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The UK heatwave shows no sign of coming to an end, especially in our sweltering cities,with the Evening Standard recording temperatures as high as 35.4°C on the London Underground. While feet often feel a bit uncomfortable during the summer, some people find that weeks of intense heat make the problem almost unbearable.

So let’s consider why heatwaves can be a nightmare for feet and how best to cool yours down.

Feet Struggle in Soaring Summer Temperatures

When temperatures soar, the feet’s quarter of a million sweat glands go into overdrive. They’re trying to make the skin cooler but more often than not leave it really damp and less than fragrant. Heatwaves are also notorious for making feet swell up. When blood vessels dilate to help heat escape, fluid floods the tissues. If people stand or sit for long periods, gravity encourages large amounts of that fluid to collect in the feet, making them feel tired and achy.

Sweaty, swollen feet aren’t just unpleasant – they also increase your risk of foot health issues, such as blistersfoot odour and athlete’s foot fungal infections (fungi thrive in moist conditions). That’s why knowing how to take care of your feet in a heatwave can be invaluable.

Simple, Effective Ways to Cool Feet Down

If your feet are feeling sorry for themselves at the end of a long, hot day, don’t worry. There are plenty of practical steps you can take to cool them down. All you’ll need are some readily available household items.

• Turn your hot water bottle into a foot cooler by half-filling it with cold water then adding a little crushed ice. It’s the ideal size to rest your feet on and feels wonderful!

• Place a cold, damp bath towel over your feet for a cooling, soothing sensation.

• Take advantage of reinvigorating evening breezes by sitting outside, uncovering your feet and elevating them on a footstool. They’ll soon be cooler and less swollen.

• Spritz your feet with a foot spray containing peppermint oil, which has a cooling, refreshing effect. The Body Shop’s version is a popular choice.

• Keep a washing-up bowl filled with cool water by your sofa or bed and enjoy a foot soak in the evening or if you wake up feeling uncomfortable overnight. To make the experience even more relaxing, add a few drops of lavender or tea tree oil to the water.

Top Tips for Keeping Feet Fresh and Comfortable

There are also several ways to reduce the chances of feet overheating or feeling awful on scorching summer days. Follow these tips and you should find that your feet are more comfortable overall.

• Wash and dry your feet thoroughly in the morning and again at night to remove sweat and odour-causing bacteria.

• Spray antiperspirant over your feet to discourage excessive sweating.

• If you need to wear socks, look for ones that have a ‘wicking’ action, drawingsweat away from the skin. They’ve long been favoured by runners.

• Choose footwear made of leather – it’s supremely breathable and comfortable.

Expert Care for Sweaty, Swollen Feet at London Podiatry Clinics

The foot fatigue people suffer from when heatwaves strike can usually be remedied by following the kind of straightforward advice outlined above. However, if your feet sweat or swell up severely and persistently, it’s worth visiting our experienced London podiatrists. We can check to see if there’s an underlying problem and provide an effective treatment plan.

For healthy feet this summer and beyond, please call Feet By Pody today on 0207 099 6657 or book an appointment online.