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I recently watched a documentary where cosmetic surgery was used to make feet more attractive, would you recommend this form of treatment?

“A referral to either a podiatric or orthopaedic surgeon is always a treatment option which you could discuss with your chiropodist. Members of the Society will have received as part of their training knowledge of the various surgical procedures, healing times and complications. So you should discuss it with them. It is however important to realise that with all surgery you would have to weigh up very carefully the benefits and risks involved. And sometimes there can be contraindications which would rule out surgery altogether, for example poor circulation.”

What causes Athlete’s Foot?

“It’s caused by a number of fungal species which you can pick up from anywhere (typically communal areas such as pools, showers and changing rooms) or anywhere where you may walk around barefooted,” says registered podiatrist Shuja Qureshi. “The fungus on each bit of skin that falls away from someone else’s feet can be picked up by you if you’re prone.”

How can I get rid of hard skin?

In summer, hard, cracked skin on the heels and balls of the feet are very common, and is often caused by wearing footwear which rubs the skin. Use an emery board or pumice to gently rub away the hard skin, then use a rich moisturising cream, such as an aqueous cream or E45 to soften the skin. Getting into a daily foot care routine will help. For more serious hard skin see a chiropodist/podiatrist for advice and treatment.

My feet tend to get very sweaty in summer, what can I do?

There are more sweat glands per inch of our feet than anywhere else in our body – so it’s not surprising that many people suffer from sweaty feet, especially in warm weather. For minor problems wash feet morning and evening in warm, soapy water, then dry thoroughly. You can also use an antibacterial wash, which helps deal with foot odour, too. Then apply surgical spirit and dust the feet with talc. Going barefoot whenever you can will help, as will wearing open-toed sandals. For more serious problems there are special foot anti-perspirants. Take a look at our page on Sweaty Feet for more information.

I am pregnant and have recently started suffering from tingling and numbness on the soles of my feet. What could be causing this?

The increased weight could a factor but there are other possibilities. The baby could be pressing on a nerve and the tingling in the feet could be caused by this. Tingling can often be a mild form of neurological disturbance.

My feet hurt after standing on them all day and I can’t wait to kick my shoes off when I get home. What can I do to prevent this?

If your feet hurt something is wrong! More often than not the shoes are a poor fit or style. Whether you are at work, at home or playing sport or other activity, make sure you have the right shoe for the job. If you don’t your feet will let you know. We have included a whole section dedicated to choosing the right shoes; getting the right fit; and plenty of advice on how you can still be fashionable without causing long-term damage to your feet.

What’s the difference between a verruca and a corn?

The usual test is to pinch the suspect area. Verrucae are usually more painful than corns when pinched. Corns and callous are more likely to affect weight-bearing areas, whereas verrucae can appear on any area.

Do corns have roots?

A lot of people think that a corn has a root, and that you need to remove the root in order to get rid of the corn. This is not the case. A corn is simply made up of hard skin that occurs over a bony prominence such as a joint. It is usually the result of pressure or friction to the area. The central area of the corn that appears to go deeper into the toe, isn’t something growing from inside, but is where the area of pressure (usually from the shoe if it is on the toe) is greatest. The skin thickens as a result of too much pressure/trauma and makes it look like there is a core or root that needs removing. Look at our page on corns and callus to find out how best to prevent them.

Are verrucae catching, and can I go swimming if I have one?

A verruca is a viral infection and can be picked up from coming into contact with the virus. To try and avoid catching one try not to come into contact with the changing room floor by wearing something like flip flops in the changing room and to the pool edge. If you already have a verruca, keep it covered. Verruca socks are available, which are slim fit rubber socks that prevent the virus being spread or picked up. (Not very popular due to the look of them). Take a look at our page on verrucas to find out how to prevent or treat them.

What is the cause of most foot problems?

Shoes that don’t fit properly are the source of many foot problems – the higher the heel, the worse the problems tend to be. Slip-on shoes are one of the worst culprits, as they cause the foot to slide forward and cramp the toes. Worst of all are court shoes, as they are low-fronted, giving no support to the foot, and tend to be too narrow in the toe box. If you have foot problems, it is important to look at the cause, which is most likely to be your shoes. For frequent, everyday wear, choose a low-heeled shoe – no higher than 4cm – which has a rounded toe. Find out more in our shoe section.