We put our feet through a lot of rough-n-tumble abuse on a daily basis. Luckily, there are a few simple steps everyone can take to help keep their “dogs from barkin'” at the end of a long day of work.
- Buy Shoes That Fit
Ask to have your feet measured the next time you walk into a shoe store. Whether you’re looking to buy a new pair of snow boots or sky-high heels, you should ask the salesperson to double-check that your shoes fit correctly. Pinched toes and bad arches can lead to foot cramps, musculoskeletal misalignments and pain. Also, feet tend to grow bigger with age. If you’re not measured regularly you may be subjecting your feet to a lot of unnecessary suffering.
- Alternate Shoes
You feet sweat. They get hot and stinky inside your shoes during a busy day. To help combat foot odor and the bacteria growth that comes with it, make sure you wear socks and alternate your shoes from day-to-day. (This way each pair will have a chance to dry completely in between wears.) If your shoes really smell, try using a spray antiperspirant on your feet to help control bacteria and smell.
- Be Picky About Pedicures
Avoid infections from nail salons by scheduling the first appointment of the day, when the equipment is clean. Podiatrists see a lot of nail and fungus infections from these communal areas. As an additional precaution, don’t share your legs right before you go. The microscopic nicks around your ankle can be a prime entry point for bacteria and fungus that may have been left in the foot bath.
- Cheap Devices Are Just That – Cheap
Toe separators and bunion splints are good short-term solutions for toe pain, but they can’t provide total relief from the symptoms of hammertoes and bunions. If you have an issue with the alignment of your feet, schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can refer you to the appropriate follow-up care, whether its a podiatrist, orthopaedic specialist, or physical therapist.
- Moisturize Calluses
Winter means that our feet are crammed into warm, weather-proof shoes. The friction of closed shoes can lead to the development of calluses. If you’re suffering from dry, cracked feet, try slathering your feet in an over-the-counter lotion, like AmLactin. Apply lotion regularly and your calluses should slough right off.