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Put Your Best Foot Forward: Avoiding Podiatry Problems With Proper Footwear and Foot Care

Oct 12, 2023

Our feet are the foundation of our bodies, and every foundation needs proper care and support. Understanding how to take care of your feet and selecting appropriate footwear can help you avoid podiatry issues down the road and ensure optimal comfort while you’re on the move.

Why should you take care of your feet?

“Although it often gets overlooked, your foot health is vital to your overall health,” said Michael Calderone, D.P.M., D.A.B.P.M., C.W.S.P., podiatrist at Inspira Medical Group Podiatry Vineland. “When feet get neglected, it can affect your quality of life and lead to additional health concerns.”

As we age, our chances of developing a foot condition increase. When left untreated, foot issues can become extremely painful, resulting in mobility problems. When people experience foot pain, they tend to avoid putting pressure on the affected areas. As a result, they’re more susceptible to falling, which can result in injury.

“The skin on your feet also needs special care,” said Dr. Calderone. “If your feet feel rough or dry, the skin could crack, which makes them more susceptible to bacterial infections.” Fortunately, proper foot care and supportive footwear can help you avoid these issues.

Foot care is especially important for people with diabetes, which makes them prone to nerve damage and poor blood flow. These complications can put you at risk of developing foot ulcers that can become severely infected. Taking good care of your feet every day can help you catch any problems early on. Early treatment reduces your risk of serious complications.

How to Take Care of Your Feet

Foot care should be part of your regular hygiene routine. You can care for your feet by taking these steps:

  • Check every day for wounds, swelling and infected toenails
  • Clean your feet in warm water daily, but avoid soaking for extended periods
  • Trim your toenails straight across with a nail clipper and file the corners to prevent them from growing into your skin
  • Moisturize daily with lotion or petroleum jelly
  • Avoid tight-fitting shoes or shoes without proper arch support
  • Rotate your shoes to avoid wearing the same pair every day

Selecting the Right Footwear

If you’re on your feet all day, you need shoes with good traction and proper cushioning. When your shoes don’t fit correctly, you could experience aching arches, pinched toes, sore ankles or pain in the balls of your feet.

To avoid these unpleasant sensations, get measured at a shoe store to find your correct size and fit. Shoe inserts can also help you achieve optimal comfort. These over-the-counter products provide extra support to different parts of your feet and can help with foot or leg pain and flat arches.

“Custom foot orthotics are prescription inserts that mold to the exact measurements of your foot,” said Dr. Calderone. “Talk to a physical therapist about this option if you suffer from an orthopedic condition such as arthritis, plantar fasciitis or chronic pain.”

Don’t Walk it Off—Call Your Doctor

Although you can treat minor foot pain at home, call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Swelling for two to five days
  • Ongoing pain lasting for several weeks
  • Burning, numbness or tingling that won’t go away
  • An open wound or signs of infection
  • Inability to put weight on your foot or walk

To schedule a visit with an Inspira podiatrist, make an appointment online or call 1-800-INSPIRA.

Topics: Podiatry, Health and Wellness