When you are experiencing foot ailments of any sort, there are plenty of sources for bad advice. But when it comes to tackling a serious problem, there is nothing like asking a true professional. We’ve collected the best tips from podiatrists about keeping your feet healthy, which also keeps your body healthy.
Our feet contain 26 bones, 19 muscles, 33 joints, and 107 ligaments. Each and every one of them is necessary for your feet to do their job. After all, your feet only have to bear your weight throughout the day, and sustain the impact of all your activities, like walking, running, jumping and standing. The simple fact that we are bipeds is in good part due to the evolution of our feet. They are such a biological achievement, and unless we’ve adapted to a wheelchair, feet are essential for our daily routines. Unfortunately, they’re commonly neglected when it comes to care and maintenance.
Podiatrists, are acutely aware of all this, and they’ve been working hard to help the public see the importance of healthy, well cared for feet. There are numerous books, essays and articles out there about the do’s and don'ts of foot care, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of a good foot regimen. After talking to podiatrists, we gathered a list of some the most important tips and practices for keeping your feet healthy. Some of them might seem very simple but, when you start putting them into practice, you will see and feel the difference.
Daily inspections. Perform a routine check of your feet every day. Check them for swollen areas, pain, sores, cracks, and cuts. Check the overall condition and color of your skin and toenails. Be sure to check between your toes and places you wouldn’t normally be able to see, such as your heals and the backs of your ankles.
Daily Movement. Even though we move our feet all day long, we don’t always move them with our attention on them for a health check. Each day, wiggle your toes and move your ankle around to check for soreness. Sometimes a little soreness can make us stand and walk differently without realizing it. That can lead to irritation that can lead to problems with our skin and overall body posture.
Moisturize & Hydrate. One of the most important ways we can keep our feet healthy is to moisturize and hydrate them regularly. There are tea baths and foot soaks, designed to help balance our foot ph and to hydrate. For foot soaks to try once per week, take a look at our article onFoot Advice from Yogis. And a quality moisturizer will hydrate and rejuvenate skin every day. For the right moisture, tryFOOT SENSE all-natural skin therapy cream. It hydrates, softens, repairs, and protects dry, cracked skin, fast.
Dry your feet. It may sound like a contradiction after the last point, but after washing your feet, you should make sure they are completely dried, especially between the toes. Water is actually drying to our skin because we are oil-based. Also, it can build up and cause water-logged areas that can weaken skin and allow bacteria build-up.
Choose the right shoe size. One of the things you should avoid is trying to get your feet inside tight shoes. And shoes that are too big will cause irritation and other problems. It is better to buy a half size (or a full size) bigger than to buy shoes that are a little too tight. This also takes into account the swelling that occurs throughout the day from daily activity. If shoes are a bit tight or painful at the end of the day, consider adjusting the shoe size.
Rotate your footwear. Avoid using the same pair of everyday shoes in consecutive days. Wearing the same shoes too often can lead to moisture build up. Even if they feel dry in the morning, they may not be completely dried out from the previous day’s sweat, which can lead to odor-causing bacteria build up. Try to take at least a 24-hour break between uses. That goes for sandals and flip flops, too.FOOT SENSE all-natural shoe and gear spray offers superior odor control for feet shoes, and more. It helps to keep your gear dry and protects against bacteria build-up.
Improve the footwear. Flip-flops may be fresh and liberating, but they shouldn’t be used too often. They don’t protect your feet and don’t give them enough arch support. Keep some quality sandals with arch support available. They may not be as easy to walk in the sand, but they will provide a little more protection from other elements that can cause damage to your skin and will give you that arch support we all need.
Keep the blood flow. Foot exercises are also a good idea. Things like stretching the calves, rotating your ankles, or simply curling your toes a few times throughout the day can make a difference. Do this before and after long walks and workouts, too. Feet have the least amount of circulation compared to the rest of our body. Intentionally moving our joints, stretching, and giving our feet a quick massage at bedtime can improve overall health, as well as skin and joint health.
Take care of your toenails. Trim your toenails. Clean them. And take care of your cuticles. You could just go for a weekly or monthly pedicure. They aren’t just for women, you know. But if that’s not your jam, be sure you don’t neglect them. They should be cut straight across, without removing too much of the edges, because that can lead to painful ingrown nails. When you moisturize your feet in the evening and after your shower, go ahead and add some moisture to each of your toenails, being sure to get the cuticles.
Trust your podiatrist. If you have persisting pain in your feet, infections, and other symptoms that something isn’t 100% right, go see a podiatrist. They are the right person to rely on when it comes to foot problems. Your general MD doesn’t get as much education about the feet and won’t always know when it’s time to give you a referral. So take the initiative and get your feet checked periodically, especially if there’s a growing or persistent issue. They’ll give you real, actionable advice about how to care for your feet and keep them healthy.