The American Podiatric Medical Association has made April National Foot Health Awareness Month, hoping to help you stomp out the foot problems that at least 20% of you experience each year.
In order to help achieve this lofty goal, I’m sharing my favorite little-known tips for boosting your overall foot health and keeping common problems at bay!
- Dry your feet and between your toes after showering to avoid fungal infections like athlete’s foot. Afterwards, moisturize feet and heels with a good lotion.
- Don’t leave nail polish on all the time as it may leave you with brittle nails or a nail fungus. Take the winter off from polish to let your nails breathe and heal.
- Don’t forget to put sunscreen on your feet, between your toes and on your ankles. Skin cancer of the feet can be hard to discover.
- Exercise and stretch your feet, ankles and lower legs to stay strong and avoid injury.
- Maintain a healthy weight: those extra pounds put pressure on your foot, leading to pain and even circulatory problems.
- Kids have foot problems too: recurring pain, frequent tripping or any foot problems that keeps him/her from keeping up with peers are all causes for a podiatric evaluation.
- Replace your running shoes every six months or 500 miles.
- As you get older, your feet will likely get flatter, wider and longer. If shoes are starting to hurt, you may need to be fitted for a new size.
- Barefoot is never best when out in public: you may suffer cuts or infections, and it leaves you vulnerable to fungus or plantar warts (on the bottom of your feet.)
- Self-treating is for suckers: if you suffer a toe, foot or ankle injury, seek immediate medical attention. ‘Walking it off’ can result in improper healing, recurring pain, limited mobility, repeat injuries and arthritis.