Your Guide to Caring for Dancers Feet
According to this study on 569 female dancers, 60 to 90% of dancers sustain injuries during their careers. Many of these injuries involve the lower extremities, including ankles and feet.
As a dancer, your feet are an essential component of the craft.
Working en pointe and demi-pointe can place a lot of pressure on a foot’s joints. Maintaining a dancer’s feet care and maintenance schedule can relieve pain and pressure.
Without proper care, however, you might not feel comfortable hitting the dance floor any time soon.
Here are five tips to help you take care of a ballerina’s feet.
1. Keep Them Short
Dancer’s feet aren’t known for glossy polishes and smooth skin. Instead, a ballerina’s feet often look as worn out as the shoes that cover them.
The first step to avoiding long-term dancer’s feet problems is to keep your toenails short.
It’s important to cut the nail straight across instead of curved. Otherwise, a curved toenail can lead to an ingrown toenail, which can cause infection later on.
Instead, keep the length of your nail short, stopping just where the white part begins. Use clippers, and not scissors, to maintain a clean, straight cut.
2. Keep It Clear
After cutting your toenails, don’t continue on with a full pedicure. It’s important to keep your toes clear of polish. That way, you can recognize any issues beneath the nail, such as bruises.
Don’t worry; nail polish isn’t banned from dancer’s feet forever.
You can still wear polish for special events. However, it’s important to remove the polish before your next dance class.
As an alternative, you can also use a clear polish, which will still allow you to see any bruising beneath the nail.
3. Love Your Calluses
Injuries that involve overusing joints and muscles are the most common in dancers. In addition to damaging your dancer’s feet, overuse injuries often involve the ankle, leg, foot, or lower back.
You might also start to develop calluses on your dancer’s feet.
Keep your calluses trimmed and clean. Otherwise, thicker calluses can cause pain, making dancing difficult.
Calluses will protect your feet from blisters and abrasions. However, it’s important to use a pumice stone as needed to avoid cutting your calluses open.
4. Break Them In
You’re bound to develop blisters en pointe work, especially if you’re breaking in new shoes.
For clear-colored blisters on a dancer’s feet, use a sterilized needle to drain out the liquid. Cover it with a bandaid and athletic tape. If the skin already started to tear, use scissors to remove the loose skin first.
For red blisters, don’t pop it. Instead, cover it and let the blister heal on its own.
Make sure to check the fit of your dance shoes, which could contribute to your blisters.
5. Stock Up
For proper dancer’s feet care, make sure to stock your dance bag with:
- Nail clippers
- Band-aids and athletic tape
- Toe pads or lab’s wool
- Needle and thread
- Small pair of scissors
- Foot roller or tennis ball
These essentials can help you prepare for emergencies.
Dance It Out: 5 Tips for Dancers Feet Care
Don’t leave your dancer’s feet without the proper maintenance. Instead, use these tips to keep your feet happy, so you can keep dancing. Leap to it!
Need additional care? Schedule your appointment today with our foot care professionals.
The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about topics related to podiatry, feel free to contact Family Foot & Ankle Centers by clicking here or calling 972-597-4132 to reach our Waxahachie office, 903-872-9910 to reach our Corsicana office, or 972-875-3668 to reach our Ennis office.