Shoe bites are a common problem and an unfortunate downside to the joy of a new pair of shoes. A shoe bite is an ugly sore that occurs on the foot after wearing new or ill-fitting shoes.
Tight shoes brush and rub against the skin, causing friction that eventually results in inflammation, pain and swelling. Shoe bites hurt more when you stand or walk, and can lead to blisters and leave unsightly scars.
Women are more prone to shoe bites, since they wear tight, narrow and uncomfortable shoes more often than men.
The first step in healing a shoe bite is avoiding the shoe that triggered the problem. You can start wearing that shoe again after the skin heals completely.
You can treat a shoe bite with an antiseptic cream, but there are simple home remedies that are just as good for reducing the pain, promoting healing and preventing scarring.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for shoe bites.
1. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is one the best remedies for shoe bites. Its moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties will help heal a shoe bite quickly.
- Burn a mature, green coconut tree leaf. Mix the ashes with enough coconut oil and apply it on the affected area. Do this two or three times daily until the skin heals completely.
- Mix one teaspoon of camphor and a little coconut oil. Apply it gently on the affected skin twice daily for a few days. This will lessen the pain as well as inflammation and itching.
To prevent shoe bites, you can even apply some coconut oil on the inside of the shoe before wearing it.
Honey is another effective remedy for shoe bites. The healing nature of honey will accelerate healing, decrease bruising, and reduce inflammation and pain. Also, it will help lighten shoe bite scars. Use raw, organic honey for quick results.
- Mix equal amounts of organic honey and sesame oil. Apply it on the affected area. Allow it to dry on its own and then rinse it off with warm water. Repeat twice daily until you get the desired results.
- Simply applying honey on the affected area three times a day will also help heal the problem.
3. Rice Flour
Rice flour is a good remedy to get rid of a shoe bite scar. It works as a homemade exfoliating scrub to get rid of the dead skin cells.
- Mix one or two tablespoons of rice flour with enough water to make a thick paste.
- Apply the paste on the shoe bite scar.
- Leave it on for 15 minutes or until it dries.
- Wash your feet with lukewarm water.
- Repeat two or three times a week until the scar is gone.
4. Aloe Vera
You can use aloe vera to reduce the burning sensation, inflammation and pain from a shoe bite. The anti-inflammatory and soothing properties of aloe vera will help the skin heal quickly. Being rich in antimicrobial properties, it will also prevent infection.
- Extract the gel from an aloe vera leaf.
- Apply it on the affected area.
- Allow it to dry on its own and then rinse it off with lukewarm water.
- Repeat several times a day for three to four days.
5. Turmeric and Indian Lilac
The combination of turmeric and Indian lilac (also known as neem) is another good remedy for shoe bites. Both ingredients contain anti-inflammatory as well as antimicrobial properties that help treat inflammation, pain and itching.
- Tear a handful of fresh Indian lilac leaves roughly with your hands.
- Put the leaves in a blender along with one tablespoon of turmeric and a little water.
- Blend them to form a thick paste.
- Apply the paste on the shoe bite.
- Leave it on for 20 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water.
- Repeat twice daily for a few days.
Applying an ice pack on the affected skin will relieve inflammation, numb the area and alleviate pain.
- Warp some ice cubes in a washcloth and place it on the affected area for about 10 minutes.
- You can also put the affected area under a cool running tap for a few minutes.
Use either of these remedies several times a day.
7. Rubbing Alcohol
Shoe bites can also be treated with rubbing alcohol due to its antiseptic property. It will give you relief from the irritation and pain. It will also reduce the chance of infection.
- Put a small amount of rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball.
- Rub it onto the affected area and leave it on.
- Do this several times a day for two to three days.
Aspirin has strong anti-inflammatory properties that can effectively reduce swelling and inflammation commonly associated with shoe bites.
- Grind one regular aspirin into powder form.
- Add a few drops of water to make a paste.
- Apply the paste on the affected area.
- Leave it on for a few hours and then wash it off with lukewarm water.
- Do this twice daily for a few days.
If you have blisters due to a shoe bite, toothpaste can help dry out blisters quickly. This works because toothpaste contains ingredients like baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol and menthol. Also, toothpaste can reduce itchiness.
- Apply a little bit of white toothpaste on the affected area.
- Leave it on for two hours.
- Clean it off with a damp washcloth.
- Apply some petroleum jelly.
- Do this once daily until the blister is gone.
Note: Do not use gel-based toothpaste.
The acidic property of lemon juice acts as a natural antiseptic and helps reduce itching. Plus, it can help reduce the chance of having a scar from a shoe bite.
- Extract the juice from a fresh lemon.
- Apply it on the affected area using a cotton ball.
- Allow it to dry and then rinse it off with lukewarm water.
- Follow this remedy twice daily for about a week.
When it comes to shoes bites, prevention is much better than the cure. Here are a few simple steps that can help prevent shoe bites:
- When buying a new pair of shoes, look closely at factors like the quality of the material, the shoe edges and weight of the shoe.
- Always buy shoes that fit right—neither too tight nor too loose.
- It is important to try on shoes before buying them. Wear both the shoes and walk around for a few minutes to check the comfort level.
- Apply coconut oil, olive oil or castor oil inside your new shoes at problem areas for three consecutive nights to soften them before wearing.
- Apply some petroleum jelly on your feet before putting on a new pair of shoes.
- Wear good quality stockings, especially with your bellies or any other peep-toes, to prevent shoe bites.
While the home remedies and preventive steps mentioned above are quite safe if used correctly, it is best to check with a doctor if you have painful blisters or signs of infection.