Your feet are the most often used parts of the body, without them, you can't even move a step. Thus, you must ensure to give your feet the care they deserve. Pamper your feet by treating them with a nice pedicure session every two weeks. You can even apply nail paint to your toenails and put foot cream to let your feet look beautiful and soft. This is not all, exercises and proper footwear can also help in taking care of your feet.
Common foot problems
Blisters are very common and can occur in different places on the feet. Most of the time, blisters are pus-filled which makes movements difficult. You suffer problems in wearing footwear because of these inflamed blisters. There are so many causes of blisters including sweaty feet, wearing ill-fitted shoes, prolonged standing or walking, etc. Blisters are common and harmless. You need not worry about them as they generally go away on their own in a few days. If they are big in size, you can apply antibiotic ointment on them or consume antibiotics to burst them or heal them.
This is a common foot infection that is highly prevalent in the monsoon season as it is caused by fungal infections. You would experience pain, stinging sensation and itching in your feet. This is a contagious infection and can spread from one person to another. Usually, Athlete's foot is caused when you swim for a prolonged period or bath in public showers, etc. It is treatable but sometimes, it becomes difficult to treat it at home and thus, requires medical intervention.
Fungal nail infection
Dr. Ankita Pant, Dermatologist, Senior Consultant, Max Multi Specialty Centre explains that fungal infection can easily get during the monsoon season as bacteria and fungus thrive at that time of the year. However, other medical conditions like diabetes can also cause a fungal nail infection. If you have an injured toenail and you go to a contaminated or shared water resource, you are highly likely to get a fungal infection. Yellowing skin with scaly & flaky skin is some signs of fungal infection.
The toenails that grow in the surrounding skin are known as ingrown toenails. These can happen if you have nails that are not in good health. It cannot cure on its own and needs treatment from a doctor before it creates serious troubles.
Corns and Calluses
Corns are thick skin patches that are found on the soles of the feet or toes. Generally, they are painless and harmless. Corns are mostly caused when you wear tight or ill-fitting shoes. Over time, corns and calluses can become painful and they need to be treated immediately before they aggravate to some serious issue.
People with diabetes tend to experience blood sugar fluctuations. Diabetes neuropathy is a condition that causes nerve damage in the legs and may lead to pain and tingling sensation in the feet. If you have diabetes and you experience these symptoms, speak to your doctor for treatment.
Plantar fasciitis is a condition that is caused when you wear shoes with soft soles that don’t provide proper support to your feet. Due to this, the plantar fascia ligament suffers strain and causes pain in the lower leg and heels. The other causes of this condition is excessive weight gain, running long-distance with poor shoes, constant standing, poor foot position, etc. The pain caused increases gradually over time. For immediate relief, apply ice on the affected area. Besides, you can also take anti-inflammatory medicines prescribed by a doctor.
When calcium deposits in the heel and arch of the feet, it causes heel spurs. These deposits grow gradually causing acute pain in heel. This can be treated at the initial level through cold compress and medicines but you may need physical therapy or surgery if the condition is serious.
Claw tow occurs when your first leg joint is up and the second joint is down. Claw toe is not a birth defect but it can occur suddenly causing acute pain and discomfort. Not just that claw toe can also put you at risk of rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes or severe brain-related problems. Doing toe exercises and wearing proper-fitted footwear can treat this issue at the initial level. Medications and surgery are secondary treatment methods.
Gout is a condition that often affects your feet and you are at greater risk if you have big toes. This condition arises when uric acid levels increase invariably in the body. Where the acid is higher, you may feel a lot of pain there. Over time, this condition grows. You may develop chronic gout which damages your joints. Apart from medical treatment, you must also practice lifestyle habits to control the symptoms.
Dos and Don’ts
Follow these dos and don’ts for healthy feet:
- Do give yourself a foot massage after a hectic day.
- Do foot reflexology sessions at regular intervals to boost feet health.
- Do practice foot yoga after a tiring session. Try the legs-up-the-wall posture.
- Do roll a tennis ball with your feet to exercise the muscles.
- Do try foot soaks to soothe irritated feet and provide them relaxation.
- Don’t wear tight footwear.
- Do not share your footwear with others particularly if you get infections easily.
- Don’t cut ingrown nails.
- Don’t paint your discoloured toenails.
Feet Care Tips
Just like how you wash your face multiple times a day to get rid of dirt and debris, ensure washing your feet twice daily. Before going to bed, wash your feet properly with soap and pat dry with a clean towel. If you do this daily, you won’t get any fungal foot infections.
Keeping Them Dry
Don’t wear sweaty socks and shoes for long. Change them often to keep your feet dry to prevent bacteria and fungus from thriving in between the toes. Sweaty feet can cause blisters, corns, calluses and fungal infections.
Moisturise your feet after cleaning them to prevent dryness and skin sensitivity. Lack of moisture can cause scaly and chapped skin around the feet. This can cause rashes and injuries. It is necessary to keep your feet moisturised.
Removing Jagged Skin
Removing the layer of dead skin cells on your heel and soles is an important step that you should not miss if you want softer feet. Exfoliate them using a scrub or pumice stone after a couple of days to eliminate the dead skin. This helps prevent the cracked heels problem.
Occasional Foot Soaks
Pamper your feet with foot soaks at least once in a fortnight. This session helps in rejuvenating your feet and reviving their lost beauty. This is a kind of at-home pedicure that won’t take more than 20 minutes. There are many foot soak options available and you can check online and pick what suits you.
Not like always wear socks but you must wear socks in colder environments and also the harshly hot environment. These protect your feet against harsh temperatures and prevent dryness caused by cold temperatures. This would also prevent tanning.
Wear Comfortable Shoes
How your shoes and other footwear fit has a great impact on your foot health. If you wear tight footwear, you are highly likely to experience more problems. Check for comfort level when buying any footwear.