Basic hygiene

  • wash feet daily with mild soap and warm water 
  • avoid soaking feet for longer than five minutes 
  • dry feet well (especially between the toes) 
  • if you have sweaty feet apply surgical spirit between the toes with a cotton wool bud 
  • change socks/stockings daily. Natural fibres (e.g. cotton) are best. Check regularly for shrinkage and that the elastic around the top is not too tight 

Skin care 

  • hard and dry skin can be filed gently with an emery board or similar type foot file. This works better on dry skin before washing. This can prevent painful corns building up. The foot file should be used regularly i.e. two or three times a week 
  • use a moisturising cream on areas of dry skin. Do NOT use it in between the toes. The cream should be used daily 


  • nails should be cut following the shape of the toe 
  • use an emery board to file any rough edges 
  • avoid cutting nails too short or ‘cutting the corners out' 
  • do not dig down the sides of the nails 
  • if you have thick nails, keep the nail plate thin by filing regularly when they are dry 
  • if cutting is difficult try filing - little and often 


  • medicated corn plasters and ‘corn acids' - these can cause open sores and lead to infection 

The Department of Health requires that all Podiatrists (Chiropodists) who work for the National Health Service are registered with the Health Professionals Council (HCPC). Podiatrists working for Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust (SCFT) have all passed a three year training course leading to a Diploma or Degree. 

If you have been advised that you do not currently need treatment from the SCFT Podiatry Department but feel you would like ongoing help with foot care, then the Royal College of Podiatry website provides details of how to find a HCPC registered Podiatrist in your area. The website address is: If your foot health needs change in the future and you would like to be referred to the podiatry service again, please contact your GP surgery who will be able to help you. 

 This information is intended to provide advice to patients. If you have any difficulty with this information or advice please seek medical advice. 

To access more information about this resource and the service related to it, you can review the related resources below.

Preparing for nail surgery
The information below explains what to expect during and after nail surgery and is intended for nail surgery patients and their carers.
Footwear advice
The following information contains advice about footwear.
Domiciliary visits for Podiatry
The Podiatry service offers a home visiting service (Domiciliary) following a GP referral to see patients at home only when there are specific reasons why they cannot access a clinic.

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