Basic foot care is important, because the feet are important! Did you know that the American Podiatric Medical Association estimates that the average person takes around 8,000 steps per day? The feet support the weight of the body, and absorb the impact of each step that is taken. However, many times the feet are ignored. Pain in the feet and ankles is even left untreated, because some people believe that foot pain is normal. It’s not! Basic foot care can save you from many foot conditions, and keep your foundation—your feet—in great shape and pain-free.

What are the basics of foot care?

First, if you are experiencing foot or ankle pain, don’t ignore it. Pain is a signal from your body that something is wrong, and needs to be addressed. The feet are great indicators of a person’s overall health, so listening to them “talk” could save you from serious health concerns.

Next, look at your feet. When was the last time that you really inspected your feet to see if they look healthy? This is an easy way to catch a concern like toenail fungus in its early stages when it is much easier to treat. Look for signs that your feet are dry, and add moisturizing to your daily routine if necessary. Corns and blisters are indicators that your shoes aren’t fitting properly. If you are diabetic, it is recommended that you inspect your feet daily to reduce your risk of severe infections developing.

Keeping your feet clean and dry is one the easiest ways to avoid fungal foot infections. Make sure that they aren’t damp for prolonged periods of time, and always wear sandals in public areas like locker rooms and pools. Athlete’s foot, which is contagious, is often acquired in these settings when people go barefoot.

Pamper your feet. This doesn’t require a pedicure, or an expensive foot massage. Instead, take the time to wash and dry your feet thoroughly. Trim your toenails straight across, so that painful ingrown toenails are less likely to be an issue. Also, push back your cuticles after a shower, but never cut them. If you want the benefits of massage without the expense, place a golf ball under your foot and roll it back and forth. When you get a chance, put your feet up and relax.

Finally, select the right shoes for your feet. Many people wear shoes that are too small or too pointy, and end up with foot conditions that could have been easily avoided. Have your foot measured at the end of the day to get the most accurate sizing. Select a shoe that fits the shape of your foot, and that provides the support and shock absorption you need for your daily activities.

When should I see a podiatrist?

Caring for your feet includes visiting Lawrence Kales DPM when you are experiencing painful or worrisome symptoms. The friendly staff at our Hudson, FL and Spring Hill, FL locations will make you feel comfortable while evaluating the health of your feet. Once you understand your condition and treatment options, you’ll have the spring back in your step before you know it. Don’t delay; take care of your feet today!