Feet are the most precious tool for a dancer and taking care of them should be a priority. The following are a few tips for healthy foot care.
Toe nails should be kept short. Using sharp scissors or a toenail clipper cut your nails straight across the nail. Do not curve inwards as this may cause ingrown toenails. Use a nail file to remove the sharpness from the nail. Avoid wearing nail polish as it hides any problems that may occur such as bruising or ingrown toe nails.
Calluses are not a bad thing for a dancer! They help to protect against blisters. However, when calluses become too thick and are uncomfortable a layer of skin can be removed by first soaking feet in warm, soapy water. Gently and slowly rub a pumice stone over the hard skin in a circular motion. The skin will soften and fall off. Do not attempt to remove the entire callus! Use a moisturizer or foot cream following treatment.
Corns usually occur on the tops and sides of toes and on the balls of the feet. The most common cause is wearing tight shoes (usually pointe shoes). Make sure your pointe shoes have been professionally fitted. Moleskin can be used to decrease the pressure on toes. Avoid wearing bare feet in pointe shoes and street shoes. Most corns will disappear when the pressure is removed.
Clear Blisters: Use a sterilized needle to pop the liquid and drain. Cut away the loose skin. Cover with a band-aid followed by athletic tape.
Red Blood Blisters: Do not pop! These kind of blisters should be left to heal on their own. Cover with a band-aid followed by athletic tape. If the blister is painful, cover with a piece of moleskin that has the center cut out. This will provide padding around the blister.
Moisturize feet daily to prevent serious calluses, corns and blisters. Moisturizing at bed time is preferable as it will allow the cream time to penetrate the skin while you are sleeping.
Following the above simple guidelines will ensure feet are properly cared for, you will have happy feet and be comfortable dancing!