October 4, 2023

Pedicure file: foot care and small sores, a podiatrist tells us about it

What are the daily actions to take to care for your feet?
Audrey Leclercq: Moisturize them with a specific foot cream, because the feet have a much thicker skin than the rest of the body, so if you put a simple moisturizer it will not be very effective, even if it's better every day a moisturizing milk that once a month a foot cream. The ideal remains a cream for the feet.
After, there is something that seems simple, but the experience I have shows me that people do not do it: wash their feet!
There are small gestures too. For example, when you cut your nails, do not try to go to the corners. At the limit, you can round them with a file, but most importantly never draw in the corners the little piece of nail that remains.
Also avoid anything that is rasp, because in reality it is the friction that makes you horn, since the cells of the skin react to protect the foot. If you rub, it will be smoother on the moment, but it will also stimulate the cells that will make the keratosis or horn.
What are the "sores" that you treat most often?
A. L.: There are all the problems of horns. A horn is a rub that is localized and forms this layer of keratin, keratosis. It forms a small hard core, dead skin, very painful. People also come for ingrown toenails, for all problems of horns whatever they are, so heels that have calluses, calluses underfoot. The difference between a horn and a callus is that a horn has a nucleus and a callus does not have one. And what is called callosity is the horn of the heel. These are the most common problems.
And what is onion?
A. L.: What people commonly call onions is the Hallux Valgus, an essentially female deformity of the first toe or first ray. It is a painful deformation which makes that one has a kind of ball at the level of the articulation between the metatarsus and the toe. The best preventive treatment is orthopedic insoles. Taken later, it is necessary to go through an orthoplasty, even surgery. In addition, the shoe is not the cause of the Hallux Valgus, but the wearing of heel can cause pain.
The wearing of heel causes what other types of pain?
A. L.: This often leads to metatarsalgia, so all the pains of the forefoot, since one has a support zone when one wears heels which is less important. This results in particular calluses, behind the toes.

What is the ideal heel height?
A. L.: The so-called stacked heel is the perfect heel, it's 3 to 4 cm. Flat shoes are not good, because you pull too much on the ligaments. And a heel too high, it's not good because we pull too much on the forefoot. Both are not good for the back. After, there are women who are doing very well with high heels, which will never have a problem. It also depends on the anatomy of each. But it is true that beyond 6-7cm of heel inevitably inflicts foot pain. Women are also unable to walk with 3 cm of heels. It depends in particular on the flexibility of the ligaments.
When do you or can you come to see a podiatrist?
A. L.: I advise women who have no particular problems to come twice a year to the change of season, to prevent problems from happening with shoe changes. Before and after the summer, are the good times.
After, when we have problems of horns, ingrown toenails, we must come in preventive, at least every two months.
Audrey Leclercq, pedicurist and chiropodist, Paris 15e.

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