If you want the best advice about foot health, go to a podiatrist and he or she will surely counsel you to care for your feet just as you would with any organ or body part all the way up. Sadly, there are just plenty of grounds people may reason out why so many of them neglect to take care of their feet. Reasons can range from wanting to be on-trend with the latest fashion footwear to always rushing with time because of a busy lifestyle.

As a matter of fact, a lot of us go about our daily activities doing things that may eventually hurt our feet in the long term. While such actions can give us a lengthy list enough to compete with the long queue of a blockbuster movie at your favourite theatre, MedicalWebsite is taking the pleasure of compiling the most common ones. We digested them down into a simple list.

barefoot-public-shower

Going barefoot in a public shower

Fungus! It lurks everywhere, and it can infect your feet. Those annoyingly itchy pinkish spots on your skin – yes, they are fungi. A sure way to get fungi on your feet is from the public shower and gym locker rooms. They are great breeding grounds for fungi who are eager to move in to any human foot they come across with.

So if you are still doing this bad habit after playing sports or working out, go buy yourself a nice pair of protective flip-flops or shower footwear to prevent those nasty fungi from creeping into your feet.

Not drying your feet before wearing socks and shoes

Germs love wet surfaces. Add some dark and enclosed space, then you get a breeder for bacteria and some more itchy fungi. Bacterial growth on your foot skin can mean a surplus of foul odour, which can surely discourage you from showing out those beautiful feet of yours while in the company of your friends in the locker-room.

The obvious way to prevent such scenario is to wipe your feet thoroughly dry after a bath or foot wash, including those corners between the toes. Apply foot powder, if available, as talcum is proven to dilute the remaining wetness on the skin and counteract the sweat of your feet.

Ignoring clues on your feet

Sure, your feet are too way down below and it does take an amount of effort to look at them closely (particularly true for most of us who have big bellies). However, that is not an excuse to neglect some clues about your health which your feet may be showing you.

Any peculiar occurrence on your foot can be a symptom of a health condition. It is best to consult with a podiatrist (or with your general practitioner) so you can at least dispel your doubts about it.

An example of such peculiarity is, if you have hairs on your foot and they start to loose off, then it may be a sign of poor blood circulation – which can be an indication of a problematic heart or artery. Other examples are extremely dry foot skin, wounds and ulcers that do not heal – which may all be signals for diabetes.

Wearing pointed shoes frequently and in long periods

Being fashionable and looking beautiful from top to bottom is OK. You ask any doctor about it and he/she will agree, as long as it does not compromise your body’s health – and that includes your feet.

The thing about footwear with pointed pumps, especially the tight ones, is that it pushes your toes to squeeze into a clinched space. If you wear them too often and you do so for many hours, then your feet are strong candidates for bunions and hammertoes. Such foot conditions can be very painful when they get irritated and swollen.

Dismissing fungus on toenails

Do you notice a certain discolouration on your toenails? If you do, then you may likely have fungal toenails – the condition in which the toes are inflicted by fungi.

“Fungi on my toenails? But they aren’t itchy?” Yes, and that is the most probable reason why many people ignore fungal toenails. The thing is, fungus by nature spreads like wild fire. If not contained and treated, it can infect your foot skin and cause you a menacing itchiness. Better seek the help of your local podiatrist who can give you the proper medical advice and treatment for your fungal toenail.

Discounting the difference on the lengths of your toes

Most people think that the length organisation of toes for all humans are the same. That is dead wrong. As you can see in the figure below, there is a variety of how toe lengths are amazingly structured among humans.

various-toe-lengths

Know how your toe lengths are organised and take note of it when choosing and buying footwear. It is also beneficial if you consult with a podiatrist about it so he/she could give an appropriate recommendation. There are certain considerations that you may want to hear from him/her. For example, a toe length structure in which the second toe is longer than the big toe can be more susceptible to various foot disorders, because it has a tendency to disrupt the distribution of pressure during walking and running.

Not having yourself checked for diabetes

Previously, we mentioned how certain conditions on the foot can signify clues to your overall health. Diabetes is one illness that can directly affect your foot health. Diabetes weakens the circulatory system’s distribution of nutrients around the body. Since the feet are the farthest from the heart, it is the number 1 victim of such weakness. That is why patients with diabetes should be careful not to get their feet bruised or wounded, as this may cause them more debilitating problems.

For some people, an APE (or annual physical examination) is mandatory. Included in that exam is a check on the sugar levels in your blood and urine. It is wise to heed the doctor’s advice especially if your blood sugar levels are beyond the normal.

 

Reference:

Cicero, K. (7 December 2015) “10 Things Podiatrists Wish Everyone Knew About Their Feet.” Prevention. Retrieved from www.prevention.com

Image 1 by Rama, CC BY-SA 2.0 fr, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=522132

Image 2 courtesy of Newsner.com

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