Foot problems feature heavily on the Embarrassing Bodies website and lots of you are asking about bunions. Some of you want to know is it true that high heels gives you bunions. Actually, your greatest risk of developing bunions is in your genetics. But if you inherit a foot that is more likely to develop a bunion, squeezing that foot into a pointed shoe will increase your risk.
Lots of you are asking how to prevent bunions. We know that if you have a genetic pre-disposition to bunions then spending too much time in high, narrow shoes will make things worse. I like my heels and I’m not going to tell you never to wear them but it is important that you spend as much time as possible either barefoot or in lower heels and wherever possible opt for soft leather which will be more comfortable for your foot.
Several of you are asking about how you should manage the pain of a bunion at the end of the day. Well, the important thing is to make sure that you stick to well fitted shoes. You can also buy gel pads to help protect the bunion and if you’re still struggling speak to your pharmacist about anti inflammatory drugs to help reduce the pain.
There’s quite a debate on the Embarrassing Bodies website between people who have been offered bunion surgery and are unsure whether or not to go for it. There are actually several different operations to treat bunions, but all of them are a bigger ordeal than most people realise and you can expect to take at least 12 weeks to recover before your back in normal shoes. And for some people the stiffness that follows surgery means they never actually get back into their high heels.
Athlete’s foot is clearly a very common problem if the Embarrassing Bodies website is anything to go by. Lots of you asking what causes it and what you can do to prevent it. Athlete’s foot is caused by a fungal infection of the skin of the feet and the fungi love warm, damp environments so if you spend your life in hot sweaty trainers, you’re a sitting duck. It’s important that you spend as much time as you can with your feet out in the fresh air, wash your feet every day and dry carefully between the toes. Change your socks every day and wherever possible stick to cotton socks and if you can afford it invest in a second pair of trainers, so at the end of the day you can fill your trainers with news paper and put them in your airing cupboard or on the boiler to dry out. It can take 48 hours for damp trainers to dry out properly.
Several questions here about sprays, creams and powders. Most of these contain an antifungal and are available over the counter from your chemist so have a word with your pharmacist and they’ll be able to help you find the best preparation for you. Some of you have experimented with your own remedies for athlete’s foot and here’s one I like. A chap who’s been suffering for 10 years and has made his own treatment up. It’s a mixture of corn starch, baking powder, tea tree oil and lavender oil. It seems to have worked for him.
Smelly feet are right up there when it comes to embarrassing problems. Many of you are asking how you can manage your smelly feet. Well, interestingly, fresh sweat doesn’t smell. It only begins to smell when the bugs that live naturally on our skins start to break the sweat down. And if you suffer with smelly feet you might be tempted to wash your feet more regularly. Most soaps are actually quite alkaline and they can create an environment for those sweat eating bugs to multiply. So if you’re a sufferer try using a PH balanced soap.
And quite a few questions about corns, people wanting to know what causes them and what you can do to treat them. Corns are actually several layers of hardened skin and they’re almost always a reflection of badly fitting shoes. If you’ve developed a corn have a chat with your chemist where you can buy plasters containing something called salicylic acid. Left in place for a few days, these soften skin and treat the corn.
Doctor Responses: Foot Problems
In this short video, Dr Dawn takes time to answer some of the most popular questions Embarrassing Bodies viewers have asked about feet.
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