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Healthy Feet, Happy Feet

People tend to take their feet for granted. It isn’t until you have an injury or illness that affects them that you realize how much healthy feet contribute to your quality of life.


The good news is that there are easy ways to keep your feet healthy and happy, so you can stay active.


Hygiene


Keep them clean! When you bathe or shower give your feet a good scrub and dry them thoroughly when you’re done. It might be tempting to soak your feet after a long day but resist the urge. Soaking can lead to dry skin.


Once your feet are clean and dry, treat them to some moisturizer. You want to prevent dry skin that can crack and peel. Do not moisturize between your toes. It’s important to keep that area dry to prevent fungal infections.


Foot Checks


When you clean your feet, give them a once-over to check for scaling, peeling, or dry skin. Be on the lookout for sore spots, blisters, scrapes or cuts, swelling, or toenail problems.


If you have diabetes, you should clean and check your feet every day. Diabetes can make foot problems more likely, and it can make them harder to feel without a thorough examination.





Take Care of Your Toenails


Toenails can cause problems without proper maintenance. Common toenail problems include ingrown toenails and fungal infections.


One of the most common causes of ingrown toenails is improper trimming. Trim toenails straight across. When toenails are rounded or cut too short, the sides can grow into your skin. In addition to being painful, ingrown toenails can become infected.


If you notice that your toenails are thick, cracked, or discolored, you may have a fungal infection. Don’t ignore the signs; see a doctor for proper treatment to keep the infection from worsening.


Shipshape Shoes


One of the best things you can do for your feet is to provide them with proper shoes. Your shoes should not hurt your feet. Avoid shoes that are too tight, that rub on heels or other tender spots, or that cause blisters.


Look for shoes that provide comfortable arch support. Everyone’s feet are different, so there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Talk to a knowledgeable associate at a good shoe store or consult your podiatrist for recommendations.


Proper arch support can also prevent pain in other joints by helping your feet maintain proper positioning. Avoid flat sandals, flip-flops, and other shoes with no support.


Banish Bare Feet


Walking barefoot outside or in public areas leaves your feet vulnerable to a host of problematic elements.


You can pick up fungal infections like athlete’s foot in communal areas. Hazards like rocks, sticks, and other sharp objects may be hiding in that soft grass and cause wounds.


Walking barefoot at home leaves your feet without support and as we age can contribute to falls. And as anyone who has ever stepped on a Lego can attest, sharp objects are not exclusive to the outdoors.


Following these simple steps for healthy feet can help you avoid problems and stay active.






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