If you're wearing high heels on New Years, chances are your feet won't be celebrating. Rather, your feet will be experiencing high heel hell. Hours of partying in stilettos can cause all sorts of foot problems and pains throughout night, as well as lead to a high heel hangover the following day.
The most common foot problems that arise from a guilty night in heels include: skin sores, pain in the ball of the foot, bunion irritation, hammer toe pain and/or heel abrasions.
If you want to be protect your feet, follow these 5 steps so that your feet don't cramp your night:
- Moisturize. Skin sores and abrasions commonly occur on areas that receive friction. Therefore, it's important to keep your feet hydrated to combat against skin breakdown. Dry cracked is more susceptible. At risk areas include, the back of the heel, tops of the toes, bunion area and the ball of the foot. It's better to moisturize regularly. Be sure to moisturize before you don those heels. Urea based creams can be great for severely dry feet.
Pad prominent areas. Since high heels put the foot in an unnatural position, some parts of the foot become very prominent and can become red, swollen and inflamed from direct pressure. High heel shoes with a pointy toe box can cause a bunion to emerge. Bunion surgery is not necessary from one night of pain, rather wear a cushion over the bunion to prevent irritation in the first place. A higher heel shoe causes buckling of the smaller toes which temporarily causes hammer toes. The back of the heel is another boney prominence that gets raw from heels. For the heel and toes, try padding the inside of the shoe itself rather than the prominent area. Adhesive moleskin padding is a thin heavy woven cotton fabric that is readily available in most local pharmacies in the foot care aisle. Wear a cushion in the ball of the foot. The medical term for pain in the ball of the foot is called "Metatarsalgia". This typically occurs below the second toe and is often the focal point of the abnormal pressure placed on the bones by the heels. Long standing metatarsalgia can lead to hammer toes, ligament rupture and/or stress fractures. A high heel increases the pressure on the ball of the foot, so try and keep the heel below two inches. Simple gel cushions and/or inserts can less some of the foot pressure and are a good protective measure when wearing heels. Take a heel time-out. Nobody says you have to keep your heels on all night. Give your feet a rest for a few minutes by taking the heels off and letting your feet breath. Try simple curls with the toes to mobilize and stretch strained muscle. Pumping the ankle up and down can transiently improve circulation in the foot. Wear "Comfortable" Heels. Is there such a thing as comfortable heels - probably not. But some heels can feel worse on your feet than others. For nights that involve a lot dancing, it may be better to wear a lower heel for comfort. Not to mention that high heels may make one prone to falling and twisting an ankle or foot. Shoes with more space around the toes may be a better selection for very active nights.
If you happen to be lucky enough to avoid high heel hell with these steps, then hopefully you won't have a
Dr. Neal Blitz
Foot & Ankle Surgery
New York City
To learn more about Dr. Blitz or bunion surgery, please visit www.drnealblitz.com