Good Foot Care Habits
1. Inspect Your Feet
Make sure to inspect your feet daily. Any signs of trauma such as redness or blisters, cuts, cracks, swelling or color changes should be reported to your healthcare provider immediately. Using a mirror can help you see all areas on the bottoms of your feet.
2. Does The Shoe Fit?
Wear comfortable shoes every day. It is a good practice to always shop for shoes near the end of the day because your feet can be more swollen. Make sure there is some wiggle room for your toes. Painful feet mean problem feet. Wear the right shoes for the right climate. Protect your feet in the rain and snow with proper waterproof footwear. If you walk or run for exercise, invest in top quality sneakers. In the summer, wear sandals so your feet can breathe. Look inside your shoes before putting them on, in case there are any foreign objects hiding in there, such as gravel, that could cause sores or irritation. Wear clean well-fitting socks.
3. Keep them Clean
Wash feet everyday and make sure that you dry them thoroughly. Do not let them drip dry. This will help prevent athlete’s foot, a fungus that causes itchy, red, flaking skin between and around the toes. Inspect between your toes. Moles on the feet are rare and should be examined by a specialist.
4. Nail Care
Always cut nails straight across and then smooth the edges with an emery board. For ease in cutting toenails, trim them after your bath or shower.
5. Do Not Self-Treat
See a podiatrist for corns, calluses or ingrown toenails. Do not attempt to self-treat these conditions.
6. Prevent Cracking
If your skin is dry, apply cream or petroleum jelly to feet and heels, but avoid the area between your toes. If cream sits in the crevices it can waterlog the skin and make it more susceptible to infection.
7. Keep Circulation Flowing
Try not to cross your legs when you sit down. This can limit circulation.
8. Keeping It Moderate
Protect your feet from extremes in temperature. Keep bath water temperate in the 85-90 F degree range (30-32 C). If neuropathy is present, you may not be able to feel if the water is too hot, and burns could result. Never use heating pads or hot water bottles. Protect your feet from temperatures that are too cold, as well. Prolonged cold can decrease circulation even more.
9. Walk and Stretch
Stretch your feet every morning by rotating your ankles in a circular motion, pointing and flexing your toes, and standing on your tiptoes to strengthen bones, tendons, and muscles. Walking stimulates the circulation to your feet and keeps them healthy and strong. Regular exercise improves circulation to all your extremities.
10. Last But Never Least ….. show them Love
Massage your feet every day as you moisturize to soothe sore, aching muscles and improve blood flow. It's so important to practice preventative care like the tips listed here, every day. If you notice anything that does not look normal please follow up with your healthcare professional immediately.