Whether you often find yourself showing off your feet or simply like to feel your very best when it comes to your appearance, there are plenty of things you can do to improve their look and get them feeling great too.
Keep your Skin Looking Radiant
Bright, radiant skin always looks healthier – no matter where on the body it is. Many body polishes and treatments contain skin brightening properties, so try to choose one that promises a healthy glow.
Take Care of your Cracked Heels
Cracked heels can be easily treated and soothed at home using moisturising salves or lotions. While the results may not be instant, a regular care routine will help to improve the cracked, sore skin.
Scrub Away the Dead Skin
Dead skin can look flaky and unsightly, so give your feet a scrub using products of your choice. For even better results, use a pumice stone to eliminate leftover flakiness before rinsing and moisturising your feet.
Give your Feet Some Rest and Relaxation
Stretch and massage your feet whenever possible to keep them relaxed. You’ll be promoting a healthy blood flow and reducing your risk of swelling or bruising that may be associated with discomfort or ‘stressed’ feet.
Combat Dryness for a Smoother Appearance
If your skin is dehydrated, it can often look dull, discoloured or wrinkled. Using a good moisturiser or lotion (urea-based is best) and ensuring you stay hydrated will help to keep your feet in better shape.
Keep your Feet Clean
This one may seem obvious, but it’s always necessary to keep your feet clean, especially if you’re planning on showing them off in sandals. Make sure any staining or dirt marks are washed away.
Keep your Toenails in Great Shape
Regular trimming and shaping will not only keep your toenails looking great, but it’ll also reduce the risk of blackened or ingrown toenails!
T reat Blisters and Cuts Effectively
Cleaning and covering blisters or cuts as soon as possible will help to prevent infection and encourage a faster healing time.
Indulge Your Feet on a Regular Basis
While you may not be able to head off to a spa or salon every week, there’s nothing to stop you recreating the experience at home. A long foot soak will work wonders for keeping your feet smooth and refreshed.
Alternatively, if the way your feet look or feel is bothering you, or you cannot manage your own foot care to best effect, you can always visit a podiatrist to discover the best ways to treat and maintain any condition you may have – from ingrown toenails to bruised or aching joints!
Rwanda is a small ambitious country known as the land of 1000 hills with a population around 12 million and a rapidly growing economy. It has rolling hills for as far as you can see, a rain forest, gorillas and volcanoes, making for quite the site to any visitor. However, it is also known for the 1994 genocide in which over 1 million people were killed in 100 days across the country.
This tragic event has led to some very big health issues, which the country still faces, but thanks to a range of donor funding and strong political leadership, the country is on its way to quickly becoming a middle-income country.
As countries shift from low incomes to middle income economies, health issues become complex, where the country can face a mix of communicable disease (ie. malaria, HIV, TB) and the introduction of non-communicable disease (ie. diabetes, high BP, cholesterol) with changes in lifestyles.
Now you are probably wondering what this has to do with podiatry?
Well, as clinicians we play a role in the overall wellbeing of every patient that walks through our door for treatment and we become advocates for a number public health issues. While our specialist area is focused on the foot and ankle, an understanding of the bodily systems is imperative for understanding the impacts on the lower limb. This allows us to transition from clinical practice to other work streams such as health policy, public health programmes, service management and research.
As a podiatrist with a public health background, the increase of diabetes and chronic conditions in developing nations has become of personal interest. In many of these countries, diabetes is poorly understood and without proper prevention and care, can lead to a large economic burdens on the healthcare system. In 2012, the UK alone spent a whopping £639 million on foot ulcers and £662 on lower limb amputations, so the prevention and monitoring of these conditions is of paramount importance in the developing world.
The quality of life for individuals with diabetes is also drastically affected if not controlled, impacting mobility, footwear and overall lifestyle. Additionally, chronic ulceration and limb amputation, creates an increases risk (approximately 80%) of mortality within the first 5 years post amputation.
How did all this lead me to Africa, I hear you say?
In April of 2016, I (sadly) departed from the Betafeet clinic to implement an mhealth project in Rwanda in partnership with the Ministry of Health. This project, allows patients across the country to speak with a doctor and receive a prescription via SMS through their mobile phone, reducing the travel time, wait time and expense of receiving care from one of the local physical hospitals. The system is also working on monitoring both communicable and non-communicable disease using artificial intelligence, engaging patients to take ownership of their health.
This could be a major milestone for a country with stretched resources. To put things into perspective, over 80% of the population lives in remote areas of the country and works in the ‘in-formal’ sector as subsistence farmers with an average income of 2-3 dollars per day, which is not very much. To receive care, a patient may travel over an hour to reach their nearest hospital where a doctor is present and then wait anywhere from a few hours to a few days to receive the care they need. However almost 80% of the population already has a mobile phone.
Appropriate access to clinical care is a large part of the prevention and management of many conditions and undertaking this project has been a great experience. As a clinician, I have had the opportunity to utilise my knowledge to develop operational pathways and input into the technology development to shape the way patients receive their care.
It is with
this experience I now look to move on to my next adventure focusing on Aboriginals
and the utilisation of technology in the prevention of major non communicable
disease such as diabetes.
Final comment from Reggie Simpson and Betafeet Podiatry
We wish Andre the very best in his future and thank him for this interesting blog account. We look forward to his next blog focused on his work with the Aboriginal population.