Summer tips

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Summer is here, and it looks good; it’s only June. We hopefully have at least another three months of this.


I have a scattergun of thoughts for you this month, mostly feet related, but some are just health notices, so stick with me.


1-   Nail polish, this needs to be removed before your podiatry appointment, please. The colours I see are lovely, but I need to see the health of your nail underneath. Your nail can tell me a lot about the overall wellness of your foot and general health.

Gillian Gibson, Podiatrist in Langport, Somerset

2-   Gardeners, firstly, wear shoes when you are gardening! (You’ll need to imagine this, but I’m giving you my stern stare!). Protect your feet from the sticks, stones and spades. Also, you may not have considered this before; if you spray chemicals and fertilisers in the garden, wash your hands and legs afterwards. The wind will be moving the spray around, and it will land on your skin. I have seen several patients recently with reactions on their skin, probably caused by this.

3-   Sun cream wasn’t a big thing when we were small (in the 60’s, wink), but we didn’t have the science then. I know most of you hate the stuff, but it is vital to use sun cream. Head to toe, please. Don’t forget your feet. The Aussie rules of skin cancer protection are- Slip, slip on some clothes; slop, slop on some sun cream; slap, slap on a hat; slide, slide on some good sunglasses and shade; sit in the shade whenever you can.

4-   Diabetes? Check your feet daily. Your feet will swell in the hot weather, and this may distract you from feeling if you have grit in your shoes wearing away at your skin. Please look after your feet. The last statistic I read was that there are 176 leg, foot or toe amputations in the UK carried out every week for people with diabetes.

5-   Blisters. Changing from winter shoes to summer sandals is a stress on your feet. You’re likely to get a few blisters while they get used to the different wear areas. To prevent the chances of blisters, clean and moisturise your feet daily. If you do get a blister, try not to pop it. If it does pop, use a sterile plaster to prevent it from turning into a more serious infected blister.

6-   Foot pain. Talking about summer shoes, they usually have less cushioning and support for your feet and are much flatter than our winter shoes. The sudden change to flat shoes will flare up your heel pain and plantar fasciitis. Galileo isn’t complaining; he loves being busy and treating Langport’s foot pain. There are more and more footwear brands backed by podiatrists with arch support and good cushioning. Look out for those.

7-   Toenails. Are your toenails in a respectable state to be seen? Then, it’s time to trim them. Use some nippers; work from the middle of the nail, are nip out to the edge. If you can’t reach your toes or are worried about doing this, let me know, and I can recommend someone to help you.

8-   Stay hydrated. 2 litres a day, more if it is hot, is essential for your overall health.

9-   And relax; pop your feet up when you can. It helps with your circulation and reduces swelling.


This list is not exhaustive; I have other blogs about foot exercises to help you if you are standing all day and have painful feet. Take a read of those, and if you would like me to assess, treat and advise on any foot-related problem, contact me.