You probably give a lot of attention to healthy eating, exercise, and stress management. When is the last time you gave consideration to the health of your feet? Even if you’re not athletically-inspired, your feet work tirelessly every day to get you through your essential tasks. While it can be easy to neglect them, your feet deserve as much care as any other part of your body. The following information will focus on important ways to keep your feet healthy for many years to come.
General Care for Healthy Feet
Let’s begin with the basics of healthy foot care. You’re likely aware of the importance of keeping your feet clean and dry. Regular washing can prevent common fungal infections that can cause itchy and cracked skin. Keeping your feet dry is a must in terms of both fungal infection prevention and comfort. It can also be helpful to moisturize your feet on a daily basis to prevent dryness, cracked heels, and other common problems. Lastly, trim your toenails straight across and file the edges in a comfortable fashion. This will help prevent painful ingrown toenails.
Foot care is especially important if you have diabetes, since your nerves might be damaged in your feet and you might have less blood flow there. You should have a foot exam at least annually, and always keep the blood flowing to your feet. Even if you have a minor foot problem, such as a corn or callus, you should avoid treating it yourself and go to a doctor instead. Wearing comfortable shoes that aren’t too tight is a great way to avoid problems as well.
Proper Footwear for Healthy Feet
You may not give a lot of thought to the types of shoes you wear on a daily basis. However, if you spend a lot of time on your feet, your shoes are a vital part of maintaining excellent foot health. For starters, you need to consider your arch support. Even in the heat of summer, it is ideal to avoid flip-flops and slip-on style shoes that lack proper arch support. These shoes can lead to the development of foot pain over a period of time.
It’s also important that your shoes fit properly. Shoes that are too tight can rub against your toes, leading to pain or injuries to the toenails. Pointed-toe shoes can cause defects within the toes and toenails. Additionally, selecting shoes that are too narrow could cause your feet to swell and cramp. It’s ideal to select your shoes while wearing the socks or hosiery that you’ll normally be wearing in your day to day life. This gives you an accurate picture of how the shoes will feel on a daily basis. Try to alternate your shoes so that you aren’t wearing the same pair daily. Choose a broad, rounded toe style that can accommodate minor foot swelling throughout the day.
Foot Exercises and Injury Prevention
You may give considerable attention to exercising your body. But, have you considered daily foot exercises to maintain the health of your feet? Gentle stretches can relieve pain, promote flexibility, and prevent injuries from exercise or sports activities. Foot exercises don’t need to be complex. Consider simple stretches that elongate the foot or rolling a tennis ball under the foot to relax and stretch the muscles.
Knowing When to Visit a Podiatrist
Regardless of how much time you spend caring for your feet, problems can still arise that warrant the attention of a podiatrist like Scola, Jere A. Podiatrists are medical doctors that specialize in caring for the unique needs of the feet. If you experience ongoing pain without a known cause, bunions, severe calluses, or signs of an infection, it is in your best interests to consult with a podiatrist. He can also provide necessary advice for enhancing your regular foot care.
Your feet are an often-neglected part of your body that fulfill many vital functions each day. By implementing the steps above, you can have healthier feet to carry through the tasks of daily living. As always, seek immediate medical attention if you suspect you have a foot problem. You only get one pair of feet to last you a lifetime, so be sure to show them some tender loving care on a regular basis.