Seven simple tips to keep feet happy and healthy

This simple advice will help you keep your feet healthy and happy.

Womans bare feet on wet sand with running shoes

There’s a lot of advice out there for keeping your body healthy, from your eyes and teeth, to your heart and brain. But what about your feet? Neglecting them can lead to pain, infection and other problems, which may reduce your mobility and independence. With this in mind, it might be time to put your feet first.

1. Examine feet regularly
Tacked on the ends of our legs, feet can be easy to ignore, but they deserve as much attention as your other body parts. About once per week, briefly examine your feet, checking for nail discolouration and skin abnormalities, especially between your toes and on your soles.

2. Cut toenails carefully
Painful ingrown toenails can occur when you trim too close to the skin or when you deeply round-off the corners of the nails. Instead, always cut straight across, ideally after a shower or bath, when the nails will be softer and easier to cut.

3. Keep feet clean and dry
Good hygiene is vital for healthy feet. When you shower, be sure to scrub feet with warm soapy water. Afterwards, it’s important to dry your feet (and between your toes) thoroughly, as fungal organisms thrive on moisture and can lead to infections.

4. Don’t gloss over ‘ugly’ toenails
Hiding unsightly toenails with polish is unadvisable, as it can exacerbate any conditions you may have. Discoloured, thick, cracked or crumbling nails can be a sign of nail fungus. It’s best to consult your doctor if you’re concerned about your toenails.

5. Protect feet in public
Always wear shoes when you’re in a public area to help prevent accidental injuries. Public gyms, locker rooms and swimming pools are breeding grounds for fungi, so be sure to wear thongs or shower shoes at all times.

6. Wear responsible footwear
To help keep feet free of moisture, wear shoes made of breathable materials, such as leather or mesh. To protect bones and ligaments, wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes. Podiatrists recommend wearing shoes with a broad, rounded toe and a wide, stable heel. High-heels have been known to cause long-term foot problems, so wear them sparingly or avoid altogether.

7. Choose good socks
When it comes to socks, synthetic fibres (rather than cotton or wool) help to absorb moisture to help keep feet dry and healthy.

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    COMMENTS

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    13th Jul 2016
    10:27am
    You know it's time to look after your feet when someone tells you what nice alligator shoes you have and you are barefooted.
    biddi
    13th Jul 2016
    12:15pm
    I wear NICE synthetic shoes and rinse them when I get home. No prob's.
    After cutting the big toenails across, file the ends going from top to bottom. A sort of slant occurs. This ensures smoothe friction from shoe to toe/s.
    Young Simmo
    13th Jul 2016
    2:31pm
    I would give a million bucks for a solution to my Burning Stinging feet caused by Peripheral Neuropathy. Because it is a nerve thing, Opioids like Oxy-contin etc don't help.
    Rosret
    13th Jul 2016
    4:40pm
    No scientific base here - have you tried magnesium tablets. Also get your heart checked properly if you haven't already. Often peripheral pain in the hands or in the feet has a trigger in core of the body. That pain you are talking about is horrible.
    Alula
    13th Jul 2016
    10:22pm
    Agree, Young Simmo. I'm told peripheral neuropathy can be related to other pathology - in my case bunions. Long-awaited surgery coming up.
    Young Simmo
    13th Jul 2016
    10:58pm
    Good luck Alula, mine is due to Type 2 Diabetes and after about 8 to 10 years I have learnt to shut up and bear it. It is there all the time but varries from 30% to about 99% intensity and is completely inconsistent. Sometimes it is worst during the night, and sometimes at lunch time. Anyway at 76 and with 20 minutes to 20 years, I will just have to ride it out. Maybe another RED might help, cheers.
    ********************
    Rosret. I had a Triple Bypass in 2002, and am checked on a regular basis and take all my tabs but, I will check out the Magnesium tablets, as at this stage anything is worth a try.
    Becca
    26th Aug 2016
    8:20am
    Can anyone suggest what to do for Bursitis in the foot. Cortisone injections did not work.


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