Heredity plays an important role in the kind of feet we have and even our natural gait. For example, genetics or heredity will influence the type of arch we have, if one or both parents are flat footed, children will likely be flat footed as well. Excessive out-toeing is an indicator of the mark of genetics.
The same often applies to certain kind of foot problems such as bunions, hammer toes or hallux valgus to name a few. Occasionally children have similar foot problems as adults (corns, ingrown toenails, hallux valgus, flat-foot, etc.)
Do you know the secret to prevent most foot problems? Provide your child with the correct pair of shoes! Is that simple? YES! Is that simple. Shoes are a directly contributing cause for most foot problems if NOT fitted properly.
How can you make sure your kids’ shoes fit? Take them to your local children shoe store that you trust in you area to have their feet properly measured. Don’t have a kids’ shoe store that you trust where you live? Take a look at a post I wrote that will help you find the correct pair of shoes for your child:
The shoe fitter is constantly exposed to a variety of foot problems from shoes. Shoes are sometimes, if not quite often, a contributing cause of these ills. Below I describe the most common forms of foot problems and it’s remedies. Please take into consideration that ALL of these problems can be avoided by wearing the correct pair of shoes and socks that fit.
Let’s take a look at the most common foot problems generated by improperly fitted shoes:
Most parent are not even aware of what a callus is, and they probably think that children can’t get them. Calluses are a hardening of the skin, which is nature’s way of protecting the skin below in an area that has been exposed to friction. The overwhelming downside is when calluses develop compact thickness on pressure-sensitive parts of the foot, such us under the ball or under our big toe.
Calluses then become painful, much like having a pebble under the foot. Make sure you fit your kids’ in the right pair of shoes to prevent calluses from forming since shoes that are not fitted properly are the main cause of most calluses.
If you are not sure about how a callus looks like,take a look at the picture below and notice how the child has not one but several calluses in his feet.
How can you get rid of your kids’ calluses?
The remedies are quite simple. If not severe, the first step to try is to soak and rub off with a rough towel or pumice. If this doesn’t work, you can try a product I recommend and it’s known for reducing the callus or eliminating it completely named Heel-Tastic. I will show you the product at the end of the post. If severe, the callus may be removed by a podiatrist. Keep in mind that the callus itself is sometimes a symptom of foot imbalance, or of a more serious problem concealed inside the foot.
Oh the corns! These are very hard to get rid of so PREVENTION is key! The technical term for a corn is a heloma. There are two main types of corns: hard and soft. The hard corn usually starts as red skin, followed by a coating of callus. This then develops into a hard corn. Most hard corn will develop in the small toe, but they are also seen on the top or sides of the feet. This is due to steady pressure and friction from shoes that are not fitted properly. Take a look at the picture below so you can realize how a corn looks like.
How can you get rid of your kid’s corns?
My first recommendation will be to start with salicylic acid. Applying this or ointment such as Heel-Tastic once a day should reduce the pain and inflammation significantly. Keep in mind that the hard corns will likely return until you take a corrective action about the shoes your child wears.
Plantar warts are different than regular warts in the sense that they are much more painful. If your child starts complaining about having pain under their feet, like they are walking on a small stone, you should have your child checked to see if he/she developed a plantar warts. These are caused by a virus that is usually transferred by surface connection.
Children that spend a lot of time barefoot (which is recommended for healthy foot development) can be infected if they are playing in surfaces where other children were carrying the virus on their feet.
Another thing to keep in mind is that if skin is wet and softened after a long swim or bath, or by not wearing the right kind of socks, you are giving the virus a way to get into your child skin.
I explained the key role that socks play in keeping our kids’ feet healthy in my post:
Below you can find a picture of a foot with a plantar wart.
How can you get rid of plantar warts?
The first step will be to consult with your podiatrist or dermatologist to make sure you are dealing with plantar warts. There are several home remedies that you might want to try but I describe the most effective way that has proven to work and that is the Freeze it off (Cryotherapy). Even though your podiatrist or dermatologist might offer to do it themselves you can try a more economic way by trying “Compound W Freeze Off” or “Dr. Scholl’s Freeze Away” that I describe at the end of the post, which also has very simple instructions.
This method I recommend will only take 1–5 applications over 1–2 weeks to completely remove the wart. Keep in mind that your child might feel the cold sensation painful but in the plus side this is a relatively fast process compared to other treatments. I want you to make you aware that it is common to be a deep hole in the bottom of your child foot where the wart comes out. All you are seeing is the new skin that has grown around the dead virus.
Ingrown toenails can develop extremely fast. They can either be caused by cutting your children toenails too short or by wearing poorly fitted shoes. Avoid purchasing shoes that are too short or too narrow since they will cause the nail to grow into the soft skin. Socks that are too tight should also be avoided since they will only make the problem worse. I actually just wrote a post about the best shoes for ingrown toe-nails that you can find here:
How can you fix an ingrown toenail?
The only safe and successful treatment is removal of the nail edge, plus disinfecting and packing, by a podiatrist. The next step will be to always cut his/her toenails straight across rather than in a rounded shape.
I want to clarify that not only athletes can get this itchy condition, kids might get it too. One of the main causes is hot and sweaty sneakers. The infection will only occur if conditions are right for the fungus to grow. The fungus likes it wet, that is the reason why children should avoid wearing tight shoes or shoes that have minimal breath-ability. If your child tends to sweat a lot please consider switching his/her socks twice a day and buying socks that allow the feet to breathe.
How can you get rid of athlete’s foot?
The milder forms can usually be remedied by any of the commercial products available below. But advanced or persistent cases should be seen by a podiatrists or dermatologist. Wearing a shoe that breathes properly is key in helping get rid of athlete’s foot.
Take a look at an article I wrote where I describe the most breathable shoes for children:
Excessive foot perspiration/ foot odors:
Ohhh the foot odor! Some children feet sweat more than others! Some of the reasons are wearing footwear with no breath-ability or tight fitting shoes. Excessive foot perspiration creates foot and shoe discomfort. Avoid buying low quality shoes made out of plastic, rubber or polyurethane. Investing in a good quality pair of shoes with breathable materials such as leather, cloth, canvas or newer mesh materials is highly recommended.
How to prevent my kids’ feet from smelling so much?
Make an effort to keep your little ones feet as dry and clean as possible. Switch his/her socks twice a day if they are damp. Buy properly fitted shoes with breathable materials in order to provide proper air circulation to avoid bacteria to growth. I wrote a post about shoes that breathe better and that will prevent your kids’ feet from smelling so much called:
Please take into consideration that ALL of the PROBLEMS described above can be avoided by wearing shoes and socks that fit. Below you can find the best and proven products that will help you get rid of your kids’ feet problems:
Do you have a child that has developed any of the foot problems mentioned above? Have you find a solution to the problem? Did you use any particular product?Please share your thoughts and experiences so we can all benefit it from them!