Look after your feet and your feet will look after you

www.freedigitalphotos.netWe take them for granted most of the time, but it is important to remember that our feet take the weight of the entire body and we need to take care of them. Small irritations can quickly lead to pain and affect the way you walk as well as causing knee, hip and back pain.

We have some easy to follow tips that will not only keep your feet in check, but your whole body:

Keep your feet clean and healthy by washing them every day in warm soapy water but don’t soak them every day as this can affect the skin’s natural oils.

When you wash your feet make sure you check for blisters and cuts – you want to be certain there are no hidden problems and if they are, get to them fast.

Dry your feet thoroughly after washing them, especially between the toes. This is where fungal infections like athlete’s foot can develop and can cause the skin to become itchy, red, scaly, dry, cracked and blistered. Not something you really want to deal with but if you do have it, ensure you get the right medication and deal with it.

Trim your toenails regularly using nail clippers and don’t pick at your toes. Cut straight across, never at an angle or down the edges, as this can cause ingrowing nails.

If you like your toenails to be pretty, go for a salon pedicure once a month and in between you can keep them in good condition, touching up polish and filing as required.

Sounds obvious but change your socks daily to keep your feet fresh and odour free.

Be savvy when it comes to footwear and always wear the right shoes for the job. This means so no flip-flops for mountain climbing or heels for the school run. Go for comfortable shoes to and from the office and if you can go, just wear smart shoes whilst you’re at work.

When you do wear heels try to vary the height, between low, medium and high and if they start to hurt, swap for flats – there are no prizes for pain.

Give your feet a rest from high heels during the party season and by day wear soft, comfortable, flat shoes that let your feet to breathe and recover.

When you go shopping for new shoes it is a good idea to do so in the afternoon. Your feet naturally swell during the day so by the afternoon they are at their largest and you can be assured the shoes you go for will always be comfortable.

If you got to public areas such as gym showers, swimming pools and hotel bathrooms try to wear flip-flops to avoid catching athlete’s foot and verrucas.

We have mentioned flip-flops a couple of times and it is worth saying that whilst they do come in handy, don’t wear them all the time. They might look good and feel cool but they don’t provide support for your feet and can cause arch and heel pain when worn too much.

If you take part in a lot of sport, whether it is running, netball or even dance, make sure you wear the right shoes for the job and rest your feet afterwards. Pounding the streets can take its toil so just be mindful of your feet.

As you get older, your joints begin to stiffen and your feet become more vulnerable to the cold. It is a good idea to have your feet checked every six months and never put up with foot pain as feet really shouldn’t hurt.

If you have a problem or new pain then it is best to seek advice from a professional. Either your GP or a qualified podiatrist will be able to assess the situation and give appropriate treatment.

Be safe, be happy and be feet aware.

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