The feet are one of the most neglected places on the human body. Here are some basic foot care tips to help you protect your feet and ensure they don’t slow you down.
- Clean your feet regularly by washing all the surfaces of you feet with soap and water, including between your toes.
- When cleaning your feet, inspect them.
- If you notice any redness, swelling, and or increase in temperature on any part of your feet, seek medical attention immediately. Please keep in mind that not everyone has good sensation in their feet. Some individuals lose sensation in their feet and do not realize it. This is known as Peripheral Neuropathy and is responsible for a large number of amputations annually.
- If there is any irritation on the feet i.e. itching, burning, or pain, you need to seek medical attention.
- Wear shoes that fit and are comfortable, have the size of your feet checked when you are purchasing a new pair of shoes. Far too often, people wear shoes that are not properly fit to their feet. This can cause ulcer, corns, blisters, and other problems.
- Make sure the insoles of your shoes are not worn out. Insoles in most cases are responsible for the cushioning in the shoes. Clean them periodically and inspect them for wear.
- Wear arch supports that fit you. Some individuals do fine with prefabricated arch supports purchased at shoe stores and hiking stores, however most need custom arch supports molded to your feet in Podiatrists’ offices. When putting them in your shoes, place them under the insole if they are not padded. If they are padded or have a top cover that goes the entire length of the shoe, you can remove the insole of the shoe while you have your orthotics in the shoes. Make sure the top cover is cut to fit your new shoes this will reduce the risk bunching in the toe box of the shoe
- If you have issues with sweaty feet, try some foot powders, changing socks throughout the day, or antiperspirants.
- If you have diabetes or diabetes in your family, you should have your feet checked by your Primary Care Physician or Podiatrist regularly. Please do yourself a favor and monitor your blood sugars diligently.
- If you trim your toenails short, make sure that all of the nail and debris is removed from the nail corners.
- If toenails are thickened and/or discolored, see your podiatrist for treatment options.
- If toenails are split and breaking, see your podiatrist.
- Never wear wet shoes. If you are hiking and your shoes become wet, take your shoes or boots off and air them out. This will decrease the risk of foot infections and blister formation.
- Because the space between the toes is naturally a wet spot on the feet, never apply lotion or other creams between the toes unless you are using an anti-fungal medication to treat athlete’s foot. In order to keep the area dry use cotton balls dipped in alcohol after bathing. Alcohol is an astringent and dries the area.
- Everybody’s feet are different, what is good for one may not be the case for another. Always see a podiatrist if you have questions about your feet.