For many people, foot care swings from one extreme to the other. Weekly or monthly pedicures are enjoyed by some, while others don’t look at their feet unless they are experiencing pain. In fact, the feet deserve attention on a daily basis. Consider the weight and pressure placed on the feet, and you’ll agree that basic foot care is important. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, special diabetic foot care is required.
How do I care for my feet?
Wash and Dry
Did you know that each of your feet has over 250,000 sweat glands? Keep your feet clean by washing them daily with warm water and a gentle soap. If you’re in a rush, you may be tempted to let the shower water wash over them. However, it is important that you use a cloth to cleanse the feet, especially between the toes. Those spaces are the perfect place for a fungal infection like athlete’s foot to begin. fter washing, dry your feet thoroughly to avoid infections.
Check-out Your Feet
The skin of the feet can become dry and sensitive, so moisturize after washing them. Cracks in the skin due to dryness allow infection causing bacteria to enter the body. Choose a lotion that you like, but avoid putting it between your toes to decrease the risk of fungal infections. While you’re moisturizing, check out your feet. Take note of any sore spots, cuts, blisters, or calluses. Pain is the body’s way of telling us that something is wrong. Don’t ignore signs that your feet need medical attention.
Only Trim Your Nails
You may be tempted to trim calluses and corns yourself, but this is not advisable. Cuts on the feet can be painful, and open the door to infections. Nail care can typically be done at home. Remember to cut the nails straight across to avoid ingrown toenails.
Walking and stretching are great for your feet and ankles. Improving your circulation and helping you to maintain a healthy weight are just two of the benefits.
Is proper footwear important?
Yes! Wearing shoes that fit properly is one of the best things that you can do for your foot health. Footwear that is too small and too tight can lead to blisters and aggravate bunions. Have your feet measured regularly, and shop for shoes in the afternoon when your feet are the largest.
Shoe size is not the only important factor in footwear. Information regarding your gait and foot shape will also help in selecting the best fit for your feet. Dr. Merrill may recommend orthotics to assist in spreading your weight evenly across the foot. This will help to avoid painful conditions such as plantar fasciitis.
Once you find great fitting shoes, be sure to alternate them. Allowing your shoes to dry, and always wearing clean, dry socks will help you to avoid toenail fungus.
When should I see a podiatrist for my foot care?
Basic foot care can be done at home, unless you have a medical condition such as diabetes. However, if you are experiencing pain in your feet or ankles, recurring issues such as athlete’s foot, or are wondering about other foot health concerns; you should call Southern Oregon Foot & Ankle. Call today for an appointment, or schedule online. Dr. Evan Merrill will answer your questions, and design a treatment plan to fit your needs, because healthy feet mean a happier you!