Imagine yourself walking down the street all happy and excited. And slightly more confident today than all the other days because you have a brand new pair of shoes on and there is nothing that can get you down. Yes, we have all had such wonderful days. Suddenly, you feel an itch, more like a pinch, at the back of your ankle. It starts hurting more and more with every next step that you take. And before you know it, you hate your new shoes. It is a tiny but inversely painful shoe bite that is causing this hate, ladies. Yeah, we have all had such painful days too.
A shoe bite is a blister on the foot caused by repeated rubbing of a shoe, making it hard to walk or wear such shoes. It usually takes place around the ankles, the back of the feet or the toes due to the areas being subjected to friction. It can either occur in the form of calluses, corns, hammertoes or rashes, sometimes containing liquid or puss inside.
Shoe bites can happen due to two primary reasons which are:
Wearing shoes which are not too healthy for your feet whether due to the quality or the material of it can lead to such deformities. For example, wearing pure leather that is too thick or shoes with a pointed or narrow head, high in the heel, often flimsy, and designed for appearance rather than fit kind of shoes.
Wearing shoes that are too small and don’t allow you enough room to breathe can lead to shoe bites. According to womenfitness.net, 90% women wear shoes that are too small for their feet and 80% women say that their shoes are painful. As a result, nine times more women (than men) are likely to develop bunions, hammertoes and other painful foot deformities because of ill-fitting shoes. Feet sometimes spread and get larger with age and wear. Yet most people don’t have their feet re-measured periodically, as they should. This, too, can result in blisters, something that is very common in women over 55 years of age.
If everytime you wear a pair of pumps or bellies or oxfords you get shoe bites, then these footwear types are not healthy for your feet. If you have two pairs of sneakers and one of them gives you shoe bites while the other one doesn’t, then the reason could be either of the above-mentioned. Particular types of shoes CAN give you shoe bites whenever worn. Because feet are under the constant stress and pressure of bearing the body’s entire weight, even a small problem can grow large quickly, then take longer than necessary to clear up. It is a lot harder to ‘rest’ the feet than other parts of the body unless you are willing to stay in bed or a chair all day which, thanks to our hectic lifestyle, is not an option. The worst thing that you can do to your feet is ignoring these tiny shoe bites and regretting big time later.
Here are some effective home remedies with the help of which you can deal with shoe bites:
A toothpaste is something we all have in our homes, at all times. Its ingredients, such as menthol, hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, work as good healing agents. Apply a thin layer of toothpaste (white not gel based) evenly on the affected area. Keep it on for about 30 minutes or overnight for faster results. Wash it off with lukewarm water.
If your feet are prone to shoe bites due to sensitive skin then a bottle of petroleum jelly should always be in your handbag. After washing your feet, apply a generous amount of Vaseline on the shoe bite areas. Let it get absorbed, slip into your shoes and walk without any shoe bite pain. You can also leave it on overnight and let a good night’s sleep soften and soothe the blister.
The easiest home remedy is rubbing ice cubes on the affected area. Even if you are out somewhere at a restaurant or hotel, you can just ask for some ice and get relief instantly as ice numbs the area automatically decreasing pain, itching and burning sensation. It also reduces any swelling that may have been caused by the shoe bite.
Honey is an excellent remedy to treat myriad skin problems. For your shoe bites, just dab the affected areas with raw and organic honey for immediate relief. Make sure you don’t leave the house after applying honey because it can attract dust particles and make the shoe bite more irritable.
Aloe Vera helps you steer through all kinds of skin problems thanks to its healing, soothing and anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, it also prevents infections, gives a cooling effect and decreases itching. Apply fresh aloe vera or a good aloe vera gel on the affected area. Don’t wash it off, let it do its work. A prolonged application will also help reduce scarring that the bite leaves behind.
Is there anything lemons can’t do? The acidic property of lemon acts as a natural antiseptic and helps reduce itching. It can also help reduce the possibility of scars from the shoe bite. Just apply some lemon juice on the affected area using a cotton swab. Let it dry and later, rinse it off with lukewarm water. Follow this remedy twice daily for about a week to see results.
Coconut oil is the go-to remedy for anything, according to my mother. Form an itch to dry skin, virgin coconut oil for skin is a godsent healer. Apply some virgin coconut oil using a cotton swab to your shoe bite for pain relief. Another tried, tested and trusted remedy is to make a mixture of two tablespoons of coconut oil with one teaspoon of camphor and apply it on the affected area.
Potato is rich in antioxidants and also has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It works wonders for almost all body parts and is one of the best home remedies to cure and prevent shoe bites. Just cut a potato into thick slices and rub one on the heel of your foot and the bridge of your ankle. Alternately, you can also extra potato juice and apply it using a cotton swab. You can also mix it with a little peppermint oil and turmeric powder for faster recovery.
Turmeric and neem both have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. All you have to do is mix blend 5-6 neem leaves in a mixer with one tablespoon of turmeric powder and water making a thick smooth paste. Apply a thick layer of the paste on the affected area and leave it on for about 30 minutes. Do this twice a day and your feet will be as good as new.
After coconut oil, olive oil is the next best moisturising agent. There are two ways in which olive oil can be used for shoe bites. One, massage a mixture of olive and almond oil on the affected area for instant relief. Two, mix olive oil and honey in equal ratio making a thick paste. Apply it to your show bite and wash it off after 30 minutes.
Rice flour is a good exfoliating scrub to get rid of shoe bite scars. It helps to remove dark patches and dead skin from the skin, thereby, helping in skin regeneration. Although, it is not one of the best pain relievers. Apply a paste made of rice flour and water to the shoe bite scar. Leave it on for 15 minutes or until it becomes dry and then wash it off with lukewarm water.
Shoe bites can also be treated with rubbing alcohol due to its antiseptic properties. It will give you relief from the irritation and pain instantly, and also reduce the chances of getting an infection. All you have to do is apply some rubbing alcohol using a cotton swab several times a day for 2-3 days.
You might have heard of Aspirin as an excellent headache cure after a hangover. But applying aspirin can be helpful to treat shoe bites too. Aspirin can effectively reduce swelling and inflammation commonly associated with shoe bites. Although, you need not eat one for this. Make a paste of crushed aspirin tablet and water and apply it on the affected area. When it becomes dry, wash it off with lukewarm water.
Shoe bites can also be caused because of excessive sweating and perspiration. If this is the case, just put some powder on your feet to keep them dry and fresh. Talcum powder also helps reduce any burning or tingling sensation that you may feel after a shoe bite.
Butter is not only a good moisturizing agent but also prevents itching, burning, and relieves pain due to shoe bites. Melt around a tablespoon of butter and apply a thick layer of it on the affected area. After some time, wash it off with lukewarm water. If you can keep it overnight, great. If not, apply it 3-4 times a day to get faster results.
Additionally, here are some foot creams, scrubs and masks that will leave you with beautiful looking and feeling feet all the time. Getting pretty feet at home without the additional costs of expensive pedicures at salons is now easy. Here are some more products that you can use for some TLC and feet pampering session over the weekend.
Here are 10 tips that you can try to prevent shoe bites:
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This story was updated in October 2019.