Summer Holiday - First Aid for Feet

  • By Judith Sullivan
  • 03 Apr, 2017

Advice from a Podiatrist

  • 20 Jul, 2016

The warm summer weather will often call for a trip to the beach! but if you are not careful you can run into trouble:

• Wear shoes to protect your feet from cuts, athletic shoes are much better than flip flops as they provide support and cushioning

• Hot weather can cause your feet to swell, make sure you have plenty of room but not too big for your feet to slop around

• Wear socks to prevent blisters

• Moisturise to prevent rubbing or chaffing

• Don’t walk around bare foot or go in the water if you have cuts and protect against infection with a plaster or dressing especially if you have diabetes or circulation problems

• Protect your feet against sunburn, apply sunscreen to the top and bottoms of your feet

• Sand and hard surfaces can get very hot in the sun, wear shoes to protect against burns

If injuries occur reduce the risk of a small problem becoming a bigger one:

• Sprains – RICE (rest, ice compression and elevate) to relive the pain and swelling, if pain lasts more than a few days or unable to stand seek medical help

• Broken bone – immobilise and attend A & E to prevent further damage

• Bleeding – elevate the leg and apply firm pressure with a dressing if possible directly over the cut. If bleeding does not stop in 20 minutes seek medical help

• Cuts and puncture wounds – remove any foreign objects, clean, disinfect the area and apply antiseptic and a sterile dressing – seek medical help if the wound is large, will not stop bleeding or unable to remove the foreign object or signs of infection

• Blisters – don’t pop a blister but if they burst apply antiseptic and a dressing

• Infection – if you have a wound that is oozing, red or swollen it’s a good chance its infected, soak your feet 4 – 6 times daily in warm salt water (2 table spoons per gallon of water), keep the area covered in-between soaks with a sterile dressing. If you have any red streaks coming away from the wound going up the leg, soreness or a lump appearing behind the knee or in the groin is get professional help immediately. Infections are serious and should be dealt with urgently

• Stings – you can treat some stings yourself but if you have severe pain, trouble breathing or swallowing call 999 and request an ambulance immediately a sever anaphylaxis reaction needs to be treated in hospital. Also call 999 if you are stung on a large part of your body, face or genitals, have chest pain, very young or elderly. If not up-to-date with tetanus shots, a prophylactic dose may be needed. If your rash or pain gets worse or there is signs of infection seek medical help. Remove any large spines or tentacles with tweezers being careful not to touch them yourself with bare hands, any that have gone very deep or are near a tendon or joint may need an x-ray and be surgically removed - If in doubt seek medical help

Symptoms can vary from mid to the extreme with the different type of stings and are not to be taken lightly:

a) Server pain

b) Itching and skin irritation

c) Swelling

d) Numbness or tingling

e) Sweating

f) Nausea and vomiting

g) Headache

h) Feeling faint, weak and dizzy

i) Muscle spasms

j) Abdominal cramps

k) Diarrhoea

l) Tremors (shaking)

m) Seizures – (fits)

n) Shortness of breath

o) Swollen lymph glands

• Treatments - check out NHS Choices website:

By Judith Sullivan 09 Dec, 2017
By Reggie Simpson
By Judith Sullivan 28 Sep, 2017

We are delighted to announce that prose written by our Practice Business Manager, Reggie Simpson, will be featured in the Rennie Grove Hospice Care’s Rhyme & Reason 2018 diary, now in its 26th year. The theme for this forthcoming year’s diary is ‘Freedom’. All proceeds from sales of the diary go to support this worthwhile charity.

Reggie says: ‘Although my entry wasn't among the top poetry and prize winners, I was chuffed to be selected for the 2018 diary. The theme was quite broad, but my degrees in politics and love of writing invariably drew me to entering the competition. In the end I settled on a focus of freedom in healthcare, no doubt inspired by my current employment at Betafeet Podiatry and the noble work of Rennie Grove Hospice Care ( ).

Rennie Grove Hospice Care, formally known as Iain Rennie Hospice at Home, merged with Grove House, St Albans in 2010 to integrate services in south western Hertfordshire. The ethos and values of the two charities were closely aligned with the principle of allowing patients to lead a good quality of life at home for as long as possible, helping patients and their families avoid the distress of unnecessary hospital visits whenever possible.

The diaries can be ordered from the Rennie Grove website, payment by debit/credit card. It's part of their annual Christmas/holiday promotion. There will also be copies in local Rennie Grove shops. They are £5 each with additional postage if bought online. Shop locations can be found here: .

Here is Reggie’s entry (to appear in the month of September 2018): 

‘Do not count the days; make the days count.’

Muhammad Ali. Professional Boxer.  Audacious. Charismatic. A winner in the ring.

But even when you have won it all, life throws you a few more punches.

Yes, his name opened doors and wealth, but the bombastic man of his younger years was humbled in later life, and following retirement, he dedicated himself increasingly to charitable work. Parkinson’s was already taking hold.

He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005, the highest honour the USA can bestow.   He died in June 2016, aged 74.

Now the news is about boxing helping dementia sufferers.

So what does this mean for freedom? Does getting battered around the head spell freedom and choice? One would say yes; a boxer is free to take such risks. When the consequences deal you a fatal blow as a result, when do you lose your freedom? Is it when you have been reduced to a shadow of your former self, a normal human being, and have to rely on others? Muhammad Ali likely had plenty of resources to ensure his final days would help him on his final journey.

We tend to think of freedom in political terms. It is hard to remove freedom in healthcare from politics. Think NHS reform, among others. Freedom in a healthcare environment means more to the individuals and families when they have life-limiting illnesses and need the care of volunteer-run hospices such as Iain Rennie Grove.

The NHS gives patients the rights to make choices about different aspects of the care they receive, from the different treatment options available. How these are chosen is individual, although for those with life threatening or limiting illnesses this choice will fall on family members. 

I quote the following:

‘In health there is freedom. Health is the first of all liberties’.

Henri-Frédéric Amiel, Philosopher

September is World Alzheimer’s Month.




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