A step in the right direction with 7 healthy foot care tips

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hammertoes2

A step in the right direction with 7 healthy foot care tips

7 TIPS FOR HEALTHY FOOT CARE

Healthy foot care is not just about keeping feet looking pretty. Of course, everyone wants beautiful feet, particularly during the summer months when sandals and flip flops are the shoes of choice. However, neglecting the health of your feet can lead to pain and other foot problems, as well as back problems. Here are 7 tips to keep your feet healthy.

Maintain Good Hygiene

Healthy feet begin with clean feet. Be sure to clean your feet thoroughly with soap and water every day. Furthermore, discourage fungal growth by keeping your feet dry and making it difficult for bacteria to grow. Pay close attention to each toe, particularly between the toes. Excess moisture encourages fungal infection, so it is important to not only keep your feet clean, but dry as well.

Don’t Forget your Toenails

Toenails should be cut straight across (not dramatically rounded), and not too close to the skin. Otherwise, painful ingrown nails can occur.

Furthermore, unsightly toenails should not be hidden with nail polish. Cracked, discolored, thick or crumbling nails could be a sign of fungus and should be dealt with medically. Nail polish on an infected nail will only make the problem worse.

Wear the Correct Footwear

Clean feet are important, but so are clean socks and shoes. It is also inadvisable to share footwear as you can get fungal infections that way. Your shoes should also fit properly, with enough space to wiggle your toes. Shoes that are too tight will wear your feet down quickly and don’t provide the proper support your body needs. According to Harvard Health, there should be a quarter to half an inch of space between the longest toe and the end of the shoe. Your shoes should also be breathable. Materials such as leather allow air circulation, which keeps your feet dry.

Choosing a shoe with effective arch support is also important. Keep your feet healthy by wearing shoes that provide proper support.

Alternate Footwear

Wearing the same shoes every day can encourage infections. Shoes need time to air out. Socks should also be changed every day.

Examine Your Feet Regularly

Once a week, you should examine your feet for any problems such as scaling or peeling – which may be a sign of athlete’s foot. Other things to look out for are discoloration of the nails as well as ingrown nail. You should examine your feet daily if you have diabetes as diabetes makes the feet more prone to infections, which can result in amputations if left untreated.

Maintain Good Blood Flow to Your Feet

Healthy foot care needs to occur deep within as well. Encourage blood circulation to your feet by putting them up when you sit, and massaging them as often as you can.

Maintain Overall Good Health

Everyone is aware that good health is important for the whole body, and that includes the feet. Avoid excessive smoking and drinking, and be sure to eat a balanced diet.

Feet are often forgotten. Don’t take your feet for granted. They carry you around and get you places. Without them, life would be a challenge. With these tips on healthy foot care, your feet are sure to carry you around without problems for a long time to come.

Dr. Donald Stran
info@houston-footandankle.com

Dr. Donald C. Stran has practiced in the community since 1987. He is Board Certified and is a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgery. He is currently a teaching physician with the St. Joseph’s Medical Center podiatric residency program.



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