Your feet deserve more than just a little TLC every now and again. In fact, they deserve daily attention for standing up to the pressure of your body weight (no pun intended) every day. Above all, taking care of your feet is necessary in order to keep them healthy, especially in light of the myriad foot problems that people encounter during their lives.
Some of the commonest foot conditions are caused by wearing improper footwear. This is the main reason why women are more prone to suffering from foot problems as many of them regularly wear shoes that are uncomfortable.
Based on our Podiatrist Topeka KS specialist, the following are some of the commonest foot problems:
- Bunions: A bump at the joint of the base of the big foot causing it to curve inwards onto the other toes and often resulting in much pain.
- Ingrown toenails: This is a nail disorder characterized by the toenail to growing into the nail bed, causing tremendous pain, inflammation and possible bleeding.
- Heel pain: Pain in the heel can be caused by a number of other issues, including plantar fasciitis, gout, Achilles tendinitis, stress fractures, rheumatoid arthritis, and heel spurs, among other reasons. These problems are problems in themselves that require different treatments in order to correct them.
- Cracked heels: An unsightly condition, cracks in the heels and other parts of the foot may be present for several reasons, but mostly due to a lack of moisture.
- Athlete’s Foot: A contagious disease of the feet caused by a fungus, which can spread to other parts of the body. The symptoms can be quite annoying, including itching, a burning sensation and scaling.
Now that you know some of the main foot problems, let’s look at how you can prevent many of them.
- Keep your feet clean and dry
Dry your toes (including the spaces between) properly after washing them to prevent microbial buildup that could cause athlete’s foot and other conditions.
- Trim your toenails properly
Keeping your toenails trimmed at the correct height can help reduce the chances of getting ingrown nails. Use a sharp nail file and cut straight across, taking care not to cut too close to the nail bed. You should also use a file to smooth the edges and prevent jagged edges.
- Moisturize and smooth your feet
A buildup of hardened skin and callouses can increase your risk of cracked heels and foot infections. Remove them by scrubbing or using a gentle foot file or pumice stone. For moisturizing, use a high quality skin lotion on your feet (but not between your toes) daily; coconut oil and olive oil are also great moisturizers for the feet.
- Wear comfortable shoes
Stiletto heels with tapered toes are considered to be sexy and attractive but often wreak havoc on the feet if worn consistently. Standing for long periods or walking in such shoes is a recipe for bunions, tendinitis, heel spurs and many other foot problems. Trade in your high heels and close-fitting shoes for those with low, broad heels and which have space at the front to comfortably accommodate your toe spread. Limit your heel diet to only when you have to be in the office or at important meetings.
- Wear clean socks
Change your socks daily to prevent bacteria and fungus from building up. Dirty socks can contribute to smelly feet and infections.
- Avoid walking barefoot
Exposing your bare feet to the ground and floors could allow germs to get onto and into your skin, which can in turn cause problems in the feet and other parts of body. Keep your feet covered at all times in comfortable shoes and sandals to prevent this.
- Visit a foot care professional
Podiatrists and other experts in foot care can offer you valuable advice and tips on caring for your feet, in addition to providing effective treatment for foot conditions.