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Holiday footwear tips

If you are going on holiday and you usually have no problems with your feet then there is nothing very different you need to do when you’re on holiday. However, a bit of planning before hand and few sensible precautions can help you to enjoy your holiday and prevent any problems with your feet.

Make sure you have your usual moisturiser packed and take a high factor sunscreen if you need it.

Take shoes with you that you have worn before and that fit your feet comfortably. Don’t take new unworn shoes..

If you’re going on a beach holiday pack shoes that you can wear on the sand or in the sea, for example shoes which you don’t mind getting wet.

Pack a small first aid kit which will help you to treat any small injuries on your feet. If you’re visiting a country where there are mosquitoes or other insects that may bite, take insect repellent with you as well.

If you’re travelling for long periods of time, whether you’re in a car, coach, train or on a plane then you should keep your feet and legs moving. Sitting for a long time can make your feet swell, which will make your shoes tight and therefore might cause them to rub on your skin.

If you can get up and walk around then do so every half an hour to keep your leg muscles working. If you’re travelling by car then make regular stops and get out of the car and have a walk. If you aren’t able to get up and walk around then exercise your feet and calf muscles while you’re sitting. Point your toes and then bring them back towards you. This stretches and relaxes your calf muscles in the same way that walking does. These techniques will help to stop your feet swelling.

For long flights or journeys you may also want to consider wearing flight socks. These help the blood to keep circulating in your lower legs and can prevent a blood clot called a deep vein thrombosis, or DVT for short, from forming. Talk to your doctor or nurse about whether you should wear flight socks during your journey.

Getting dehydrated can also make swollen feet worse. Drink plenty of water on long journeys and don’t drink alcohol at all or drink only small amounts of it.

Keep up your daily foot care routine when you’re on holiday. If you’re somewhere hot or very cold you may need to use more moisturiser as your skin could be drier than usual.

If you’re on holiday somewhere where you might get bitten by insects or mosquitoes then always put insect repellent on. Cover up with long trousers in the evenings and wear shoes and socks. This will prevent bites which can easily become infected.

Wear shoes all the time. The sand on the beach, the tiles by the pool and pavements can all get very hot in the sun and could burn the soles of your feet if you go barefoot, so shoes will help to protect your skin. Shoes can also prevent injuries from sharp objects hidden in the sand on the beach and on the sea floor, especially if the sea floor is uneven or rocky. You can buy plastic shoes that will protect your feet and which won’t be damaged by the salt water. Check your shoes for pebbles and sand when you come out of the water and when you leave the beach.

Use a high factor sunscreen all over your feet, including the soles, to prevent the skin from burning.

If you do injure your feet get help and treatment straight away, don’t wait until you get home. As soon as you notice an injury, clean it and put on antiseptic cream and a dry dressing. Try to keep your weight off the injury as much as you can.

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