Why Doctors Say You Shouldn't Wear Foot Peels or Ballet Flats

Two foot doctors have revealed the five things people should never do to their feet, including using foot peels and wearing shoes without socks.

Mom and daughter Louise Reaney, 57, and Emily Sharp, 30, run a podiatry clinic and spend all day tending to feet. They're no strangers to bad foot habits thanks to their line of work, and have dished out advice to countless clients.

The pair from Sheffield, England, revealed you should never wear shoes without any socks, or wear flat ballet shoes. They also said they would never use a foot peeling mask, or let someone remove the cuticle during a pedicure and wouldn't take a blade to their own feet.

Podiatrists Louise Reaney Emily Sharp share tips
Mom and daughter podiatrists Louise Reaney and Emily Sharp revealed the five things you should never do to your feet. The pair, who run a podiatry clinic in Sheffield, England, shared their tips in a video, which has surpassed 800,000 views. SWNS/Zenger

In a TikTok video that has surpassed 800,000 views, Reaney said not wearing socks with your shoes is like "wearing the same pair of socks day after day without washing them.. Our feet are designed to sweat a lot.

"They have millions of sweat glands and the skin on your feet needs sweat to lubricate it to allow the skin to work. A sock on helps you soak up more sweat. Without socks it can create a soggy environment for your feet, which leaves you open to fungal infections," Reaney said.

Sharp said she would never wear flat ballet-style shoes if out walking. "There's nothing for your feet to hold on to when wearing ballet-style flats," she said.

"You need shoes on that your feet don't need to claw onto. They're so narrow and there's no space for your toes to get contact with the ground, and people wear them without socks as well!" she said.

A podiatrist of over 25 years, Reaney recommended that people should never use foot peeling masks - not to be confused with regular foot-moisturizing masks.

"If you go into a pharmacy, there'll be a whole section of foot and face masks and they're great to moisture your feet," she said.

Podiatrists Louise Reaney Emily Sharp share tips
Mom and daughter podiatrists Louise Reaney and Emily Sharp revealed the five things you should never do to your feet in a video that has surpassed 800,000 views. SWNS/Zenger

"But they also do foot peeling masks which look the same and they're not as good. They contain salicylic acid–which can be good for the removal of hard skin–but these masks often remove more than just the hard layer of skin. It actually keeps removing good skin and it can make people feel really distressed," she said.

"They continue to peel even after the peeling mask is finished. It really dries out your skin, and then your foot sweats naturally which can result in cracks and splits and get quite sore," she continued.

Reaney said "so many" people have commented on the TikTok saying: "I've used a foot peeling mask–never again!"

The podiatry duo said their most controversial advice is never to remove the cuticle during a manicure or pedicure. A cuticle is the thin, hard piece of skin at the base of the fingernail or toenail.

"A lot of manicures do remove the cuticle to make the nails look neat. I'd just be really hesitant to do that as the cuticle is a barrier to prevent infection from skin to nail.

"Nail tissue is constantly moving forward microscopically, so the layer of skin is there to protect from infections. If you push the cuticle too far back it can create infections," claimed the pair.

Their last bit of advice was to never use a blade on your own feet. To many, that may seem fairly self-explanatory; however, Reaney and Sharp confirmed they've had people come in with "wounds and infections" thanks to DIY surgery.

"We use scalpels a lot to remove callus and thick skin, but we are trained extensively to do it," Reaney said.

Podiatrists Louise Reaney and Emily Sharp
Mom and daughter podiatrists Louise Reaney and Emily Sharp run a podiatry clinic in Sheffield, England, and share tips online for taking care of your feet. SWNS/Zenger

"Your feet are directly under my nose in my eyesight so it's a lot safer. When you do it to yourself it's at the other end of the body and it can be really dangerous. People come in with wounds on and infected areas after they've tried to do it themselves," Reaney said.

5 Things Reaney and Sharp Wouldn't Do as Podiatrists

  1. Wouldn't wear shoes without socks;
  2. Wouldn't wear flat ballet-style shoes all day to walk in;
  3. Would not use a foot peeling mask–skin sheds off feet;
  4. Wouldn't let someone remove the cuticle as part of a pedicure or manicure; and
  5. Wouldn't take a blade to their own foot

Produced in association with SWNS.

This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.