As kids enter their teenage years, they are experiencing many changes. They are often self concious and not always taught the right thing to do. Keeping their feet healthy, however, will allow them to avoid embarrassing and uncomfortable problems such as ingrown toenails, athlete's foot, toenail fungus, and foot odor.
Wash Your Feet Daily With Soap and Water
It is important for teens to keep their feet clean. Simply washing their feet well with soap and water seems like common sense, however so many teens assume that standing in the shower water is enough. Washing their feet well with soap and water will remove the germs and grime, especially when they go barefoot or wear open shoes often. Be sure to wash between your toes!
Dry Your Feet Well
Fungus, bacteria, and viruses all grow in a dark, moist, warm environment. Add to that the heat and humidity of Houston! These can proliferate and cause athlete's foot infections, fungal toenail infections, and plantar warts. After you shower, dry your feet thoroughly. Be sure to dry well between your toes, since moisture lingers there. If your feet perspire a lot, wear running socks which pull the moisture away from your feet. If this is the case, you should also change your socks during the day.
Trim Your Toenails Properly
So many teens I seen in my Houston podiatry practice are trying to win an award for the longest toenails. Toenails that are too long will not only tear apart your socks, but will also harbor bacteria. Using toenail clippers, trim your toenails back so they are just at the edge of your toe. While many believe that toenails should be trimmed straight across, it is okay to have them slightly curved. Most importantly, trim your toenails with a clipper...DO NOT PICK AND TEAR THEM!
Wear Properly Fitted Shoes
Teens love their shoes and become very attached to them. This is why I often see them in my office with shoes that are essentially dead, with holes in the sole. These shoes provide no support whatsoever. Shoes that don't fit properly or are unsupportive and can cause foot pain and injury.
Teenagers should not be limited in their activities because of foot problems. Take good care of your feet and they will take great care of you. If you are noticing anything that isn't looking or feeling just right, contact our Houston podiatry office for an appointment with Dr. Andrew Schneider.