It’s the new year, which means you probably have one or two resolutions that you are trying to stick to. What’s one more? You may not think about them a lot, but your feet play essential roles in your health. Issues in foot health can create long-lasting effects on the rest of the body. Maintaining proper foot hygiene is vital for maintaining your overall health. So, pledge to get healthier feet in the New Year!
Wear Proper Shoes
It’s best to go with a comfortable pair of supportive shoes with a wide-toe box. Nothing is worse for your feet than shoes that are too small or too big, except maybe not wearing shoes at all. We suggest that you stay away from flip-flops and high heels too. Flip-flops offer no support, and their design leaves your feet open to the elements, which leaves you at risk of developing problems like athlete’s foot or injury. High heels force your feet into unnatural positions. The damage this can cause to the structure of your feet can lead to bunions, corns, and calluses.
It’s also essential to replace worn-out athletic shoes. They have been the perfect pair once upon a time, but after about six to eight months of wear, even the best shoes begin to lose their support functions. If you don’t do this, you’re putting yourself at risk for a sports-related injury, which will lead to less time for you to focus on all your New Year’s goals and more time trying to heal something that you could have prevented.
Daily Foot Care
Wash your feet daily! This is essential to proper foot hygiene. You should be washing your feet daily with warm water, mild soap, and a soft sponge. If your water is too hot or too cold, it could cause skin damage. Once you’re done cleaning your feet, you have to dry them, especially between your toes, as added moisture is a breeding ground for bacteria.
Another crucial part of daily foot care is to wear clean socks. You should be changing your socks at least once a day. If you exercise or sweat heavily, you will need to change your socks more. By reducing the amount of moisture on and around your feet, you limit your chances of developing issues like athlete’s foot or blisters. Another way to reduce moisture is not to wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row. Let your shoes air out before wearing them again.
Take Care of Your Toenails
You should be trimming your toenails every two weeks. Use clean clippers or scissors to cut straight across the edge of the nail. Then carefully file the edges. You can use alcohol to sanitize your clippers or scissors. Don’t try and cut your toenails if you have trouble reaching your toes, if you can’t see them on your own, or if you have diabetes and/or neuropathy, peripheral vascular disease, or any other circulatory health issues with your legs or feet. You should visit a foot professional instead. If you have discolored toenails, seek medical attention as this could signify an underlying condition.
Conduct Daily Foot Inspections
Check every surface of your foot. This includes the tops and bottoms of your feet, as well as your toes, in between your toes and your toenails. You should look for several different things. These include:
- Bumps, lumps, blisters, and bruises
- Cuts, sores, or cracked skin (could lead to infection)
- Temperature differences (could be a sign of poor circulation)
- Pain, tingling, numbness, and no feeling at all (could indicate nerve problems)
- Ingrown toenails with red, puffy skin and tenderness or pain
- Loss of hair on the foot or leg (could be an indication of poor circulation)
Consult a foot professional if you are unsure what is causing you pain or the pain does not go away by itself. Minor issues should not be overlooked, as they can become quite severe quickly if left untreated.
Get on your feet and get moving! It doesn’t have to be anything crazy. Even walking 30 minutes a day is good for your foot health. Not only does this get you in shape, which means you’ll be supporting less weight, but it’s great to help maintain flexibility in your feet by putting your feet through their full range of motion. If you can, walk up and down hills. This will strengthen the muscles in your ankles, legs, and feet, providing more stability throughout your everyday life.
Get Regular Check-Ups at The Foot & Ankle Center
At the Foot & Ankle Center, we can help provide services for all sorts of foot-related ailments. However, we do recommend that you visit for just a regular check-up. These are great because they give you a chance to get a professional’s opinion. If you have any questions or concerns about your foot health, request an appointment today!