Footcare in West Dorset, Weymouth & Portland
Foot care services in your home
It is important to look after your feet, even if you find it difficult to reach them. This sheet gives general advice about how to look after your feet and where to get help if you cannot look after them yourself.
What affects your feet?
• Smoking: In time, smoking can reduce the blood supply to your feet resulting in poor circulation, aching and cold feet.
• Diet: Make sure that you have a well balanced and healthy diet. Being overweight puts strain on your feet which may result in corns and calluses.
• Exercise: Taking regular exercise tones up the body and stimulates the circulation.
• Hygiene: Keeping your feet clean and dry will reduce the risk of infections such as athlete’s foot.
• Footwear: Make sure that your shoes fit comfortably. If they are too tight they will reduce the circulation to your feet. Try to choose shoes that will allow perspiration to escape. Leather soles and uppers with a leather insole are good for this. It is also a good idea to have more than one pair of shoes for every day use. By doing this you can alternate between pairs allowing them to dry out thoroughly.
• Diabetes: People with diabetes should take extra care of their feet. Keeping them clean and dry is important to prevent infection which can quickly spread. Shoes and socks should be chosen carefully to ensure that they do not rub. Rubbing can cause sores and blisters which can again lead to infection. If you notice any changes in your feet, contact your doctor immediately. Some of the warning signs to be aware of are:
a) Swollen areas or changes in the colour of the skin could indicate poor circulation, infection and the early stages of an ulcer or gangrene.
b) Pain in the feet or legs should not be ignored. It could be your body telling you that there is a problem. Even painless sores should not be ignored.
c) Sores or cuts that do not heal should be reported to the doctor as they may be signs that you diabetes is not under control. All of the above symptoms can be treated if they are dealt early.
If you are diabetic, do not try to treat injuries, corns or other foot problems yourself, seek professional help. For more information about diabetes and foot care contact your GP.
Hints on how to look after your feet:
Wash your feet in soapy water. Dry them thoroughly and powder lightly. Do not allow the powder to clog or cake between the toes. Try to use a powder that is specially designed for the feet.
If you suffer from calluses, apply moisturising cream daily. You may find that peppermint, diluted essential oil or moisturising cream, is refreshing and soothing when rubbed into the feet.
Keep your toenails trimmed. If you cannot manage to cut your own nails you can contact a State Registered Chiropodist, details of which can be found in the telephone book. A State Registered Chiropodist (SRCh) must complete a three year full-time course to obtain state registration. This is the only qualification recognised for employment in the National Health Service as a Chiropodist.
If you find it difficult to leave the home but are not completely housebound, it is possible to have a chiropodist visit your home. There is a charge for the treatment, which is provided by private chiropodists. A GP referral is not necessary and you can contact the chiropodist direct.
Charges for a home visiting Chiropodist can vary. Remember to check the current charge when making an appointment and check if they are state registered.
The NHS Chiropody Service will provide a free home visit for people who are completely housebound. A GP referral is required to access this service. Contact your surgery for more information.
Health Professions Council
This website will help you find a registered Chiropodist in your area. All registrants are genuine practitioners, meet national standards and are insured so you are protected. For further details visit http://www.hpc-uk.org/landing/?id=4 .
Nail Cutting Surgery
Run by Age Concern Dorchester, £11 per session, prices start from £21 for the first session which includes the purchase of your own equipment for further use. Not available to clients with diabetes, those on steroids or taking large amounts of aspirin or warfrin. Other surgery sites in Bridport, Weymouth, Yetminster, Sherborne, and Maiden Newton subject to demand, contact 01305 269444 for details.
Society of Chiropodists & Podiatrists
1 Fellmongers Path
Tower Bridge Rd
London, SE1 3LY
Telephone: 0207 234 8620.
Fax: 0845 450 3721
The society can give you details of a registered chiropodist in your area and advice about foot care.
Finding shoes that fit
If you have swollen feet and find it difficult to buy shoes that fit, it is possible to buy shoes that are made specifically for you. There are companies that specialise in making shoes and slippers to fit swollen feet. Many of the shoes have elastic or Velcro fastenings that
can be adjusted and are easy to do up. For further information speak to your GP or a State Registered Chiropodist.
A voluntary organisation for people with different sized feet, and amputees. The organisation offers a partnering service to match members with someone who has the same problem, but on the other foot. By doing this, members will only have to buy one pair of shoes each. Information about specialist suppliers is also available. Life membership £5. Information is free. Send a stamped, addressed envelope to:
46 Gordon Road
London, E4 6BU
Telephone: 020 8524 2423
Shoe suppliers who will visit the home
5 Broyle Close
West Sussex, PO19 6BG
Telephone: 01243 532132
Visits Bournemouth and Poole twice a month by appointment.
Shoes On Approval
Some shops will allow shoes to be purchased and taken home on approval with a full refund given for unsuitable shoes with the production of the receipt within a certain timescale.
34 South Street
Telephone: 01308 422744
Stead & Simpson
9 South Street
Telephone: 01305 251573
Stead & Simpson
6 East Street
Telephone: 01308 458067
78 St Mary Street
Telephone: 01305 761491
The Clarks Shop (Nicholson’s)
69 St Thomas Street
Telephone: 0844 499 7327