preventative daily footcare

Taking care of your feet when you’re younger can prevent a
wide variety of problems from developing as you age. Your feet allow you to get
places, be productive, engage in most any physical activity, and enjoy a good quality
of life. Maintaining optimal foot health and doing what you can to limit and
slow any problems will help to keep the rest of your body healthy as well.

Taking care of your feet is simple, and requires 5 basic
steps. These simple steps, while quite easy to do, will save your feet from a
lot of potential issues in the future.

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Proper Hygiene

Keeping your feet clean is a great first step to providing
excellent care. To properly clean your feet, make sure you wash them every day.
The daily buildup of sweat and bacteria from being inside your shoes accumulates,
and needs to be taken care of before it leads to unpleasant smells or irritated
skin. When washing your feet, remember to clean between your toes as well. Pay
particular attention to this area when drying, as excess moisture can cause bacteria
to build up.

Taking care of your toenails is also important to your overall
foot hygiene. They should be cut at least every other week, more often if they
grow quickly, and in a straight line. If they’re cut with rounded edges as
people tend to do with their fingernails, the likelihood of ingrown toenails
increases. Sharp edges should be filed down, and all clippers and scissors
should be sanitized in alcohol periodically to clean them.

Moisturize

After you’ve washed your feet, the next step to keeping them
healthy is to moisturize them. The regular activity your feet endure every day
can cause them to become dry, cracked, and irritated. Applying a lotion or a
cream can restore some of the necessary moisture back to your feet, and get
them feeling soft and healthy again. Avoid applying any lotions between your
toes, as again, this is a place you want to keep dry due to the potential for bacteria
build-up.

Put on Socks

Socks are an extra layer of protection between your feet and
the world, as well as your shoes preventing blisters. It is recommended that
you wear socks made of man-made materials if your feet tend to get damp easily,
as these tend to wick moisture away from your foot. A cushiony pair of socks
can also help absorb some of the impact of walking and standing, helping to
reduce pain.

Wear the Right Shoes

Your shoes should fit correctly. Too tight, and they can
cause pain, hammer toes, corns, and more. Too loose, and your heel will slide
around, leading to blisters, calluses, and tenderness. Flip-flops do not provide
arch support, and high heels can potentially cause damage to the bones in your
foot, as well as shorten the tendons if worn frequently. If you choose to wear
heels often, opt for varying heights to avoid this shortening. Choose a pair of
supportive, comfortable running shoes made from a natural material to allow
breathability and give your foot the most stability.

Exercise

Walking helps to strengthen the muscles in your feet. It
also ensures the ligaments and tendons stay flexible, which helps to support
your arches. Whether long or short, any kind of walk is beneficial. If walking
on hard surfaces causes pain, try to walk on grass or soft trails to reduce the
impact, or look into getting better shoes or insoles.

If you would like to learn more about preventative footcare,
you’re a new patient looking for a podiatrist
in Toronto, or you have any other foot care concerns, don’t hesitate to contact our foot clinic today!

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