Foot Care Essentials: A Guide to Healthy Feet
Self-care often incorporates the maintenance of physical and mental health holistically to ensure a balance is achieved. Funnily enough, while most of us never miss our hair appointments and pay big bucks on aesthetically enhancing treatments like waxing, manicures, and facials, we often forget to look after our feet. Experience working in a podiatry clinic has confirmed that, most of us, forget to look after our feet.
Why is looking after our feet so important? Well, consider this – your feet are responsible for maintaining balance and taking on the entire weight of your whole body and over the years, they clock a lot of miles in walking and movement. They are understandably prone to wear and tear. Furthermore, neglecting your feet can in the long run, affect your knees, hips, and back.
The upside to this is that it doesn’t take much to look after your feet. Incorporating some of these tips into your self-care routine will save you a fortune in money and pain later on.
- Wash your feet – this seems pretty simple but you’d be surprised at how many of us actually forget to do this especially after being out and about all day. Ensure you wash your feet while you’re having a shower and before bed. A clean foot reduces risks of infections and odors.
- Dry your feet – it is not enough to merely wash your feet, it is imperative that they are also dried well. This is particularly important for the spaces in between your toes as they are often prone to fungal infections.
- Remove hard skin – this can be done by using a foot file or a pumice stone however, if you want effective results, a podiatrist will be able to remove hard skin and calluses quite effectively for you.
- Cut you toenails – long toenails increase the risk of infections and will harbor dirt more easily. It is important to cut your nails straight across. Avoid cutting at and angle or down the edges, as this will cause ingrown toenails.
- Avoid being bare feet in communal areas – ensure that you have an effective barrier (i.e. flip flops) between your feet and the surfaces of communal places like gym showers, swimming pools or hotel bathrooms. This will avoid you catching fungal infections and other nasty pathologies.
- Do not live in your flip-flops – having said the above, avoid being in flip-flops for too long. They are the least supportive form of footwear and can lead to arch or heel pain if worn too often. Opt for supportive enclosed shoes or sandals with adequate support in them.
These are just basic principles to be followed for foot care to ensure healthy feet and reduce risk of infections. In terms of joint and structural stability, always take note for any changes – pain, changed alignment, etc. As we age, our feet will wear out and changes may occur however, it is important to note that your feet should never hurt. If you have any concerns or would like us to take care of your feet, contact Ace Podiatry for an appointment!