Foot health should be maintained all year round. This is particularly important during the warm season when our feet are more likely to be exposed to the elements.
How to Maintain Your Foot Health
The following are six key tips for maintaining podiatric health.
1. Maintain good hygiene
One of the fundamental steps to keeping your feet healthy all year round is practicing good hygiene.
In this regard, you need to ensure that you wash your feet with both soap and water and regularly exfoliate them to get rid of dead, dulling skin. Once you are done washing your feet ensure that you dry them completely to prevent fungal infections.
When it comes to the toenails, ensure that they are trimmed short to avoid issues.
2. Protect your feet
It goes without saying that if you want to keep your feet healthy, you have to protect them. Do this by always wearing shoes when in public areas such as gyms or locker rooms.
You can also consider investing in some indoor shoes such as slippers to ensure that your feet are protected even at home.
3. Don’t share footwear
While it might have never crossed your mind, putting on your roommate’s socks or shoes can lead to the spread of bacterial and fungal infections.
Some fungal infections such as athlete’s foot are highly contagious and often spread through contact, sharing footwear with an infected person, and even walking barefoot on a contaminated surface. Thus, it is crucial that you avoid sharing socks or shoes with others and always have on shoes when walking into public areas.
4. Find comfortable footwear
It is important to ensure that you wear shoes that are comfortable, breathable, and fitting. One of the common causes of podiatric problems is wearing shoes that don’t fit properly or don’t allow feet to breathe. It is also a good idea to wear Orthotic Slippers.
How to choose the right shoe for you
Note that shoes that are too tight or restrictive inhibit proper circulation and can cause foot issues such as fungal infections, itchiness, clamminess, warts, and smelly odors.
The shoes you get should fit your feet’ natural shape. This means that the ball of your foot needs to fit the widest part of the shoe and your heel should also fit without slipping.
Shop for shoes that let your feet breathe easily. A shoe that is made solely of leather doesn’t allow for enough airflow. An ideal choice would be to go for shoes made of a combination of leather and mesh, all mesh, or breathable synthetic materials that let your feet breathe.
Besides breathability, you also need to ensure that the shoes provide enough comfort. Avoid going for pointy shoes or heels higher than 2 ¼ inches as they can lead to ingrown toenails and calluses. You are better off with rounded shoes that have a stable heel.
5. Shop for moisture-wicking shoes
When it comes to keeping your feet healthy, choosing the right pair of socks is just as important as choosing the right footwear.
Your feet have roughly 250,000 sweat glands. Sweat promotes the growth of bacteria, thus it is crucial that you wear moisture-wicking socks to help protect your feet against infections.
Fabrics such as cotton and other non-moisture-wicking materials hold in moisture instead of “wicking” it away. Consider going for socks made of materials like nylon, polyester, or merino wool. All of these will help to keep your feet dry.
6. Regularly examine your feet
Self-examine your feet on a periodic basis, preferably once every week. You need to look out for things such as bumps or calluses, scaling or peeling between the toes, and nail or skin discoloration.
By doing this regularly, you will be able to identify any abnormal changes with your feet early enough. If this happens, you need to visit a podiatrist.