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KEEPING YOUR FEET HEALTHY IN BANGALORE SUMMER

As the temperatures heat up, so do some heat-related problems commonly suffered by Bangalore residents. Here are some issues to watch for and tips from an expat podiatrist to stay healthy and comfortable this summer!

 


HEALTH PROBLEMS THAT LOVE BANGALORE SUMMERS 


 

Fungus loves summer in Bangalore! The heat, humidity and consumption of sweet foods and drinks are the perfect environment for fungal infections. Closed shoes, locker rooms, pools and public showers are breeding grounds for fungus such as athlete’s foot.

Make sure to eat a balanced diet, reducing sugar and sweets. It is best for people prone to fungal infections to avoid foods and drinks which promote internal dampness such as tofu, cheese, mushrooms, shellfish, sweets, chocolate and alcohol. Include phlegm clearing and Qi tonifying foods in the diet, such as daikon, vinegar, yam, squash, pumpkin and grains. A small amount of spicy food can also help reduce phlegm accumulation and kill the germs and help keep your body in balance, with herbal remedies that can help boost your immune system to fight off fungus.

Certain foot issues tend to be worse during the hot, humid climate in Bangalore, including:

  • Fungus (toenail and “athlete’s foot”): nail fungus can appear as thickening or discoloration of the nail (if you aren’t sure, have it evaluated, since normal aging and other issues can appear similar), fungus on the skin can appear as hives and/or peeling, red, itchy skin

  • Fissures (small cracks in the skin on the heels and toes), exacerbated by wearing open shoes in the dusty, polluted environment of Bangalore 

  • Veruccas (plantar warts on the feet), especially in children (easily spread around when kids are barefoot in common areas such as swimming pools and camps)

  • Foot pain/injury, often related to constant flip flop wear

 


TIPS FOR KEEPING YOUR FEET HEALTHY DURING BANGALORE’S HOT HUMID CLIMATE:


  • Practice good foot hygiene, by regularly cleaning the feet and drying them thoroughly (especially the area between the toes).

  • Powder can cut down on moisture and tea tree oil has natural antibacterial properties to help keep infections at bay.

  • Keep feet exfoliated and moisturized even in humid weather (helps cut down on fissures). At the same time, overzealous exfoliation during pedicures or foot treatments sometimes worsens problems, so keep an eye on what your technician is doing.

  • Always wear clean shower shoes/flip flops in common areas.

  • Wear a sock or hose made of a breathable fabric, to protect the foot and absorb moisture. When you get home, take off shoes and put them in the sun to thoroughly dry. Rotate shoes (try to switch daily and don’t repeat the shoes for a few days) and let your feet breathe in open shoes occasionally.

  • Save flip flops for occasional wear and not for use during high levels of activity. They offer NO support, which is especially problematic for kids’ growing, flexible feet. The ankle can easily rotate and cause overpronated feet. This can not only cause injury, but can have long term effects on proper foot and bone development.

  • Keep nails short and well-maintained (unfortunately, nail salons often pass infections between customers so be cautious, it’s a good idea and practice to take your one tools and equipment with you and if possible take along your own nail paints too). Prevention is better than cure!

SPECIAL NOTE FOR PARENTS

  • If you notice unusual wear on children’s shoes or have a child who seems to “have two left feet” (frequent falls/balance issues or clumsiness), you should get an evaluation as there may be structural issues that could be treated now to prevent long-term problems.

  • They also expose feet to a lot of debris and dirt

 


TREATMENT FOR FOOT CONCERNS


 

FUNGUS

Catching fungus early is important, because then it can usually be treated with topical creams and liquids (nail paints or sprays). The treatment will depend on the patient’s health condition, other medications, location and length of time the fungus has been present. There are several products with different active ingredients and some are available only in certain countries (if you have experienced fungus before, it may be wise to bring some of the medication from your home country).  It is important to use nail paints continually because if you stop, even for a short period, the new nail that has grown will become infected by the fungus. Antifungal paints are not suitable if you are pregnant. Success rates are not very high (about 40% for amorolfine, 22% for tioconazole and 12% for ciclopirox), but because they treat only affected areas they’re worthwhile to try as a first line of defense. More serious infections require a long course of oral drugs, which can have serious risks (liver and kidney damage in particular). If you are concerned with the treatment plan your practitioner has recommended, you may wish to seek a second opinion. But, don’t delay in seeking help or starting treatment, as fungus can be quite persistent.

FISSURES 

We carefully cut the skin at an angle to get rid of the excessively dry skin and promote natural healing. Someone prone to fissures may need regular maintenance and should keep the feet clean, exfoliated and moisturized.

VERRUCAS

We can offer a range of treatment options, which is especially important for children who may be sensitive to certain medications. Veruccas can also be treated with cryotherapy   (liquid nitrogen treatment).

OVERPRONATED FEED, INJURIES, ETC.

For any current injury or pain, a treatment plan should be developed with a qualified Practitioner.


 

Main photo by NinaMalyna

Vaishali P.

Vaishali Patel, (Vish) is a mummy of 3, Podiatrist and photographer has been living in Bangalore for 2 years now. Graduated from the podiatric school of medicine in Durham, UK and worked at St Thomas’s in London and in Cambridge. She also worked in Shanghai, which as a developing country, she raised awareness about the importance of healthy feet. She is also a very passionate and keen photographer, taking pictures from all walks of life, India is a very colourful & photogenic country.

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