Guest Blog: Effective Prevention and Cure for Foot Maladies

Wednesday 25 February 2015

Let’s review a few intriguing stats and facts about ‘feet’.
  • 20% of the population believe they have ugly feet
  • about nine in ten women wear shoes that do not fit them right
  • about 75-80% of adults have some form of foot problem – painful heels, corn or calluses, foot fatigue, among others.
(Source: Society of Chiropodists & Podiatrists’ website)

We are too focused on other parts of the body that we neglect our overworked (frequently hidden) feet. We forego the proper care of the feet because our face, hands and other body parts get the lion’s share of our attention. This has to stop if we want these worthy members of our body to do the work we require of them.

Why taking care of our feet matters?

Preventing foot problems is simpler and easier than treating them when they get worse. More serious foot maladies are more difficult to handle. Hence, having a foot care routine will go a long way.

Make foot care a part of your lifestyle. Observe your feet for real signs of trouble:
  • soles, sides, and heels have thick, hardened skin
  • the skin between your toes either itch or crack
  • foot fatigue – your feet are tired at the end of the day
  • swelling under feet (swollen feet)
  • stinky feet
  • ingrown toenails
If you pass that first test, you luckily do not have the most common feet problems - at least, not yet.

Avoid more serious feet conditions by following these basic footcare reminders:

1. Inspect the soles of your feet, the skin between and the toes daily
Splurge on a professional pedicure and foot scrub at least once a month. But choose your nail parlor carefully.

2. Always wash your feet before you go to sleep
You can clean them with warm or cold water and mild soap. Make sure to dry them thoroughly with a towel – especially the skin between your toes.

3. Be gentle with calluses
Soak your feet using warm water with Epsom salt first. Then smooth them out with pumice stone or foot file. They need to be soft enough before you rub off the dead skin. Do not grind them too deep or they will only get worse.

4. Corns are tougher foes than calluses
If calluses can be removed by mere softening and rubbing, corns need medicine and some days before they completely disappear. Follow the same foot cleansing routine. Apply corn medicine after. You should notice some whitish, dead skin after about four nights – meaning the corn has healed.

5. Choose shoes not based on fashion or style but primarily for comfort
Go shopping for footwear in the afternoon, when your feet are at their biggest.

6. Change your socks daily or twice a day depending on your activity
Be sure to choose the right kinds of socks. Cotton and wool socks are good but synthetic socks are a bad choice during hot weather because they do not let your feet breathe properly.

7. Find out if your work conditions are the cause of your foot problems
If you stand for a long period of time on hard flooring or do strenuous work under the heat of the sun, you are likely to feel foot pain or get sweaty, stinky feet at the end of the day. Take frequent breaks and opt for durable and comfy footwear. If you have to wear heels at work, bring walking shoes with you so you can put them on before and after your shift.

8. Avoid walking barefooted
Foot coverings may be imperfect but removing foot protection exposes you to a host of infections. Beware of foot bugs in public toilets, shared pools, or hotel bathrooms and never use them without wearing flip flops or proper footwear.

9. Eat nutritious food for your feet’s health
It is no secret that foot problems are associated with poor diet. Just observe diabetic patients. Plant-based foods and a fish-rich diet can give you not only fabulous-looking feet but also a healthy body.

10. Learn basic foot relaxation and stretching techniques
Put your feet up for 10 minutes after a long day at work to promote better blood circulation. You may also ask your partner or family member to give you a foot massage. Do heel raises, runner’s stretch, or ankle strengthener every time you feel the need to release tension building up within your cramped feet.

For more serious feet conditions, do not hesitate to consult a doctor as soon as possible. It is best to speak to a chiropodist or podiatrist – if such a specialist is available in your area. Keep in mind that our feet deserve the same degree of attention and pampering the rest of our body receives.

Disclaimer: This article is contributed by a Guest Blogger. Ping of Health does not give any warranty on accuracy, completeness, functionality, usefulness or other assurances as to the content appearing in this article. Ping of Health disclaims all responsibility for any losses, damage or personal injury suffered directly or indirectly from reliance on such information.