You may think that you don’t need to worry about foot care unless you have a major injury. But the truth is, following a few simple guidelines can minimize your risk of foot problems and injuries, and enhance the overall health of your feet.
- Listen to your feet. Surprisingly, many people ignore the signals their feet are sending. Do they hurt, or have tingling? Are you getting blisters, sores, or corns? Your feet are trying to tell you there’s a problem. Sometimes, switching to more supportive and comfortable shoes can solve the issue. But if you’re having ongoing foot pain or other sensations in your feet, don’t delay — talk to a podiatrist as soon as possible. When searching for a podiatrist, look for the letters “DPM” listed after the physician’s name. This means the physician has special medical training in foot and ankle care, offering the highest level of expertise in this specialized field of medicine.
- Use a foot cream daily. Cracked heels can put a damper on your plans to wear open-heeled shoes, but they can also be painful and lead to potential infections. It’s best to apply the cream after a shower or bath, when skin is still slightly damp. Do not put cream between the toes, however, because adding moisture to that area leaves you susceptible to foot fungus.
- Cut toenails straight across. Rounding the tips of toenails can make painful ingrown nails much more likely to develop.
- Skip going barefoot. Even if your feet are healthy, going barefoot in any public area leaves you susceptible to things like warts, athlete’s foot, and other infections. At a minimum, bring a pair of flip flops to slip on and off if you’re swimming or going to the beach. At other times, use more supportive shoes.
- Replace your shoes as needed. This is especially true for running or exercise shoes. Shoes have a limited life and will start to break down with time. In general, running and walking shoes may last around 300-500 miles, depending on how and where you use them. If the shoe is coming apart or doesn’t feel as good as it used to, you probably need a new pair. It’s a small investment that could save you from an injury when you’re exercising.
Do you have foot pain or another issue with the health of your feet? Call Kansas City Foot Specialists to schedule an evaluation at (913) 338-4440, or request an appointment online so we can work with you to keep your feet healthy.