Five ways to keep your feet healthy
Most of us spend a significant part of our day on our feet whether as part of our jobs, doing chores at home, or going out with friends and family. As a result, our feet take a beating. Whether you have foot problems or not, taking care of your feet should play an important part in your daily routine.
Here are five tips to help keep your feet in tip-top shape:
- Keep your feet clean. It’s not enough just to stand in the shower, wash your body, and hope the water and soap will trickle down to your feet and toes. For healthy feet, be sure to take a minute or two to scrub your feet, heels, soles, toes, and in between. Basic soap and water are plenty to get the job done. While washing your feet, also feel for any abnormalities like bumps and lumps or sore spots. Bring these to the attention of your podiatrist.
- Keep your feet dry. After you wash your feet, don’t just drip dry on the bathmat. Use a corner of your towel to dry your feet. Be sure to dry between your toes as well. Taking the time to both wash and dry your feet properly will help reduce odor, bacteria, and fungal infections such as athlete’s foot. Drying your feet is also the perfect time to inspect them for any damage. If you notice discoloration, unusual bumps or bruises, or any other abnormalities, consult your podiatrist.
- Change your socks. Put on fresh, clean socks. Not only should your socks be clean and dry when you get dressed in the morning, but you should also put on clean socks after every gym workout, long walks or runs, and anytime your feet have gotten wet, sweaty, or dirty. Wearing dirty or damp socks is an open invitation to bacterial and fungal infections.
- Wear the right shoes. Your podiatrist will help you to determine the best type of shoes for your feet, including analyzing your arches, the size and shape of your feet, and if you have bunions, corns, or other bumps or abnormalities that need to be considered. Your podiatrist may also examine how you walk and stand to determine whether or not you should be using orthotics. In general, however, wear shoes that are snug but not tight, and allow plenty of room for your toes. Avoid loose sandals, in particular flip-flops, as loose sandals and flip-flops are associated with a high risk of foot and ankle injuries.
- Get a foot checkup. Just as you make take care of your body by having your annual checkup, get your feet checked out too. While your primary care physician is able to give your feet a general exam, make a podiatry visit a regular part of your health routine. Your podiatrist will conduct a visual inspection of your feet and ankles, including looking at your skin and toenails. Your podiatrist will also physically examine your feet and ankles for unusual bumps, sore spots, or other issues below the surface of the skin. During your exam, your podiatrist will discuss your overall health, risks for diabetes and other complications, and any other concerns that might impact the health of your feet and thus your overall health.
If you are experiencing foot pain or any other foot conditions, contact Kansas City Foot Specialists at 913-338-4440 to schedule an appointment.