Healthy feet are an important part of general well-being. Although we may not pay much attention to them when we're feeling fine, pain in the feet or ankles may stand in the way of everyday tasks and exercise. Our feet and ankles are our foundations, and so problems with these may actually cause pain in the legs, pelvis, or lower back. The first step to healthy feet is taking good care of them.
Follow these 10 essential tips, and you'll be making great strides in achieving and maintaining foot health:
- Remember that foot pain isn't normal, and shouldn't be ignored. Consult a podiatric physician about any pain that persists or reoccurs.
- Inspect your feet regularly, paying close attention to color changes, foot temperature, and changes in the toenails, as well as cracks, cuts, peeling, scaling, or any growths.
- Wash your feet daily, being sure to wash & dry thoroughly between your toes.
- Toenails should be trimmed straight across...but not too short! Diabetics should get their toenails cut by a foot specialist.
- Properly fitted shoes are important. Shop for new shoes later in the day when feet are at their largest, and replace worn shoes.
- Select the right footwear for your activity.
- Wear moisture-absorbing socks.
- Don't walk barefoot, as this increases your chances of injury or infection.
- Care for your feet by moisturizing them (but not in between the toes) and using sunblock when at the beach.
- Don't attempt to treat ailments by yourself. See a professional foot specialist to avoid turning a small problem into a big one!