Podiatrist Graham Pirie's tips on how to get your feet in tip-top condition for summer

Published: 2011-06-07 09:46:15
Author: Ginny Clark

THEY carry us more than 150,000 miles in a lifetime but we rarely give our poor, hard-worn feet a second thought. That's until the sun starts shining - and we begin ditching the 40-denier and digging out summer sandals.
So after six months of scrunching them into winter boots, sweating them out in trainers and squeezing them into high heels, it's time to repay our feet with a little tender loving care.
In fact, a seasonal make-over is an excellent way to introduce a more regular regime for looking after our tootsies.
From aches and pains to sour smells and fungal problems - or even corns, blisters and more serious infections - foot problems are no laughing matter.
Sometimes, these foot conditions can also lead to further health difficulties, even affecting the hips and the back.
As ever, prevention is key, and Glasgow podiatrist Graham Pirie says the prospect of wriggling our toes in warm sand and frothy surf is the ideal motivation to give our feet a makeover.
He said: "Often we don't appreciate our feet until something goes wrong. But a little regular maintenance will help prevent any problems and keep feet looking good.
"It's the simple things, like careful foot hygiene, exercise, good footwear and inspecting our feet that will be effective.
"If you do find any cuts, discolouration or wee hacks between the toes, then early discovery makes them easier to treat."
Once you have pepped up your feet with a summer makeover, keep up the maintenance and they should have you skipping through the seasonal changes.
However, Graham warns, just as winter threatens hazards such as sweaty confinement, summer offers its own potential complications.
He added: "In warmer weather, our feet do swell. Many people are surprised to find when they take their shoes off - just as happens after dancing the night away - they can't get them back on.
"So make sure shoes have plenty of room and adjust them if necessary.
"Another potential problem comes from wearing backless sandals, which can often create ridges of hard skin or callus around the heels. So use a good moisturiser and buff with a pumice stone if necessary.