Common foot problems include itchy feet, smelly feet, athlete’s foot, warts, calluses and cracked heels. Several of the listed conditions are caused by a fungal infection which is spread in communal environments, for instance, swimming pool, showers, changing rooms or anywhere that you walk around barefoot. Smelly feet condition comes from excessive sweating and others are caused by pressure points on the feet which might’ve been due to unfit shoes.
Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection of the skin and can cause itchy feet, cracks, blisters, peeling, redness and scaling. This condition usually starts between 4th and 5th toe or around dry, flaky skin around the heel. If left untreated, it can spread along all the toes and to the soles of the feet.
With good hygiene and antifungal products.
Dry your skin thoroughly after showering, use tissues if possible. If using a towel, make sure you don’t use it on any other part of your body. Avoid wearing shoes and socks at home, keep your feet cool and dry. Use antifungal products. Apply the cream everyday after washing and drying your feet and do this for 1-2 weeks after the infection has cleared to prevent it from recurring. Make sure to see your doctor if the itchy feet condition is still there after a couple of weeks.
Smelly feet are common and usually caused by excess sweat and bacteria. The bacteria is what causes the odour. Luckily, smelly feet are easy to treat.
Wash and scrub brush your feet daily with a mild soap. Dry your feet afterwards, make sure to pay attention between the toes, where any wetness can cause the bacteria to grow. Use foot file to remove dead skin. Don’t wear the same pair of shoes everyday. That allows for the shoes to dry out from sweat and moisture completely. Remove the insoles to speed up the process. Avoid shoes that are tight and unbreathable. Apply antifungal foot spray on your feet daily. With daily attention, you should be able to eliminate foot odour within a week.
Some areas of skin on feet thicken and form corns and calluses. It’s a response to the friction of skin rubbing against a bone, shoe or the ground. Corns are smaller than calluses and occur on parts of your foot that carries no weight, such as the tops of your toes. They have a hard centre and can be excruciating. Calluses are less painful and are found on the soles of your feet, such as heels.
Wear well-fitting shoes and go see a podiatrist. Do not attempt to cut the calluses out yourself.
Cracked heels, also known as fissures, are a very common in a dry season, such as summer when people wear sandals or go barefoot and that can dry out the skin. This condition can lead to more serious problems if left untreated.
Moisturise your heels twice a day and before going to bed, soak your feet for about ten minutes in warm water and pat try. Use foot scrubber to remove dead skin and apply a heavier cream or jelly like Vaseline. To protect your sheets, slip on a pair of breathable cotton socks.
Most of these conditions can be prevented by a good hygiene routine. Home treatments are usually very effective but if the condition lingers, your doctor may prescribe your stronger treatments.