Your feet carry you around every day, so make sure you’re paying attention to them! There are easy steps you can take to keep your feet and ankles pain-free, and these include wearing the proper footwear, self-examining your feet daily, and good hygiene. Healthy feet will help you remain active and have a healthy lifestyle, so follow the guidelines below to properly care for your feet at home.
Make sure to properly clean and dry your feet. Use soap and water to clean your ankles, top and bottom of your feet, in between toes and under nails. It is also important to dry your feet well to avoid moisture sticking around to create a fungal infection. It is also a good idea to moisturize your feet daily, but don’t put lotion between your toes in an effort to prevent infection.
Pay close attention to your feet. It is important to give yourself a self-examination often (at least once a week) to make sure that you’re taking note of anything new or bothersome. Look for any scaling on your soles, peeling in between your toes, or discoloration of your toenail(s). It is especially important to provide great care to your feet if you are diabetic because you have a higher risk of sores and infections. Cut your toenails properly. Toenails should be cut straight across, not too round at the corners, and not too close to the skin, as this can cause painful ingrown toenails.
Don’t ignore a discolored or thick nail, because this could be the sign of a nail fungus. Many people try to hide a cracked or crumbling nail with nail polish but this often makes the fungus worse.
Protect your feet when you’re not at home. It’s a good idea to wear sandals in a public shower, in the gym or at public pools. You have a higher chance of coming across fungus that can lead to infections.
Don’t share your shoes! This is true for sports shoes, sandals, walking or running shoes, as well as socks.
Keep your feet sweat free. You have 250,000 sweat glands in each foot, and it’s safe to say they are running on high alert throughout the day. To keep bacteria at bay, wear breathable shoes and socks that wick away moisture and keep your feet as dry as possible.
Wear shoes that fit properly. Did you know that nine out of 10 women wear shoes that are too small? This can cause long-term foot problems, as well as making it difficult to walk properly. It is also a good idea to rotate your shoes so you’re not wearing the same pair every day, and avoid sandals and flip-flops because they lack proper support.
Don’t succumb to bathroom surgery! Paying attention to your feet is key, but you do not want to take the health of your foot into your own hands. A licensed, trained podiatrist will be able to recognize and safely treat any redness, pain or swelling that you might be feeling, provide relief and track your progress.
Don’t smoke. Smoking impairs blood circulation, and is a great area of concern for people with diabetes. Maintaining healthy blood circulation to your extremities is very important to prevent amputation.
Never trim corns and calluses. Many over-the-counter medicines and do-it-yourself treatments can irritate your skin and make matters worse. Always see your podiatrist so he/she can properly care for corns and calluses you have.
The board-certified doctors at Certified Foot & Ankle Specialists are able to provide excellent patient care and avoid small problems becoming large problems. Practice these tips at home for the great care of your feet and ankles. But, If you have an area of concern, call your doctor!