Foot Care for Ballerinas
All dancers have seen those horrid before and after photos of ballerina feet that appear to have been subjected to quite a bit of pain. They are often covered with band aids, tape, and/or ace bandages; toenails may change color or be missing and the entire foot may appear misshapen. Pointe work can take a toll on a ballerina's feet, but pain and injury can often be minimized with some basic foot care!
A few basic things you can do for your feet are making sure you've been fit with a professional to ensure you're in the correct shoe and padding for the shape of your feet. Dancing in the wrong shaped boxed can cause pain, discoloration/loss of toenails and blisters. Also, keep your feet clean, especially if there is tenderness or blisters! Washing your feet before and after class will help eliminate some of the germs that make abrasions worse and will help with the smell! However, make sure to dry your feet completely before popping that shoe on and always allow the shoes and padding to dry after class.
Most importantly, if there is an abrasion or injury, allow it to heal before jumping back en pointe. It can be tempting to push through the pain and keep dancing, but pointe work should be uncomfortable, not excruciating. Don't make injuries worse by ignoring them.
Dancers, you'll only have one pair of feet; take care of them!