This Father’s Day, why not give your dad the gift of healthy feet with our top tips. A good foot care regime will improve his foot health and help prevent common problems.
Encourage him to check his feet
Try to get your dad to check his feet regularly, particularly if he has a health condition such as diabetes. Diabetes can reduce the blood and nerve supplies to the feet. This can mean that foot injuries don’t heal as quickly and foot wounds can go unnoticed. If your dad’s feet hurt or there is something wrong, he should visit a podiatrist who will advise on the best course of treatment.
Ensure he cuts his nails regularly and carefully
To keep dad’s feet in tip-top condition, he should trim his toenails regularly with good quality toenail clippers:
- Nails should be cut straight across - never down the sides or around the top.
- Cutting down the sides encourages in-growing toenails.
- Don’t cut them too short – they should be long enough to protect toes from pressure and trauma.
- Cutting them too short can also encourage ingrowing toenails.
If your dad finds it difficult to cut his nails, we recommend contacting a podiatrist. Alternatively, Age Concern run a toenail cutting service in many areas. Trained professionals will deal with his feet and whilst there is still a charge, it is less than private podiatrists.
Keep his skin soft and smooth
Dry, cracked heels can be painful as well as unsightly and are certainly nothing to smile about. If your dad has any rough, dry skin we recommend he applies a cracked heel cream to his feet, day and night. Look for products that contain Urea, the skin’s own moisturiser. It helps to break down hard, thickened skin, helping to repair and relieve cracks, leaving it soft and supple.
Encourage him to wear the right socks
When it comes to happy feet, wearing the right pair of socks can be just as important as wearing the right footwear. An uncomfortable, badly-fitting sock can spoil your dad’s day. It can also be bad for his health. Socks that pinch or dig-in can restrict his circulation whilst ones that don’t fit properly can rub and cause blisters. If your dad has diabetes or sensitive feet, we recommend a diabetic friendly sock with a smooth toe-seam.
Help him choose correctly-fitting footwear
For comfort and foot health, it’s essential that your dad chooses shoes that fit his feet correctly. Make sure there is a ½ inch of space between his longest toe and the end of the shoes and check that he has enough room for his toes to wriggle in the shoes.
He should try on both shoes and walk a few steps to make sure that they don’t pinch or rub. There shouldn’t be any pressure on the joints on the side of the foot and the shoe shouldn’t slip at the back.