Your feet carry the rest of your body most everywhere it goes, and you only get two of them. To make sure your feet will serve you well in the future, take good care of them today by following these suggestions.
Clean and Moisturize Your Feet Regularly
Basic hygiene should be the foundation of your foot care regimen. Wash your feet daily to reduce the risk of getting an infection, for you never know what germs your feet pick up when walking around. Even if you wear shoes, fungi and other pathogens can grow inside footwear.
After washing, moisturize both feet with lotion. You can use a fancy, nice-smelling one if you'd like, but a generic moisturizing lotion should work just as well. Rub the lotion over the entire foot, but pay special attention to dry areas that may crack.
Choose Appropriate Footwear
Shoe manufacturers offer lots of different types of shoes, and the differences between types aren't limited to aesthetics. A number of activity-specific shoes, such as walking shoes, running shoes, and work boots, have features specifically designed for their given activity.
Wearing the right type of footwear will help protect your feet from injury. For example, wearing high-top sneakers when playing basketball will reduce the risk of spraining your ankle. These sneakers wouldn't be too helpful on a construction site, though, where steel-toed boots are needed to protect your toes from any falling objects.
Wear Sandals Instead of Going Barefoot
When the weather is pleasant and you're in a relaxed setting, you may be tempted to go barefoot. Being barefoot, however, leaves your feet completely unprotected. Your feet are exposed to anything that might be on the ground where you step, and the bones in your foot are not cushioned from impact when you step.
Rather than going barefoot, don a pair of sandals when you're at the beach or in a similar setting. Sandals don't offer a lot of protection, but they do serve as a barrier against sharp objects or bacteria that may be on the ground. They also provide some cushion for your footfalls. Even if the cushioning is minimal, it can make a big difference in how your feet feel at the end of the day.
Apply Sunscreen When Wearing Sandals
Whenever you wear sandals, don't forget to apply sunscreen to the tops of your feet. The exposed skin on the top of your foot is just as prone to sunburn as the rest of your body, and applying sunscreen is the best defense against any burns. Using sunscreen regularly will help reduce short-term pain and lower the chances of getting skin cancer later in life.
Watch for Growths on Your Feet
Periodically check your feet - for example, whenever you wash them or apply sunscreen - for any strange growths. You might notice:
- Discolored or thick toenails
- Flaking skin between the toes
- Warts on the bottom of the feet
Any of these issues is a sign that a pathogen has infected your foot. To determine exactly what the cause of the issue is, how serious the issue is, and what the best course of treatment is, consult a podiatrist.
Pay Attention to Sharp Foot Pain
Sharp foot pain may be the result of stepping weirdly, or it can be a sign of a more serious issue. The foot has 26 bones and 33 joints, and a fracture or malalignment in any of these can cause stinging pains inside the foot. To find out what the cause of any pain you're experiencing is, see a podiatrist.
To have a strange growth or sharp pain assessed by an experienced podiatrist, contact Greenville Podiatry Associates PA.