Foot Conditions

  • Our Best Foot Care Range for Hard Skin

    Foot Care Products With summer nearly here, people are seeking foot care tips and products to eradicate hard skin on their feet to get ready for those flip-flops and sandals. Areas of thick, hardened skin are known as calluses and are usually found over a bony area of your foot, on your heel or around the ball of your foot. A callus can be mild and annoying, or it can be severe and painful.

    Here are some great foot care items that can help you to effectively deal with hard skin problems on your feet.

    Foot care products - creams

    The Akileine Blue Softening Lotion is a blend of calendula, vitamin E and essential fatty acids, which work together to hydrate and smooth the skin. The result is silky, velvety feet from the very first application.

    Another great cream is Simply Feet Heel Balm, which is the skins natural moisturiser, in a rich emollient base and is free from paraben and perfume with excellent consistency. Patients will find Simply Feet Heel Balm easy to apply.

    Files

    The Akileine pumice stone is a quick and convenient way of rubbing away dead or dry skin on your feet. It is easy to clean, and the pumice stone is a relaxing way to get rid of unwanted hard skin. 

    Insoles

    The DualGel Easy Step Insole with Soft Relief Areas not only helps combat hard skin, but it also provides extra shock absorption under the heel and arch of the foot. The insole absorbs maximum pressure and shock on heel strike.

    Hard skin doesn’t just look unsightly; it can lead to painful foot conditions. The Soft Spot Gel Heel Cup can relieve the symptoms associated with bursitis, plantar fasciitis, and Achilles tendonitis. In addition, it can be used for shock absorption, general heel pain, and treating heel fissures. The gel heel cup absorbs all impacts at heel strike. The product is hardwearing and can be transferred between footwear. In addition, it will not become warmer than your body temperature.

    Another choice of insole is the Luga Silicone 3/4 Soft Impact Insoles. This innovative insole design provides instant relief to tired feet with its constant micro-massage effect upon heavy loaded areas, namely calcaneous and met heads.

    Foot Care Advice

    There are so many different foot care products available that it can be hard to know which one is the right item for you and your individual needs. That is why we can offer you expert advice to help you choose the best product for you. Call 0845 370 0380 now and we will do our very best to help you and put your feet first.

  • What’s the best treatment for cracked heels?

    When the skin on the heels becomes too dry, it might split and cause heels to crack. This common foot problem can be unsightly to say the least, and may also be irritating, painful and attract infection. Cracked heels are the product of many factors and here we explain how best to treat the problem and how best to avoid them in the first place.

    What’s the best treatment for cracked heels?

     

    What causes cracked skin on the heels?

    More often than not, heels crack because the skin has built up and calluses have formed on the heel of the foot. This skin is no longer living and does not stay moisturised by the body; therefore, it becomes dry skin.

    This dry and callused skin will crack when placed under pressure, either by our body weight from standing and walking normally or from wearing heels and inappropriate footwear.

     

    Healing Cracked Skin

    The process of helping your feet to recover from cracked heels occurs over several stages. Firstly, you will need to soothe the damaged skin and cure any infections. Using a recommended foot soak and intensive foot balm could be the first stage.

    If athlete's foot has taken hold, treat this before trying to cure the cracked heel skin. If you suspect other infections in the area, visit your doctor or podiatrist in case a course of antibiotics is needed. Likewise, when skin is severely cracked, the skin may need to be sealed with podiatrist glue to allow moisture levels to return to normal.

    Once the skin is relatively healthy and free from infection, moisturising should be a twice-daily activity. Keeping the skin moist will help to keep it flexible, which will prevent more cracks forming. During this time, you should also avoid wearing shoes without socks, including heels and flip flops. Exposed skin dries out more quickly and can result in more cracking.

     

    Work on built-up skin

    As the level of cracking reduces, you can begin a regime to remove and prevent the buildup of skin. One of the main reasons heels crack is because callused skin creates a fixed barrier. When skin and muscle inside the callus increases, this causes the external callus to split when we stand up or walk.

    Use either a exfoliator, such as a foot pumice or file to soften the callus. With built-up skin, regularity and diligence are essential. Aim to treat the area every three days.

     

    How to prevent heels cracking

    Dry skin is the product of a lack of moisture. This can be helped by drinking plenty of fluids and by applying a good-quality foot cream like Pedisalve or petroleum jelly every night before bed.

    Avoid harsh soaps and deodorants and - when possible - avoid bathing every day, as this interferes with the natural moisture environment of the foot. You could also try an occasional oatmeal soak, as this will soothe and help the skin heal.

    As mentioned above, footwear plays a big part in preventing cracked skin. Once your heel problem is in hand, there is nothing to stop you occasionally wearing heels; after all, you will want to show off your beautiful, soft feet. Which style will you be wearing?

  • How to Treat Verrucas

    Verruca's are warts that develop on the soles of the feet. They are also referred to as plantar warts. Pressure from standing and walking pushes the wart into the skin and can cause pain. As with all warts, they are harmless and do not always require treatment, but it can be too painful to wait for them to go away on their own.

    How to Treat Verrucas with Verruca Socks

     

    Symptoms

    Verrucae are normally found on the ball of foot and range in size from 1mm to over 1cm. There are some strains which spread very quickly and cause cluster warts. They usually grow deep into the skin, appearing as a small cauliflower-type growth, often with tiny black dots on the surface.

    Verrucae are caused by HPV (Human Papilloma Virus), which is highly contagious through person-to-person contact. The virus enters the body through tiny cuts or scrapes on the skin, and it can take weeks or even months for a verruca to appear after infection. Verrucae are more common in children, as most people build immunity to the virus.

     

    Verruca Socks

    Prevention is far better than cure where verrucae are concerned. The virus thrives in moist, damp environments such as swimming pools and communal showers. Verruca socks are ideal for protecting children’s feet and are an absolute must if you do have a verruca in order to avoid passing on the virus.

    Keeping feet healthy can minimise the number of tiny cuts and abrasions and prevent HPV penetration. Keep feet dry, dry thoroughly after washing and change socks daily. If your feet are prone to dryness or have a build-up of hard skin, moisturise them.

     

    Verruca Treatment

    As the verruca is contagious, avoid touching or scratching to prevent a cluster of warts. We recommend using a topical ointment such as Spirularin Verruca VS and if no improvement is seen we would recommend visiting your local HCPC registered podiatrist.

    If you have diabetes, poor circulation, are pregnant or have any other condition affecting your feet or immune system, you should not treat verrucae yourself.

    Ointments, gels and medicated plasters are options, and instructions should be followed carefully as they can be painful or have side effects. If the treatment is not working, causes additional pain or the skin around the verruca goes red, stop the treatment and see a podiatrist.

    Do not, under any circumstances, attempt to cut the verruca out. Verrucae contain a large amount of vascular tissue, meaning that there will be lots of bleeding and you risk injuring yourself and making the verruca harder to treat properly.

     

    Podiatrist Treatment

    A podiatrist or chiropodist will assess your foot health in relation to your general well-being before deciding on a treatment plan. They may prescribe stronger acid-based treatments or cryotherapy, which uses liquid nitrogen or nitrous oxide gas to freeze the verruca. Surgery, or in rare cases laser surgery, can also be an option.

    Shop the full range of verruca treatments at Simply Feet now.

  • Arch-Building Exercises for Flat Feet

    Flat feet are very common and are not usually painful. All children have flat feet at birth, with the arch normally developing in childhood. When this fails to happen, the longitudinal arch is flattened out or lowered, resulting in the condition known medically as pes planus.

    Arch-Building Exercises for Flat Feet

    This can affect one or both feet and can be flexible or inflexible, with this distinction normally confirmed by x-ray. Some improvement can be gained by the use of insoles for flat feet or by other aids, such as arch supports. Some of the best exercises for flat feet are described below.

     

    Arch Exercises

    The small muscles in the foot tend to become weaker over time, as we no longer use them for skipping or jumping in the same way as children. The Pediroller can help to strengthen these muscles and is simple to do.

    The PediRoller provides immediate relief for heel and arch pain. Excessive use of the plantar fascia can cause it to become inflamed and painful. The key is to stretch the plantar fascia, reduce pain and increase flexibility. The PediRoller is designed to massage tired feet, stimulating circulation and reducing tension.

     

    Stair Raises

    Another simple way to strengthen your arches is to carry out toe raises. Stand on the bottom step of the stairs with just the ball of your foot on the step and the rear of the foot overhanging. If you do not have stairs, you could use a board or a step that is three or four inches high.

    Starting in a neutral position, raise yourself up on tiptoes and then lower until your feet are level again. Do not lower your heels below the level of the step unless you need to incorporate calf exercises. You should aim to do ten raises in each session.

    Repeat this exercise three times each day to improve the strength in your arches. The exercise should be quite easy and not at all painful.

     

    Improving Flexibility

    Following the other exercises, it is a good idea to stretch your foot. You can do this easily by grabbing your toes with your hand and pulling them backwards and upwards.

    An alternative way to stretch and improve flexibility is by can rolling. This is also very relaxing and can help if your arches are sore.

    Lay a small can on its side on the floor in front of the chair you are sitting in. Place the arch of your foot over the can and roll it away from you and back again. Pressing down moderately, roll the can right along your foot from the ball to the heel.

     

    Insoles for Flat Feet

    There is a wide range of products available for problems with your arches; for example, arch wrap has been shown to be beneficial for inflammation.

    Arch pads and arch cushions can improve everyday comfort. There are many different aids to choose from, such as lightweight carbon arch supports. For further information and to research an extensive range of footwear, insoles and other aids to help with your foot condition, check out the products available at Simply Feet.

  • Do Bunion Correctors Really Work?

    Bunions affect around 15 million people in the UK, and over 85 percent of sufferers are women who are aged over 45. Bunions can be very uncomfortable - the medical name of hallux valgus refers to the Latin description of a big toe that is bent outwards.

    You will instantly recognise a bunion, as it is a red and swollen bony lump that is situated at the bottom of the big toe. They are very often the result of years of wearing poorly fitting shoes, high heels and non-supportive cramped footwear which damages the foot's natural alignment.

    However, a large proportion of people also get them for genetic reasons, often from a young age. Women tend to be more susceptible because of hormones that soften their tissue.

     

    What are Bunions?

    This occurs because our feet have five long metatarsal bones between the toe and heel bones. The big toe should sit in line with the metatarsal, the second should line up with the second metatarsal, and so forth.

    However, when people wear high heels that rub and are too tight, the big toe especially can begin to angle in and point towards the middle of the foot itself. This pushes the first metatarsal out of place, and it pushes out of the foot's side, causing the bunion.

    The Problems

    The danger of leaving a bunion untreated is that arthritis can occur in the joint. As well as being unsightly, bunions are very painful and make it difficult to wear shoes comfortably.

    Bunion Treatments

    There is talk of a new 'two-minute' operation which is very minimally invasive and requires just a single stitch, but experts recommend caution. The only surgery which seems to work permanently involves filing down the protruding bone and inserting small screws to keep it in place.

    However, there are also products which you can buy from Simply Feet that work to ease the pain and discomfort. These include orthotics designed for bunions, foot pads and supportive orthopaedic shoes.

    Although these won't solve the underlying issue, they can greatly ease and manage it to avoid further deterioration of the condition. It is important that you don't continue to wear poorly fitting shoes and heels with a bunion or the problem will get worse. Ice packs and painkillers also help with pain when it flares up.

    Our advisers can also help you to select the right products and solutions for your foot conditions and help you to enjoy comfortable daily use without pain and discomfort.

    Shop the full range of Bunion treatments online at Simply Feet.

  • What Are the Best Shoes for Arthritis?

    If you have arthritis, you'll already know that comfort is your primary priority when it comes to picking suitable footwear from a number of high-quality podiatry brands, such as Arcopedico Lytech footwear and Dr Comfort shoes.

    The good news is that shoes designed for arthritic feet are also increasingly stylish and attractive to look at, as well as supportive and comfortable - something of interest to those interested in fashion and looking good.

    Features to Look For

    So what should you be looking for in your new footwear? Make sure they fit properly and have adequate space around the toe and ball. Wide shoes can be very useful for arthritis sufferers, especially if your feet experience pain or are mis-shaped in any way. Remember that if you wear shoes that don't really fit, as well as pinching high heels, you can end up with painful and potentially disfiguring foot conditions such as hammer toes or bunions.

    Signs of a Great Orthopaedic Shoe

    How will you know if you have chosen a good piece of footwear? If you don't really notice your shoes or feet, that is generally a good thing. Shoes should leave your feet dry, comfortable and warm and protect them against injury. Look for leather uppers, which help your feet to breathe, and choose flexible soles unless you have been advised to go for a rigid sole by your podiatrist or doctor. You will find seam-free, smooth joints the most comfortable.

    Useful Tips

    Be mindful of shoe fit if you wear orthotics or special insoles, as you will need to give them plenty of space, especially around the toes. Consider Velcro straps if you struggle with mobility, and fit your shoes in the afternoon when your feet are at their largest.

    Make sure you wear shoes that are designed for outdoor use as well. Slippers do tend to feel very comfortable at home, especially if you have prominent joints or hammer toes, but you will find that the soles do not offer adequate support. You need well-cushioned shoes for outdoor wear.

    Get Specialist Help

    If you have advanced arthritis or are keen to manage our symptoms as effectively as possible, contact a specialist such as Simply Feet for the best range of specially designed and attractive orthopaedic footwear. It's also well worth having your feet measured.

    Suitable Styles

    Try the Arcopedico Lytech L21 shoes in black for a great all-round shoe in a stylish finish. It will adjust to your foot. The Dr Comfort Annie Extra Depth shoes in black are great for extra cushioning and a finish that looks like a pair of trainers. For a great all-round and everyday shoe, the Dr Comfort Lindsey shoe in beige is a flexible choice.

    So if you are asking yourself what are the best shoes for arthritis, head to Simply Feet for a great range of shoes for arthritis.

  • Why are my feet swollen?

    Swollen feet can be caused by many problems; some may be temporary and easily cured through massage or drinking more fluids. If you are pregnant or suffer from diabetes, the problem may be more serious and needs to be taken more seriously.Simply Feet Why are my feet swollen?

    To notice feet and ankles looking a bit swollen in pregnancy is normal. However, it is worth keeping an eye on your feet to see if the swelling worsens or if you have other symptoms such as headaches, pains in the abdomen, problems with your vision or nausea.

    If the swelling comes on and is accompanied by one or more of the above symptoms, it is possibly a sign of pre-eclampsia, which is serious and you are advised to get in touch with your doctor straight away. Pre-eclampsia usually occurs after 20 weeks or shortly after birth and can cause the flow of blood to be reduced through the placenta. It can make mother and baby ill if it is not treated.

    To avoid or to reduce the pain of swollen feet, it is best to avoid standing for a long time, to wear shoes which feel comfortable, to put your feet up so they are higher than your heart as much as possible and to do foot exercises, such as rotating your foot or bending your foot up and down.

    Simply Feet has a range of shoes and other footwear, socks and compression tights and other hosiery items to ease the pressure on your feet during pregnancy.

    People with diabetes should also be aware of any problems with their ankles or feet swelling up.

    To date, about 3.9 million people have been diagnosed with diabetes in the UK, and that figure is expected to rise considerably. It is caused by having blood sugar levels which are too high and so need to be controlled.

    Early diagnosis is important, and you should consult your doctor if you suddenly feel the need to drink much more water than usual, have to urinate more often, are tired all the time, have lost weight or have blurred vision.

    People with diabetes often complain of swollen feet or legs, which can be caused by poor blood circulation. Any changes to the feet should be taken seriously, as they can quickly become infected or lead to foot ulcers or gangrene.

    You can reduce the risk of swollen feet or legs by taking regular exercise, putting your feet above the level of your heart for about 15 minutes a day, using compression socks or stockings, wearing comfortable shoes, cutting down on the amount of salt in your food and enjoying a foot massage.

    For socks, footwear and foot creams to use, see the range offered by Simply Feet.

    The important thing is to be aware of the risks and to keep an eye out for any changes in your feet, ankles or legs. If changes are noticed or if you are in any doubt, please consult your doctor.

  • Comfortable Flats Shoes with Arch Supports

    If you have been told that you have fallen arches or ‘flat feet’, this simply means that your feet are pressing against the ground because you have low or non-existent arches (the part in the middle of your foot which would normally be raised from the ground).

    During childhood this arched shape may not be visible because the foot has not yet fully developed, but by adulthood it is normally present. If it is not, often because you have inherited flat feet, then you might find that you start to experience some unpleasant symptoms, including pain in the feet and legs or over-pronation (where the feet roll excessively inwards).

    What to do if you are suffering with your feet

    If you are experiencing problems with your feet, a visit to the podiatrist may be in order. They will be able to provide advice about the right treatments for you. It may also be recommended that you start doing some exercises that are designed to stretch the affected muscles and connective tissues in the lower part of your legs to train them to stop rolling over. Your podiatrist may be able to provide you with an exercise regime, or they may suggest that you see a physiotherapist.

    Arch Supports for Flat Feet

    However, in most cases this will not be required, and you will be able to relieve the symptoms with some simple home care products. Because walking regularly on flat or hard surfaces will inevitably put pressure on the arched part of our feet, many people with flat feet find that using specially designed products such as arch supports and cushions that fit inside the shoe has a very positive effect. Arch pain is so often caused by over- or under-pronation, which destabilises the distribution of forces across the foot, causing discomfort. Therefore, adding extra support to this area can be very effective.

    Simply Feet offers an extensive range of high-quality products designed to relieve or prevent arch pain and help keep feet happy and healthy, including specialist insoles for flat shoes that add valuable arch support.

  • Callus Feet Explained

    Calluses are problem areas of thickened yellowish skin on the feet that develop as a result of excessive friction or pressure, which may cause significant discomfort when you are on the move. Callus Feet.

    Callus Feet

    Although similar to corns, calluses are bigger with a less well-defined edge. They develop when skin starts to rub against the ground, your shoes or even one of the many bones in your feet. Other contributory causes include overly dry skin and a reduced level of natural padding. They are often seen on the ball of the foot because this is the part that takes most of our weight when we walk. Wearing ill-fitting shoes or high heels on a regular basis can exacerbate the problem.

    While calluses can be uncomfortable, they are seldom anything to worry about and can be treated simply at home. Look after your feet, and try and choose shoes that will protect them from wear and tear. However, it you are suffering, it might well be worth popping to the GP, who will be able to refer you on if they think it necessary.

    There are some simple steps that you can add into your daily routine that will help to defend your feet against calluses. After having a bath or shower, ensure that you thoroughly dry your feet. You could also apply a moisturising cream for callus (always use one that is specifically recommended for feet).

    Using a foot file or pumice stone is a great way to keep your feet smooth. If you opt for a pumice stone, it’s important to let it dry off completely after you’ve used it to ensure that it remains hygienically clean.

    If you are suffering from calluses, it is important that you choose footwear that fits correctly and that is comfortable all day long. One great tip is that you should always try to shop for new shoes in the afternoon. This is because feet tend to swell as the day goes on. Therefore, if you get your shoes fitted in the afternoon, they should be comfortable all day long.

    There should be enough room to wriggle your toes. One great tip is that you should always try new shoes on in the afternoon - your feet will thank you. Simply Feet stocks a range of specialist products such as padding and foot cushions that help to relieve callus problems.

    Shop the Simply Feet range of callus foot care products today.

  • Why Do My Heels Crack?

    Cracked heels can be an unattractive, painful and embarrassing condition suffered by many people. While having cracked heels may feel like an endless cycle, help is at hand. Most cases can be treated at home and do not require any kind of specialist medication or treatment. Here we explore the question, why do my heels crack?

    Why Do My Heels Crack?

    What Are Cracked Heels?

    With cracked heels, the name says it all. Having cracked heels simply means that the skin on your heels has cracked or split. This can vary in seriousness from a little unsightly extra skin to painful or bleeding cracks, which can sometimes lead to infections of the skin.

     

    The skin of your heels tends to crack if it becomes too thick or if it doesn’t have enough moisture to retain its suppleness and elasticity. These problems can lead to the skin cracking from simple everyday activities such as walking or running, or a change in circumstances like pregnancy or weight gain.

     

    Why Do I Have Cracked Heels?

    Dry feet and cracked heels can occur for a variety of reasons. These may include some of the following:

    • Dry, unmoisturised skin or dehydration.
    • Walking barefoot or wearing open shoes such as sandals or flip-flops.
    • Wearing shoes that don’t offer proper support to your feet or that don’t fit properly.
    • Increased pressure on the heel through standing for long periods of time or weight gain.
    • The weather - dry summers or cold winters might increase susceptibility to dry skin.

     

    What Can I Do About My Cracked Heels?

    At Simply Feet we have a variety of treatments that can help to resolve cracked heels. The best treatment for cracked heels is often to gently reduce the thickness of the skin on your heels and then moisturise to help your heels recover from their cracking. Check out our selection of foot files, moisturising foot creams and moisturising socks for all of the support you need to get your heels back in great shape and feeling smooth.

     

    1. Foot Files

    Foot files and pumice stones are a gentle way to remove dead skin from your feet, reducing the effects of cracked heels and allowing you to moisturise and care for the live skin below.

     

    2. Foot Creams

    Hydrating foot creams work to moisturise and add nourishment to the skin of your feet and heels. Foot creams should be applied after exfoliating your heels with a pumice or file to remove excess skin.

     

    3. Moisturising Socks

    Moisturising gel socks are made with a gel lining which hydrates your skin by releasing nourishing hydrators. Moisturising socks can be worn overnight: simply put them on immediately after applying a foot moisturiser to maximise skin hydration.

     

    When Should I See a Podiatrist?

    Cracked heels are generally a standalone condition which can be treated at home. However, they can sometimes be a symptom of underlying health conditions such as fungal infections, hormone imbalances, vitamin deficiencies or circulation problems. If you have concerns about your health, or if you think that your cracked heels may be the result of an underlying health condition, we recommend that you seek the help of a medical professional.

     

    If you’re suffering from cracked heels, don’t suffer in silence. Seek help.

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