Recommended Steps for Taking Care of Your Feet
Walking is something many people take for granted until they experience extreme pain or discomfort. In some cases, foot problems can even lead to larger issues with muscles, bones, tendons and ligaments throughout the body. If you have neglected taking care of your feet lately, these simple steps can get you back on track.
Examine Your Feet Daily
Just like you wouldn’t skip a shower, it is best not to go a day without taking care of your feet properly.
A basic inspection of your feet will only take a few minutes. Be on the lookout for common issues, such as:
- Cuts and sores
- Redness or tenderness
- Infected toenails
Then, clean your feet with warm water and moisturize them with lotion, cream, or petroleum jelly.
Wear Properly Fitting Shoes
Wearing improperly sized shoes can be a recipe for disaster. Exercising or even just walking all day in ill-fitted footwear can leave your feet feeling tired and sore.
Uncomfortable shoes are usually too small or too tight. When buying shoes, make sure that the ball of your foot comfortably fits in the widest area of the shoe. Properly fitted footwear will have plenty of room for your toes at the top of the shoe.
It’s also worthwhile to invest in shoes that offer good arch support. Wearing flat shoes every day, like flip flops and sandals, increases the risk of foot problems in the future.
Keep Your Toenails Trimmed
Your toenails should be another major consideration when taking care of your feet. Letting your toenails grow too long can make walking difficult, especially if you’re wearing closed-toe shoes.
Make sure to trim your toenails when they grow beyond the toe. It’s best to keep them short but not too short. Always cut straight across with a nail clipper.
After trimming your toenails, use a nail file or emery board to round the corners. Regular toenail care prevents ingrown nails, which are not only painful but can potentially become infected.
Control Foot Odor
Smelly feet can happen to anyone, but the good news is that there are many ways to prevent foot odor.
Always wash and thoroughly dry your feet. You can apply baby powder or an un-medicated foot powder to keep them dry throughout the day. Change your socks at least once a day.
In addition, choose shoes that allow your feet to breathe. Materials like canvas, leather and mesh are best. Avoid plastic and nylon.
Massage Your Feet
Your feet do more work than many people realize. Think about how many steps you take throughout the day and how far you travel!
Every so often, give your feet much-needed care by treating yourself to a massage. Or, for no cost at all, you can rub your feet at home using a tennis ball or warming oil.
Taking Care of Your Feet Today Protects Them for a Lifetime
Your feet may be the lowest part of your body, but they deserve the highest amount of care. By taking care of your feet now, you can avoid foot problems in the future that could one day make walking difficult or even painful.
If you would like to learn more about foot care, get in touch with one of our health care professionals. Family Health Centers has many convenient locations in Nassau County where we offer podiatry services to all regardless of insurance status or the ability to pay. Contact us today to request an appointment.