5 Ways to Keep Your Feet Healthy

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Your feet carry you everywhere and are an essential part of your body

1. Find the right shoes

Proper footwear should support and protect your feet while allowing them to move naturally when you walk. Ill-fitting shoes may cause foot problems such as calluses or corns, bunions, and ingrown toenails.

When replacing your shoes, make sure that:

  • The shoe upper is made of leather or of breathable natural or synthetic materials with a seamless lining.
  • The shoe offers deep and ample toe space to avoid compressing the toes and the joints on the side of the foot.
  • The soles are made of lightweight and flexible rubber, with a good grip.
  • If you’re getting heels, make sure the height does not exceed 3 centimeters (1.5 inches) and that the heel is wide enough to provide stability.
  • The shoes feature shoelaces, buckles, or Velcro fasteners that hold the shoe comfortably and securely to the foot.

2. Treat your calluses

Mild corns and calluses generally do not need treatment and go away on their own. But there are things you can do to help them go away faster:

  • Use thick socks to protect your skin.
  • Scrub the calluses with pumice stone when taking a bath or shower.
  • Use callus pads or cushions to ease the pressure.
  • Apply salicylic acid to help dissolve corns and calluses. Do not use acid treatments on your feet if you have diabetes.
  • Use prescription orthopedic devices.

3. Control any odors

The two main culprits for foot odor are sweat and shoes. The combination of sweat with the bacteria in your shoes and socks causes foot odor. However, it is possible to avoid or control:

  • Wash your feet every day with warm water and mild soap. Make sure to dry them thoroughly.
  • Apply baby powder or non-medicated foot powder. You can also try using antibacterial ointment.
  • Change your socks and shoes at least once a day.
  • Wear shoes that let your feet breathe: leather, canvas, and mesh are suitable options; avoid nylon or plastic.
  • Avoid using the same pair of shoes for 2 consecutive days. When it comes to sport shoes, alternate your pairs to allow them enough time (at least 24 hours) to dry.

4. Prevent pain

Foot pain can hinder day-to-day activities, such as walking your dog or playing with your kids. What is behind that pain? There might be a variety of causes. For women, high heels could be the main culprits. Other causes may include excess weight, poorly made shoes, foot injuries or hematomas, or faulty biomechanics, meaning that the way that you walk is not entirely normal.

5. Give them some TLC

Your feet also deserve to be pampered, so create new habits to give them the attention they need to be healthy:

  • Rest and relax your feet every day. Lay down and elevate your feet for a couple of minutes. Give them a relaxing massage with your hands or roll a ball —like a golf or tennis ball— or a roller under your feet for a similar effect.
  • Exercise your feet to maintain blood circulation. Walking is your best option to achieve this. Try to take 30-minute brisk walks, five to seven times a week.
  • Check your feet regularly. Look for sores, cracked skin, or reddened skin. Remember to inspect the space between your toes.
  • In order to avoid ingrown nails, clip your toenails in a straight line to a length that is slightly longer than the tips of your toes.

If you notice any foot problems, treat them immediately before it gets worse and remember to talk with your trusted podiatrist at Salus.

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