5 Proper Foot Care Tips From A Podiatrist
Posted by Jenn F. on Monday, May 13th, 2013
We recommend that every American add a podiatrist to their team of health care experts. People come in to our NYC Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine for everything from foot pain and sprained ankles to fungus toenails and plantar warts. It’s a wild world out there, but it behooves you to take care of your feet so you can enjoy the best possible mobility for years to come. Here are five proper foot care tips you can learn from a podiatrist.
1. “The best socks are not 100% cotton.”
Look for sport sock blends that include “sweat-wicking” material. Cotton may be cheap and comfortable, but it’s not suitable for an active lifestyle. Socks made with 100% cotton absorb sweat, become easily saturated and dry slowly. Not only does this encourage blister formation, but it’s also the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and fungus.
2. “Arch supports should be firm.”
The gel inserts Dr. Scholl sells is more like added cushioning, rather than support. This gel will squish and wear down flat in no time. Flat arches require a more structured, form-fitting material to keep your foot aligned properly. If you’re experiencing heel or ankle pain, chances are you can correct the alignment of the entire foot with a little extra arch support.
3. “There are a few easy, at-home remedies for blisters.”
Philadelphia podiatrist Mallory Eisenman recommends putting a dab of Vaseline on the back of the heel to reduce friction and avoid a blister. If you do get a blister, she says you can take a tea bag (regular, not herbal), dip it in hot water, let it cool, and compress it on the blister for 10-15 minutes to speed healing. If it’s terribly painful, try icing it for 20 minutes at a time and avoiding hot water (which draws blood to the area and increases inflammation).
4. “Losing weight is one of the best things you can do for your feet.”
Carrying as little as 10 pounds of extra weight can be enough to cause foot and ankle pain, according to the Foot & Ankle Center in Washington. Foot problems like plantar fasciitis, arthritis and posterior tibial tendonitis are especially aggravated by added weight. Studies show that, when climbing stairs, the average person carries four to six times’ their body weight. It can be difficult to lose weight, especially as one gets older or goes through menopause, but the fact of the matter is that age is just a number and older people are actually better at keeping weight off than younger, more flippant dieters.
5. “Podiatrists do not cut nails. That’s what a pedicurist does.”
That being said, we are happy to show you how to cut your nails properly if it’s an issue for you. There are many foot problems related to nails that have been cut improperly — or perhaps even not cut at all. Unkempt nails can lead to ingrown toenails, blisters, infections and even gangrene. The best way to trim a toenail is to shower first to soften the nail. Then, trim the nail straight across and smooth the corners down with a nail file. When finished, the nail should reach the tip of the toe. Under-cutting nails can also be problematic.
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.