Are your feet giving you grief? We don’t always pay enough attention to our foot health but the reality is that painful feet have serious consequences for our mobility and quality of life. So, don’t stand by and bear it any longer – today we look at some common foot ailments and how to relieve them.
Have you noticed a bony lump on the side of your big toe? Bunions aren’t always painful but nonetheless they can affect how you walk (and can look unsightly). Bunions can be a result of unsatisfactory shoes, such as heels that rub and cause trauma to the feet. Genes and arthritis at the base of one’s toe are also causal factors.
The fix: In severe cases, surgery to straighten the toe may be recommended. However, if you have – or wish to prevent – bunions, try wearing wider fitting shoes and utilising painkillers, bunion pads, orthotics or bunion splints, which can be placed in shoes. Soaking your feet or applying ice packs can help to alleviate discomfort and reduce swelling.
Part of keeping feet healthy includes regular self-checks to look for abnormalities. Foot warts often occur on the soles of the feet and present as painful fleshy growths. They are classified as part of the HPV family and are therefore contagious. The best way to avoid warts is by wearing shoes in public areas, especially locker rooms and pool areas.
The fix: Apparently there’s a dermatologically approved self-cure that involves applying duct tape to the wart and changing it every few days. If that fails, a dermatologist or GP can burn them off with a laser or liquid nitrogen. This is relatively painless and very effective.
Do you suffer from dry, itching, flaky pink skin on any part of your feet? Does it make walking uncomfortable? Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection caused by exposure to damp environments, including moisture inside shoes.
The fix: When it comes to preventing athlete’s foot, it’s recommended that you change your socks every day, wash and dry feet properly, and replace old shoes when they begin to wear out. You should also wear protective footwear in public areas, including the pool and the beach. To cure athlete’s foot, you can use a prescription-strength anti-fungal medicine in powder or cream form, or soak feet in apple cider vinegar.
Perhaps the most common foot ailment, blisters are painful, fluid-filled welts that develop to protect skin from trauma, often caused by rubbing shoes. Preventing blisters is obvious: wear moisture-wicking socks and comfortable shoes that fit properly.
The fix: There’s a common tendency to want to pop blisters, however, they heal faster when you leave them alone. If they need to pop, they will do so on their own. When this happens, simply wash with soap and warm water and dry well. It’s then best to apply an antibiotic ointment to the wound and dress with a Band-Aid.
What are your cures for common foot ailments?