Will April be Your Best Foot Health Month?

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!

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Exercise and stretch your feet, ankles and lower legs to stay strong and avoid injury.  
  5. Maintain a healthy weight: those extra pounds put pressure on your foot, leading to pain and even circulatory problems.
  6. 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.
  7. Replace your running shoes every six months or 500 miles.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.)
  10. 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.
Dr. Andrew Schneider
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A podiatrist and foot surgeon in Houston, TX.