At this time of year, many of us strive to eat less sugar, exercise more, and start a meditation practice. But what about our feet?
Our feet would be far happier if we paid as much attention to them as we do the rest of our body. Here are 20 hacks to keep your feet happy and healthy in the New Year.
Daily Foot Care
- Wash and dry your feet and toes, especially between your digits.
- Moisturize your feet to prevent them from cracking. Avoid the spaces between your toes.
- Use over-the-counter inserts or custom orthotics if recommended by your podiatrist.
- Wear socks that wick away moisture. I recommend SmartWool Trekking Socks for hikers and SmartWool PhD Running Socks for runners.
- Avoid wearing the same pair of shoes each day-- it's important to let your shoes dry out, particularly if you sweat heavily.
- Wear flip flops or other shoe gear in public showers to avoid toenail fungus and other infections.
- People who fly frequently, work on their feet, or have poor circulation can benefit greatly from wearing compression stockings.
- Trim your toenails straight across every 2 weeks; if you can’t reach your feet, can't see well, or if you have diabetes—see your podiatrist.
- Sterilize your nail clippers periodically by putting them in alcohol.
- See your podiatrist if your nails have changed color. This could indicate an underlying medical condition such as onychomycosis or fungal toenails.
- Want to polish your toenails? It's best to do it yourself using a toxin-free nail polish like Dr.'s Remedy. If you go to a nail salon don't let them trim your cuticles and be sure they are sterilizing their tools.
Daily Foot Inspection
While a daily foot inspection is essential for those with diabetes, no matter what your health situation don't ignore changes to your feet.
- Check your feet regularly for bumps, blisters, and bruising
- Check for cuts, sores, and cracked skin—sores and cracks can become infected
- Temperature differences can indicate decreased blood flow
- Pain and tingling which can be signs of neuropathy
- Pain and redness where the nail meets the toe can indicate an ingrown toenail
- Be sure your shoes fit. Many adults experience an increase in shoe size due to an increase in weight and other factors. The next time you buy a pair of shoes be sure to get your feet measured.
- Shoes should have non-slip soles to prevent falls (look for shoes that have been tested to be sure).
- Avoid high heels, flat shoes with no arch, and flip flops for long walks.
- Test your shoes before you buy them to ensure they'll provide enough support.
If you've noticed some changes to your feet or nails or your experiencing foot pain call us at the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City so we can identify the cause and start your feet on a better road to health. We can be reached at 206-368-7000 or request an appointment online.
For more information about foot and ankle problems, download our eBook, "No More Foot Pain".
In addition, our newsletter "Foot Sense" comes out monthly. You can also check out our past issues. Every issue contains a mouth-watering recipe and can be printed out for easier reading!
Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.