to prioritise foot care and check our feet as part of a regular health routine.
Why is foot health important?
Looking after our feet and attending to common foot problems, (such as – corns, calluses, bunions and ingrown toenails), can help to prevent pain or infection, problems with balance, and even risk of falling. Foot care can have a positive impact on our general day to day comfort, especially for the eldery or during pregnancy. And for local walkers or daily runners!
Feet can also expose serious underlying health conditions, such as diabetes, which is why it’s important to know how we can take care of our feet.
How to practise foot care?
Caring for and checking your feet regularly, does not need to be complicated or laboured.
Foot care can include:
- Keeping them clean and dry – especially between your toes
- Cutting and filing your toe nails
- Checking them regularly for cuts or sores, redness, swelling or bruising
- Applying moisturiser (avoiding between your toes) if your skin is dry, to prevent it from cracking and improve its texture
- Filing dry or hard skin using a foot file or pumice stone
Get to know your feet well and know what’s normal. Try to make foot care part of a regular health routine, and always make sure you are wearing appropriate footwear for the activity you are doing.
Where can I get help and support for foot health in Bridgend?
Common foot complaints can usually be solved by a simple visit to your local pharmacy, with some friendly advice. However, any serious foot pain or abnormalities could need treatment and expert advice from a podiatrist. Podiatrists are healthcare professionals who have been trained to diagnose and treat abnormal conditions of the feet and lower limbs. They can also prevent or correct deformity, keep you mobile and active, relieve pain and treat infections. Even more so, they can give you individual advice on how to look after your feet and what type of shoes to wear. Find your local registered podiatrist in Bridgend here.
A podiatrist can carry out home visits, which is beneficial for groups or individuals struggling with mobility, such as the elderly. However, not all podiatry services provide social nail care. Age Connect Morgannwg provides a nail cutting service across Rhondda Taff Ely, Merthyr, Cynon and Bridgend areas, for the elderly or those struggling with mobility.
Foot related complications are common for those with diabetes. If you have diabetes, you should have your feet screened as part of your annual diabetes review, however, you can learn more about help and support with diabetes foot care through Diabetes UK.
You may also need support with foot health during pregnancy. Swelling in the feet can be normal during pregnancy, NHS 111 Wales have some helpful exercises and information on how you can reduce swelling, on their pregnancy support page.
Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board put this video together in 2020, as a short guide on how to cut your own toenails. There are some helpful tips and words of advice throughout: