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Foot Care

Years of problems with our feet are often the first indication of more serious medical conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, and nerve and circulatory disorders. 

Preventing Foot Trouble. Practice good foot care.  Check your feet regularly, or have a member of your family assess them.  Podiatrists and primary care doctors (internists and family practitioners) are qualified to treat most foot problems. 

It also helps to keep blood flow to your feet as much as possible.  Do this by placing your feet up whenever you are sitting or lying down, stretching if you’ve had to sit for a long while, walking, having a gentle foot massage, or taking a warm foot bath.  Try to avoid stress from shoes that don’t fit correctly.  Try not to expose your feet to chilly temperatures.  Do not sit for extended periods of time (particularly with your legs crossed).  Do not smoke. 

 Here Are a Few Tips for getting a proper shoe fit:

 

· The size of your feet changes as you grow old so always have your feet measured

before buying shoes.  The best time to measure your feet is at the end of the

day as soon as your feet are largest.  

 

· The majority of us have one foot that is larger than another, so match your shoe to your larger foot.  

 

· Do not select shoes by the size marked inside the shoe but rather by the way in which the shoe fits your foot.  

 

· Select a shoe that is shaped like your foot.  

 

· During the fitting procedure, make certain that there is enough distance (3/8″ into 1/2″)

for your longest toe at the end of each shoe when you are standing up.  

 

· Make sure the ball of your foot fits comfortably into the widest part of the shoe.  

 

· Your heel should fit comfortably in the shoe with a minimum quantity of slipping – the

shoes should not ride up and down on your heel when you walk.  

 

· Walk in the shoes to be certain they fit and feel appropriate.  Then take them home and spend some time walking on carpet to ensure that the match is a good one.  

 

 

The upper shoes made of leather can reduce the possibility of skin irritations.  Soles should provide solid footing and not be slippery.  Thick soles cushion your feet when walking on hard surfaces.  Low-heeled sneakers are more comfortable, safer, and less damaging than high-heeled shoes. 

Common foot problems, fungal and bacterial requirements, including athlete’s foot, occur because our toes spend a lot of time in sneakers – a hot, dark, humid place that’s ideal for fungus to develop.  Fungal and bacterial conditions can lead to dry skin, redness, blisters, itching, and peeling.  If not treated right away, an infection may be

hard to cure.  If not treated properly, the infection may reoccur.  To prevent

infections, keep your feet particularly the area between your feet – dry and clean.  Change your socks and shoes or stockings frequently to keep your feet warm.

 Try dusting your feet daily with foot powder.  If your foot condition doesn’t

get better within 2 weeks, speak with your physician.  

 

Dry skin can cause burning and itching feet.  Use mild soap in tiny quantities and a

moisturizing cream or lotion on your legs and feet every day.  Be careful about

adding oils to bath water since they can make your feet and bathtub very

slippery.

Corns and calluses are brought on by pressure and friction once the bony parts of your feet rub against your shoes.   Sometimes wearing shoes that fit better or using special pads solves the issue. Treating corns and calluses yourself might be harmful, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.  Over-the-counter medicines contain acids that

destroy the tissue but do not deal with the cause.  Sometimes these medicines reduce

the need for surgery but check with your doctor before using them. 

Warts are skin growths caused by viruses.  They are sometimes painful and, if untreated, can spread.  Since over-the-counter preparations rarely cure warts, see your

doctor.  A physician can apply medications, burn or freeze the wart off, or simply take off the sandpaper with operation. 

Bunions develop when the joints in your big toe no longer fit together as they should

and become swollen and tender.  Bunions often run in families.  If a bunion isn’t severe, wearing shoes cut wide at the instep and toes, taping the foot, or sporting pads that cushion the bunion may help the pain.   A doctor can also prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs and cortisone injections for pain. Sometimes surgery is required to ease the pressure and repair the toe joint. 

Ingrown toenails occur when a bit of the nail breaks down the skin – which can happen if you do not cut your nails correctly.  Ingrown toenails are extremely common in the big toes.  A doctor can remove the part of the nail that is cutting into the skin.  This allows the area to cure.  Ingrown toenails can frequently be prevented by cutting the nail straight across and level with the top of the toe.  

 

Hammertoe. The toe knuckle is usually enlarged, drawing the toe back.  Over the years, the joint enlarges and stiffens as it rubs against shoes.  Your balance may be affected.

 Wearing shoes and stockings with plenty of toe room is a treatment for hammertoe.  In very serious cases, surgery might be required.  

 

Spurs are calcium growths that develop on bones of the feet.  They are caused by muscle strain In the toes.  Standing for long Intervals, wearing badly fitting shoes, or

being overweight can create spurs worse.  Sometimes spurs are totally painless

– sometimes they can be very debilitating.  Remedies for spurs include utilizing

 surgery may be necessitated. Again, talk with your physician.