For many of us, summer is all about bare feet, thongs, beaches and putting your feet up with a barbie and cold one. Looking after our skin and nails becomes a lower priority – and most of the time our regular summer shoes (that typically have a good amount of room at the toes) won’t be able to tell the difference. Winter – well, that’s another story, especially if you’re planning to hit the slopes and get your skis or snowboard out. Here are THREE things you should check your feet for before hitting the slopes!
We’re not exaggerating when we say that every extra millimetre of nail length can make a large difference to your comfort up on the ski hill. If you’re a seasoned mountain-goer, then you’ll already be all too familiar with the tight yet perfect fit of ski and snowboard boots. That extra nail length can push against the end of your boots and cause bleeding beneath the nail (we call this a subungual haematoma). This looks like a brown spot beneath the nail once it has dried. It will last through the season as the nail grows, and eventually, your nail will very like fall off.. Just like it did for one of our team!
Callus is the hard build-up of skin that occurs as a result of pressure through specific areas of the feet. The hard skin doesn’t give much (if any) compression or flexibility, which combines with tight ski boots, means lots of pain and a day cut short on the ski hill! Even worse, callus results in even more pressure on the affected area which in turns results in greater thickening of the callus – and so the cycle continues! Having your callus professionally debrided will leave you feeling much more comfortable on the hill. We don’t recommend trying to reduce it yourself or you risk taking too much off and leaving the skin beneath fragile, vulnerable and painful.
If you have any corns, make sure to get them enucleated (meaning cut or scooped out – don’t worry it’s painless!) as the pressure from the boots will only cause them to get painful and worse. Warts are more difficult to treat and remove, but your podiatrist can help you get the process started and provide you with some tailored padding for you to wear that has a cut-out for the warts to relieve pressure and pain while you’re rocking the black runs! While not all corns or warts are painful, bear in mind that with excess pressure, they can quickly become very uncomfortable. Just like with callus, make sure to have corns and warts professionally treated to avoid damaging the surrounding and underlying skin. This often happens with home-use corn pads, as the pads tend to contain an acid designed to soften the skin of the corn that when exposed to healthy skin, causes painful damage and redness.
Of course, if you’re getting back on the mountain then you also want to check the essentials like the fitting of your boots, but do make sure to check the condition of your feet, nails, callus and corns/warts too as otherwise, your exciting weekend can quickly turn painful and unpleasant! Trying to avoid certain areas of the feet due to pain also puts you at a greater risk of sustaining serious muscular and bony injuries too.
If you have difficulty with your nails, callus, warts or corns, then you can make an appointment with one of our expert Podiatrists and we’ll take care of everything for you while you just put your feet up and relax! You can get in touch with our team by calling 1300-FX-FEET or book online here.