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Caring for your teenager’s feet

As teens grow into adults, an overlooked foot injury can result in a permanent problem as the foot grows and settles. Once a minor injury is rooted in place, more invasive treatment may be required. Take a look at these four steps and talk to your teen, especially those who play sports, about caring for his or her feet:

1. Choose the correct footwear

For teenagers — and many adults for that matter — fashion comes before comfort. However, the sacrifice of foot care for wearing an uncomfortable, even painful, shoes can result in foot issues.

Specifically, this is true in girls who wear high heels. Exercise caution when selecting footwear. If it seems painful, don’t shrug it off as a pair you can break in, but find shoes that feel comfortable in the store. 

If your teen participates in a sport, make sure their footwear is properly fitted and appropriately suited to their feet’s needs. Four out of ten teens will suffer a foot injury from a sport, but fine-tuning their footwear can decrease the likelihood of their feet getting injured.

2. Keep your feet clean

As mentioned above, teens have a general awareness of hygiene, but they need to understand the importance of keeping their feet clean. When bathing, they need to scrub their feet with soap in water, not swish them around in the bottom of the tub and call it good.

Failure to properly clean their feet can result in Plantar’s Warts or a foot fungus, such as Athlete’s Foot. In public showers, wearing flip flops can also help prevent contamination.

3. Keep feet dry

Sweaty feet are a hotbed for disease and fungus. Wearing shoes and socks that don’t breathe can leave your teen’s feet soaking in sweat all day. This is a bigger problem for athletes whose feet are likely to be sweating heavily from physical performance.

Choose shoes that can let air in and allow sweat to evaporate. Avoid cotton socks because they soak in the sweat and hold it against the foot. Go with moisture-wicking materials, such as wool, silk, and synthetic blends.

4. Pay attention to the signs

Since a teen’s foot is still growing, any sign of prolonged pain or abnormality should be addressed by a podiatrist. Swelling, bruising, and difficulty walking or pain from walking are signs that point to a fracture, sprain, or strain. Don’t ignore this kind of pain as part of a growing process or as a minor injury that won’t have any major consequences. Your teen’s injured foot can cause problems for life if not treated immediately.

Do you have a teen with an injured or painful foot? 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 teen’s feet healthy.