Foot care

We sometimes forget about caring for our feet but they need to be looked after so that they can continue carrying us around comfortably for the rest of our lives. Looking after them also helps to prevent falls. For more information on how to prevent falls visit our older peoples' health page.

Foot care Tips

  • Wash your feet carefully, especially between your toes.
  • Dry your feet carefully especially between the toes. This will help prevent infections.
  • Remove hard skin gently with a foot file or pumice stone. This will prevent the build-up of hard skin.
  • Moisturise your feet except between the toes. Moisturising them will keep dry skin at bay.
  • Cut toenails carefully using proper nail clippers and cut them straight across. If you find it difficult to cut your toe nails, filing them more regularly instead is just as effective. Looking after your toe nails is important so that they don’t cause pain or lead to infection.
  • If you have difficulty staying bent over for long periods:
    • try cutting or filing one nail at a time
    • raise your foot on to a stool whilst sitting
    • fix an emery board or file to a long handle or stick so you can file your nails without bending
    • ask a relative to help you
  • Take care with your choice of work footwear. Limit high-heel shoe wear and consider choosing comfortable shoes.
  • Wear well-fitting socks and shoes.
  • Shop for footwear later in the day when any swelling in your feet is at its worst.
  • Watch out for foot bugs in public changing areas. Consider wearing flip flops in these areas.

Don’t put up with foot pain. Most cases can be eased with doing a few simple things yourself:

Try the following foot care for a week

  • Put as little weight as possible on the foot-if you can, avoid standing on it
  • Put an ice pack (or a bag of frozen peas in a towel) on the foot for up to 20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours
  • Wear comfortable shoes-for example, avoid shoes with high heels

When to get advice from a health care professional

If the pain doesn’t go away, visit the NHS Choices website for information and advice on what to do.

NHS South West Yorkshire Partnership Podiatry Services offer podiatry services. 

Other useful foot care information

Visit Age UK's advice pages.