Let’s be honest, we often take our feet for granted. In the morning, we slip on our socks and shoes and head out the door without giving it much of a second thought, until the end of the day, when we hit the pavement for a run or put our feet up to relax after a long day. According to our foot care partner, Healogics, the average person takes about 10,000 steps a day—that’s a whopping three million steps per year!
The thing is, feet take a lot of pounding, and foot health is important for everyone. Do you ever get a blister from wearing heels, or have a toenail fall off? These common concerns can lead to infection. Keeping your feet strong and healthy will help to reduce pain and discomfort, and exercise with proper footwear (don’t forget the socks!) can help strengthen your arches to reduce the likelihood of running into an injury. Plus, good hygiene habits can actually make the difference between bad bacteria growth and getting “athlete’s foot,” or not.
Some people with underlying diseases such as diabetes and circulatory issues are more prone to problems with their feet; in fact it’s estimated that 25% of all diabetics will develop a diabetic foot ulcer at some point in their lifetime. These individuals often develop wounds or ulcers after even the smallest injury or irritation. Without proper treatment, complications can arise, which is why an examination of the foot daily should always be on the to-do list. If an abnormality is identified, it’s important to promptly see a foot care specialist for a comprehensive examination and the necessary treatment.
Here are 8 things you can do to make sure that you have proper foot care to prevent foot pain and infections:
- Wear shoes with good support as much as possible—that may mean abandoning your high heels. For cases of flat feet, etc., orthotics that are made to fit your specific foot may be needed.
- Wash your feet every day with warm water and in-between toes. We often think the running water in the shower does the trick, but scrubbing is much more effective.
- Inspect feet every day for sores, cuts, calluses and blisters, and make sure to clean them properly.
- Trim toenails regularly—this will help keep your toes from hitting the edge of your shoes. Make sure not to trim too short which could lead to ingrown toenails.
- If you have an underlying condition such as diabetes or circulatory issues, check for foot ulcers often and seek treatment if you notice any wounds.
- Don’t go barefoot in areas where there can be sharp objects or rocks that can cut the bottom of your feet.
- Use sunscreen on your feet—the skin on the top/bottom of your feet can be especially sensitive to sun exposure and easily overlooked on a beach day.
- Eat healthy and exercise—maintaining a healthy weight will alleviate pressure on your feet that can lead to foot pain or arthritis.
If you have foot pain or discomfort that won’t go away, or a wound that is not healing on its own, don’t let it affect your quality of life! We specialize in treating wounds at our Centers for Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Therapy. We’ll help you find the right treatment that works for you to get you back on your feet (no pun intended), whether you have a foot or leg ulcer, bone infection or any other concern.