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.
April is an ideal time to care for sore, tired or infected feet. Spring is here, and warmer weather means open-toed shoes and sandals. And that means less opportunities to hide fungal toenails, and less supportive footwear options to help collapsed arches or to pad against heel pain.
Maybe you don't yet know what's causing your foot pain, and that's ok: we're here to help! Schedule an appointment at our Houston podiatrist's office to find out the root cause of your discomfort and, in the mean time, follow these 10 suggestions for your best looking-and feeling-feet ever!
10 Tips for Optimal Foot Health
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.