Nine Simple Tips For Healthy Feet
Posted by Jenn F. on Thursday, September 20th, 2012
With autumn on the way, it’s easy to forget about your feet as you pack up your flip flops and sandals and put on socks and boots. There’s no time of year when you can forget about foot care, though–your feet always need your attention.
Here are some tips for keeping your feet happy for the rest of the year (and your life):
- Don’t ignore foot pain If your foot hurts, that means there’s something wrong; it’s as simple as that. Okay, if you’ve just run a marathon, hiked the entire Appalachian Trail, or danced the night away at a wedding, then yes, it’s normal for your feet to hurt. If there’s no screamingly obvious reason for your foot pain, though, you should have your foot examined by a podiatrist at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine (212.996.1900). It’s better to do something too early than too late. As the astronauts say, don’t let a problem become an emergency.
- Make sure your shoes fit I know we say this all the time, but it’s really important. Different shoe manufacturers size their shoes differently, so sizes often vary. Also keep in mind that your feet change size as you get older–just because you wore a size 7 last year doesn’t mean you’ll be wearing it this year. Always try shoes on!
- Keep them clean Wash your feet every day and make sure you dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes. If you picked up any bacteria or fungus on your feet, this will help nip that in the bud. I know, you’re thinking, “I take a shower every morning, my feet are clean,” but I think it’s always a good idea to wash them in the evening before you go to bed. I mean really, do you want to put your feet and all the accumulated sweat and dirt of the day in your bed? I don’t.
- Moisturize If your feet feel dry, use a good foot moisturizer or petroleum jelly on them every day to prevent cracking, especially in the heels. Don’t put moisturizer between your toes, though–it’s hard for moisturizer to dry there, and dampness between your toes can lead to fungal infections.
- Check them out Take a serious, good look at your feet on a regular basis. Changes in the color or thickness of your toenails can indicate a nail infection is developing. If your feet appear to be paler than normal, that could be a warning that you have a circulatory disease. Take that seriously and get checked by your doctor.
- Don’t dismiss the itch Itchy feet? That could mean you have a fungal infection. Try these home remedies to fight foot fungus, but if they don’t work, see a podiatrist to get it under control.
- Don’t do it yourself It’s okay for you to soak your feet in vinegar to try to get rid of athlete’s foot, but you shouldn’t try to remove a corn or callus yourself. If you have a corn that’s irritating you, buy pads to put over them and protect them. If they’re still painful, see a podiatrist to have them removed carefully in the office.
- Keep trim Cut your toenails regularly. They should be cut so they’re even with the top of your toe. Cut them straight across–don’t curve them downward as that can lead to ingrown toenails.
- Don’t overheat In winter you may be inclined to wrap your feet in super warm socks and stuff them in thick boots, but that can be overkill. Fungal infections love warm sweaty feet shut up inside dark enclosed places like boots. Wear moisture wicking socks to draw moisture from your feet. If you tend to have sweaty feet, pack a change of socks.
So there you go–these are all very simple things you can do to make sure your feet stay in top shape. Follow these tips and hopefully you’ll always be able to put your best foot forward (eek, bad pun alert!).
If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine. Dr. Josef J. Geldwert, Dr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.