A Guide to Foot Care

Apr 11, 2022

Quite unfortunately, foot care is often overlooked when we’re caring for the rest of our bodies. Your feet are the foundation of your entire body, and if they’re not healthy, it can lead to a host of other problems.

Research shows that most people have experienced foot problems in their lives, whether mild or severe. By focusing on foot health and taking good care of your feet, you can prevent these problems or manage them better.

Tips to Maintain Foot Health

You need to make some lifestyle changes to keep your feet healthy. Here are a few tips to get you started:

Wear Comfortable Shoes

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s worth repeating. Wearing shoes that fit well and offer support can help prevent many foot problems. If your shoes are too tight, they can cause blisters, calluses, and corns. If they’re too loose, you might develop bunions or hammertoes.

Try to buy shoes later in the day when your feet are at their largest. Break in new shoes slowly by wearing them for only an hour or so at a time until they stretch out.

According to the American Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Society, if the ball of your foot fits comfortably in the shoe’s widest part, you have a perfect fit. The shoe should also be sufficiently deep to prevent any friction between your toes and the top of the shoe.

Finding Comfortable Shoes

Keep Your Feet Clean

Cleaning your feet every day is important, especially if you have diabetes. Use warm water and mild soap to wash your feet. Dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes where fungus likes to grow.

Avoid Wearing Heels Excessively

Heels are fashionable, but they can wreak havoc on your feet if you wear them all the time. High heels force your weight forward and put extra pressure on the balls of your feet.

If you must wear heels, try to keep them under two inches and look for ones that have plenty of cushioning. Avoid wearing them every day, and give your feet a break by wearing flats or sneakers whenever possible.

Trim Your Nails

Trim your nails straight across. Avoid rounding the corners, which can lead to ingrown toenails. If you have trouble reaching your toes, ask someone for help or go to a salon that offers nail care services.

Moisturize Your Feet

Your feet go through a lot, so it’s important to keep them moisturized. Applying lotion to your feet helps prevent dryness, cracking, and other problems.

It’s best to use an alcohol-free moisturizer since alcohol can cause your skin to become dry. You can also use petroleum jelly to keep your feet moist, but it doesn’t absorb into the skin.

Exercise Regularly

Exercising helps improve blood circulation and strengthens the muscles in your feet. It can help prevent conditions like Achilles tendonitis, bunions, and hammertoes.

If you have a health condition that restricts you from cardio or other extensive exercises, speak to your general physician. They will help you create an exercise plan that works for your needs. Start slowly if you’re not used to exercising, and build up your tolerance over time.

Inspect Your Feet

Regular foot inspection can help you catch problems early on. Look for any cuts, bruises, blisters, or redness. If you have diabetes, you should also look for sores or infections.

If you can’t see the bottoms of your feet, use a mirror or ask someone to help you. You should inspect your feet:

  • After taking off your shoes and socks
  • After a bath or shower
  • Before putting on your shoes and socks
  • If you feel any unusual discomfort or bump on your feet
Podiatrist Looking Over Feet

When to See Us for Your Foot Care Needs

Our team of experts specializes in foot and ankle health. If you have any concerns about your feet, it’s best to see us. They can help diagnose problems and offer treatment options. You might need to see us if you have:

Some health conditions make you at high risk of foot issues. These include:

  • High Cholesterol: If you have high cholesterol, you might develop atherosclerosis. In this condition, plaque builds up in your arteries and restricts blood flow. Poor blood circulation can lead to foot problems like nerve damage, infections, and ulcers.
  • High Blood Pressure: High blood pressure can also cause atherosclerosis. The condition makes it difficult for wounds to heal and increases your risk of foot infections.
  • Diabetes: Diabetes can cause nerve damage and poor blood circulation. These problems put you at risk of foot ulcers, infections, and amputation.
  • Arthritis: Arthritis causes inflammation in the joints. It can lead to pain, stiffness, and deformities.

When you visit our team, you should let us know about any foot complications you may have had, such as tenderness, soles, pain in the calves, cracked toenails, tingling sensation, or discolored toenails.

Common Foot Problems to Look Out For

Foot health is often overlooked. However, structural or functional foot conditions can take a toll on your whole body. Here are some foot concerns to be wary of:

  • Athlete’s Foot: It’s a common fungal infection that affects the skin on the feet. Symptoms include itchiness, redness, and flaking skin.
  • Bunions: Bunions are bony bumps that form at the base of your big toe. They can cause pain, swelling, and difficulty moving your toe.
  • Corns and Calluses: Corns and calluses are thickened areas of skin that form from friction. If you have calluses on your feet, walking will become painful.

If you have an existing medical condition, it may also impact your feet. For instance, diabetic neuropathy can cause numbness and tingling in your feet. Arthritis can also make it difficult to walk or put pressure on your feet.

A Comprehensive Plan for Foot Care

Foot and ankle pain is very rarely a problem that can’t be handled. Most cases can be resolved within a few months with the right conservative approach. Surgery is rarely necessary.

But you can’t take the first steps toward relief until you know what’s behind the problem. That’s where we come in.

Schedule an appointment at Michigan Foot & Ankle Specialists in Dearborn, MI by calling (313) 582-6222 or by filling out our online contact form

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