Most people neglect their feet until an issue develops that garners their attention, such as pain, a wound, or abnormal growths, such as bunions. You can avoid foot-related problems from worsening – and even developing in many cases – by regularly seeing a foot doctor, also known as a podiatrist. With the help of this healthcare provider, you can implement preventive care steps to take optimal care of your feet.
At The Podiatry Group of South Texas, our podiatrists have come up with a list of the most vital tips for foot care that will help keep your feet healthy. Take a look below, and schedule an appointment with our providers at your earliest convenience.
Choose Shoes that Fit Comfortably
You should always try on shoes before purchasing them. Not all shoes fit the same way, even if the size is the same as the shoes you normally wear. Shoes are made of different materials, have different support features (or lack thereof), and impact the way you stand and walk differently. As such, it is essential that you try on every pair of shoes before deciding to purchase them.
Take them out for a walk in the store to see how they feel. Check if your toes have enough room or if they’re scrunched up in the front (common with pointed-toe shoes). Additionally, check if the shoes are roomy or if your feet are stuffed. Notice if you feel any hardness in the sole of your feet, if the shoes are heavy, or if your feet don’t bend in the middle (due to extra hard soles) when walking. All of these factors should be considered prior to getting any shoes.
Avoid Wearing Flip Flops for Prolonged Periods of Time
Flip flops, unless they have built-in support, aren’t designed to be worn for prolonged periods of time. They might be excellent to wear at the beach, but they don’t support your arches or heels, like a pair of other shoes do. Wearing flips flops frequently can contribute to recurring foot pain. The lack of support can also cause issues in other parts of your body, such as your lower back. You also expose your feet to bacteria and fungi more easily with open-toed shoes like flip-flops.
Don’t Wear Heels Everyday
You can look professional and chic without wearing high heels everywhere you go. Make sure you switch up the kinds of shoes you wear, so you’re not wearing high heels too frequently. High heels push your toes to the front of your shoes, which means your toes will be crowded. This can lead to problems like bunions and hammertoe. You’re also at a higher risk of developing joint pain in your feet with high heels since they usually don’t have any type of shock absorption.
Keep Your Feet Dry
Moisture is the ideal breeding ground for foot fungus. Common sources of moisture on the feet include water and sweat. This is why athletes often develop issues like foot fungus and athlete’s foot. The best way to avoid such problems is to dry your feet after showering or bathing. After working out or playing sports, clean your feet immediately, so sweat doesn’t remain on your feet for long.
Avoid Going Barefoot in Public Places
Anytime you’re in public places, like gym showers, locker rooms, or pools, you should always wear shoes. Fungi is highly contagious and can remain on a surface long after an infected person walks there. In addition, there are a lot of harmful items on the ground that may not be easy to see. Things like tiny rocks and sharp objects can injure you. This can not only be painful, but will increase your risk of infection.
Know When to See a Podiatrist
If an issue arises, you should know when it warrants a visit to a podiatrist. For instance, if you have itchiness, discolored or thicker-than-usual toenails, or a foul foot odor, you should contact a podiatrist, because these are signs of fungus that requires medical attention. You should also contact a foot specialist if you have recurring foot pain, corns, and calluses, or a broken or sprained ankle, or any abnormal symptoms or growths.
Contact Our Practice for an Appointment with a Podiatrist in South Texas for All of Your Foot Care Needs
At The Podiatry Group of South Texas, our providers understand how important your feet are to your well-being, health, and quality of life. That’s why we focus on diagnosing and treating patients quickly and effectively.
If you have any signs of a foot problem or want tips on how to keep your feet healthy, schedule an appointment with a podiatrist at The Podiatry Group of South Texas at one of our eight locations throughout South Texas. Call us at your preferred location, or use our convenient online appointment scheduling tool.