Footcare advice for adults and children with spina bifida

Why is footcare important in spina bifida?

Many people with spina bifida have little or no sensation in their feet. Without regular checking, it can be hard to tell if the skin has been hurt or damaged. Sores and cuts can become infected and difficult to heal, causing further problems. If you have spina bifida it is important to check your feet regularly.

Here are some tips to help keep your feet – and you – happy!

Ways to keep your feet healthy include:

  • Visually check your feet at least twice a day, in the morning and in the evening. This is an excellent skill to start teaching young children with spina bifida.
  • Wash and dry your feet daily, checking between the toes for any cuts, red patches or sores.
  • Keep the skin soft by using aqueous cream or good quality foot cream after washing. This can be massaged into the skin, always working towards the heart, which can help poor circulation.
  • Wear cotton rich socks and change them regularly.
  • If you wear orthotics (splints) make sure they fit well and are not rubbing.
  • You can wipe down your splints with warm (not hot) soapy water.
  • Avoid having bare feet. If you are by a pool or a beach you can get aqua/water shoes to wear.
  • In hot weather, remember to put sun cream on your feet and legs if they are exposed.
  • Avoid long periods with wet feet, especially if you have any existing sores or fragile areas of skin. If you do see red or split skin between your toes, use Athlete’s foot cream as soon as possible. Some people find tea tree oil helpful.
  • Do not walk barefoot on sand or concrete, as you may not know how hot it is!
  • Do not sleep or sit too close to a hot radiator or fire.
  • Try to see a podiatrist regularly to keep nails and feet healthy.
  • If you notice any redness, swelling or sores that persist, it is important to get them checked out by a medical professional.

Need more help?

If you need to speak with one of Shine’s specialist advisers about spina bifida or hydrocephalus, call us on 01733 555988 or click here to email us.

Our office hours are Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. We aim to respond to all enquiries as quickly as possible!

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