A Foot to Stand On

4 Foot Care Tips That Help You Avoid Unnecessary Foot Pain

You might take your feet for granted most of the time, but when they hurt from wearing the wrong shoes, itch from athlete's foot, or are injured when running, your feet can make your life miserable. Some foot problems can be avoided, and others need the help of a podiatrist. Here are four foot care tips for avoiding foot pain.

1. Choose The Right Shoes For The Occasion

Flip-flops are okay for an afternoon at the beach or to wear at the city pool, but you shouldn't wear them for your primary shoes in the summer or for walking long distances. It's better to wear shoes that have arch supports so your feet have the stability and protection they need. Supportive shoes might help you avoid a painful condition such as plantar fasciitis.

Also, be careful about wearing high heels with pointed toes for long periods. Shoes that crowd your toes can cause problems with painful toe deformities, so make sure the shoes you wear have plenty of toe room.

Replace your shoes when they start to wear out, and notice how your shoes wear down. If they always wear out one side or the other, you may need to see a podiatrist for advice on the right shoes to wear or for orthotic shoe inserts that help with your gait.

2. Keep Your Feet Dry

If you have sweaty feet, you may have more problems with fungal infections and foot odors. Keep your feet dry by changing socks in the middle of the day if you need to and alternate the shoes you wear so your shoes have time to dry out. If you have a problem with excessively sweaty feet, recurring athlete's foot, or foot odors, you may want to see a podiatrist for help so you can avoid the discomfort of itchy and tender toes.

3. Protect Your Feet From Injury

If you have a problem with circulation or sensation in your feet due to a medical condition such as diabetes, make foot protection a priority. Wear shoes all the time, even in your house so you don't step on something and cut the skin on your foot.

Even if you don't have diabetes, you should still protect your feet when possible by wearing steel-toe shoes when they're needed and by wearing shoes outdoors. Shoes protect your feet from splinters, cuts, insect stings, and burns.

4. Trim Your Toenails Properly

Avoid the temptation to rip off your toenails when they get long, or you might rip the end off too deep and cause an infection or an ingrown toenail. Use toenail trimmers to cut your nails and don't cut down the edges below the skin line to avoid painful ingrown nails. If you have diabetes and have problems with foot infections, your podiatrist may want to cut your nails so it can be done safely.