You walk about 5,000 steps per day thanks to them. That’s a distance of 2.5 miles! Not to mention that your feet must bear the weight of your body every step of the way. We also stuff them into shoes and stand on them for long periods of time. They deserve a little more attention than you’re probably giving them. The following is a brief guide.
How should I care for my feet?
It is just as important to take good care of your feet as you would brush your teeth every day.
- Keep an eye out for cuts, sores, swelling, and infected toenails.
- Clean them with warm water, but don’t soak them because that could dry them out.
- Keep them moisturized every day with lotion, cream, or petroleum jelly. Avoid putting moisturizer between your skin and your clothes your toes. In order to prevent infection, the skin should remain dry.
- Shoes that are too tight should be avoided. Foot pain should not be caused by your shoes.
- Avoid flip-flops and flats. There is not enough arch support.
- Rotate your shoes so you don’t wear the same pair every day.
- Nail clippers work best for straightening toenails. Once you’ve smoothed the corners with an emery board or nail file, the nail is less likely to grow into your skin.
Corns and Calluses
What are corns and calluses?
A corn or callus is a thick, hard patch of skin on your feet. You may experience pain when you walk or wear shoes if you have them.
Usually, they develop from rubbing, such as from wearing very tight shoes, or when others place too much pressure on your face foot, for example, after standing for a long time or running.
Only their placement on your feet differs between the two. Usually, corns form on the top of the foot, sometimes on a toe, while calluses form on the bottom.
What is the best way to treat corns and calluses?
Mild corns and calluses usually do not require treatment and will go away on their own. To help them disappear faster, you can do the following things:
- Protect your skin by wearing thick socks.
- In the shower or bath, rub your callus with a pumice stone.
- To relieve pressure, use corn pads.
- Salicylic acid can help dissolve corns and calluses. Make sure you follow directions carefully to avoid damaging healthy skin. If you have diabetes, don’t use acid treatments on your feet.
- Make sure your feet are orthotic-free.
What is the best time to see a doctor?
Do not try to treat your corns or calluses on your own if you have diabetes. See your doctor as soon as possible.
You should also see your doctor if you are feeling any pain. Shoes may need to be changed or padded. The doctor might even shave off the corn or callus. You may need cortisone injections, or in some cases, surgery, if you have a lot of pain.
Can corns and calluses be prevented?
Several simple strategies can help you avoid corns and calluses since irritation is the main cause:
- Make sure your shoes fit your feet properly.
- It’s best not to wear heels every day.
- To further reduce rubbing and pressure on your foot, use gel pad inserts.
What causes my feet to sweat so much?
Hyperhidrosis, also known as sweaty feet, is not known to cause any specific disorders. It’s probably inherited. People with hyperhidrosis sweat constantly, even when it’s hot outside. Men and younger adults are more likely to suffer from hyperhidrosis.
You may also sweat more due to stress, medications, or hormonal changes.
What are some problems caused by sweaty feet?
You might also have smelly feet and are at risk of infections when you have wet feet due to the fact that that wetness can deteriorate your skin. You may find that when you have wet feet, you slip in your shoes.
What is the best way to control sweaty feet?
You should start by taking good care of your feet:
- Use antibacterial soap to wash your feet. Keep your toes clean.
- You can sprinkle cornstarch or foot powder on your feet after they are dry.
- Wear socks that wick away moisture.
- Throughout the day, change socks frequently.
Having trouble controlling it? Consult a doctor. Antiperspirants on prescription, Botox injections, iontophoresis (a method of temporarily blocking sweat glands), and surgery are all available treatments. Topical medication called qbrexa (Glypyrronium) can be used to block sweating locally.
Odor of the Feet
Foot odor: what causes it?
Shoes and sweating of the feet are the two main culprits. Odors are created when sweat mixes with bacteria in your shoes and socks.
How can I prevent foot odor?
Here are some tips:
- Wash your feet daily with warm water and mild soap. Thoroughly dry them.
- Use baby powder or nonmedicated foot powder to dust your feet. Consider applying an antibacterial ointment as well.
- Change your socks and shoes every day.
- Your feet should breathe while wearing shoes made of leather, canvas, or mesh, not nylon or plastic.
- Don’t wear the same shoes two days in a row. Make sure each pair of athletic shoes has time to dry, allowing them to air out for at least 24 hours.
- You can soak your feet in strong black tea for 30 minutes a day for a week (two tea bags per pint of water, boiled for 15 minutes, mixed with 2 quarts of cool water). Alternatively, you can mix vinegar and water.
What are warts?
These hardened growths of skin are caused by viruses. Particularly when they occur on the bottoms of your feet, they can be painful. Plantar warts are called that.
Usually, they are caught by walking on wet, dirty surfaces without any shoes. Through a cut on your skin, the virus can enter. Some cuts are so small you don’t even know you have them. The result could be a plantar wart, which may be hard, flat, and gray or brown in color.
How do I treat warts?
Warts should not be treated by the patient themselves. Depending on your doctor’s recommendation, the wart may be removed with a laser, minor surgery, liquid nitrogen, or a prescription topical.
Wart treatments are available over-the-counter, but your doctor should be consulted before utilizing them. Warts can be mistaken for skin cancer and delay the right treatment, and some of those gels and liquids contain acids and chemicals that can damage healthy tissue.
This treatment should not be used if you have diabetes, heart disease, or circulatory disorders.
How can I prevent warts?
Make sure you follow these tips:
- When using public showers and locker rooms, wear flip-flops.
- Wear new socks and shoes every day.
- Water makes warts grow (warts thrive in moisture).
- Avoid touching warts on other people’s bodies or warts on yourself.
What is athlete’s foot?
The condition can affect anyone, not just athletes. Throughout the world, a fungus infects people in moist, warm environments (like showers, locker rooms, and swimming pools). You bring the fungus into contact with your bare feet, which then goes to live on your foot. Symptoms include dry skin, itchiness, burning, scaling, inflammation, blisters, and skin cracking.
What’s the worst part? Especially on the soles of your feet and under your toenails, it spreads quickly. By scratching the infected area and touching yourself, you can spread the infection. As a result, you may pick up athlete’s foot by touching bed sheets or clothing with athlete’s foot fungi on them.
What is the best way to treat athlete’s foot?
There is no easy cure for athlete’s foot. Consult your doctor to determine if it is a fungus and not another condition.
You may find some relief by soaking your feet in warm water with Epsom salt.
You may be prescribed an antifungal powder, cream, or spray over-the-counter or prescribed a medication to apply directly to your skin. Antifungal pills may be prescribed by your doctor in some cases. Regardless of whether your symptoms improve, you should continue to take your medication as prescribed. Preventing its return will help.
What can I do to prevent athlete’s foot?
- Using soap and water, wash your feet every day.
- You should pay extra attention to drying between the toes.
- In public, avoid walking barefoot.
- Maintain a dry environment. Use talcum powder on sweaty feet and wear breathable shoes, like leather.
- Change socks frequently if you’re a heavy foot sweater and wear socks that wick moisture.
Insoles and Inserts
What are shoe inserts?
Foot problems such as flat arches and leg pain can be relieved by shoe inserts. You can use them to support different parts of your feet, such as your heel, arch, or ball of your foot. Over-the-counter medications are available.
They’re different from custom orthotics, which are prescribed by a doctor and made specifically for your feet.
You may not be able to use over-the-counter inserts if you have diabetes or poor circulation. If you have any specific needs, speak with your doctor.
How do I find the best insert for my feet?
With so many inserts on store shelves, it can be difficult to choose the right one. In order to create an insert, you must understand its purpose. Because you stand a lot at work, do you need additional arch support? Do you walk a lot and want your sneakers to be a little more comfortable? Below is a quick guide that can point you in the right direction.
- Arch support is recommended for people with flat feet or low arches
- You can cushion your feet with insoles
- Heel liners or heel cups provide extra cushioning in the heel
- Foot cushions prevent shoes from rubbing against heels or toes
Before buying the insert, walk around with it in your shoe for a few minutes. A different insert may be necessary if you feel uncomfortable.
Diabetes and Foot Health
How does diabetes affect foot health?
You are more likely to develop these foot complications when you have diabetes:
- People with diabetes are more likely to develop foot ulcers and infections due to peripheral artery disease, which reduces blood flow to the feet. Infections and ulcers are more likely to occur. Call your doctor if you suspect you have an ulcer, which usually occurs on the ball of the foot or bottom of the big toe.
- People with diabetes tend to develop calluses more quickly and more often. Consult your doctor about treatment options. Therapeutic shoes may be an option.
- The nerves in your feet can be damaged by diabetes. Because of this, you may not be able to detect pain, heat, or cold as well, so a foot injury may go unnoticed. Nerve damage may even alter the shape of your feet and toes, making it difficult to wear regular shoes.
- Nerves control sweat and oil glands in the feet, but if they stop working, your feet can become so dry that they peel and crack. You should moisturize your feet every day. Do not get lotion between your toes.
If I have diabetes, what can I do to take care of my feet?
Keep your feet clean. Your feet should be checked, washed, and dried every day. Include the following on your list of extra tasks:
- Get moving. Consider walking to improve circulation in your legs and feet. At a mall, for example, it is possible to walk indoors. Good shoes are all you need.
- You should not go barefoot. Fitted and protective shoes and socks are best.
- Avoid temperature changes by protecting your feet. It is important to avoid burning or freezing your feet when you have nerve damage. Hot water should not be used on them. Electric blankets, hot water bottles, and heating pads should be avoided. If the pavement is hot or the beach is sandy, wear shoes.
- Maintain a healthy heartbeat. Prop your feet up when sitting to keep blood flowing in them. Twirl your toes for 5 minutes every two to three days, and move your ankles. Don’t cross your legs for extended periods of time as well.
- Daily moisturizing is essential. Apply a moisturizing lotion to the tops and bottoms of your feet, but not between your toes.
- Smoke no more. As a result of smoking, arteries harden faster, causing poor circulation.
Preventing Foot Pain
How can foot pain be caused?
You may find it difficult to do everyday activities like walk your dog or play with your kids if you have foot pain.
What’s causing that pain? Your aches could be caused by several factors. High heels are probably the biggest problem for women. A foot injury or bruise, or faulty biomechanics can also cause this when you’re overweight.
How can I relieve foot pain?
The pain in your feet can be treated at home by using over-the-counter medications.
- Put your feet up more often.
- Relax your aching feet by massaging them. Roll your feet over a rolling pin with your hands, or rub them with your hands.
- Use an anti-inflammatory medication over-the-counter to relieve pain.
- You should wear shoe inserts. There may be enough support in over-the-counter inserts. Occasionally, It is possible that you will need to be fitted with prescription orthotics, which will be made especially for you.
Call your doctor if you have swelling that does not improve within 2 to 5 days, pain that persists for a few weeks, or if you have burning pain, numbness, or tingling in your foot.
Consult a doctor if you experience any of these symptoms:
- Wounds that are still open
- Infections are visible
- Incapable of walking
- Feels like your foot doesn’t support your weight
- I have diabetes and an infected wound that is warm, red, deep, swollen, or not healing
What can I do to prevent foot pain?
The solution to your pain depends on what causes it, but here are a few general guidelines:
- Wear properly fitted shoes, replacing them if the heels or soles are too worn out.
- For any activity, wear the appropriate shoes.
- Don’t wear high heels every day, and do not wear any that are higher than 2 inches.
- If you need to lose weight, do so.
- Exercise should be followed by a cooling down period.
- Smoke no more.
- Take advantage of a shoe insert or a foot pad available over-the-counter.