Happy feet help your whole body. Your feet endure a lot of wear and tear in the process of supporting your frame in motion. Use these foot care tips to take good care of your feet and enhance your general well-being and comfort.
- Wear supportive shoes. A wide array of injuries such as plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, bunions, and sprains can be caused by wearing shoes that do not support proper bone alignment or muscle function. Choose shoes that support an even distribution of weight and have a thick sole to help absorb the shock of your daily activities or exercises.
- Have your feet sized. Wearing the wrong size shoe can lead to all sorts of foot problems from bunions to hammer toes. Make sure you’re wearing the right size shoe by having your foot measured. You might even need two different shoe sizes.
- Change your socks. Wearing clean socks with breathable fabrics is an important step to preventing foot odor. Just like Mom said, “change your socks!”
- Moisturize your feet. The skin on your feet needs moisture just like the rest of your body. To keep your feet soft and to prevent dry, cracking heels, use a foot cream before you put on your socks at night or as part of your home pedicure routine. You can also use moisturizing socks when you’re relaxing at home.
- Buff off dead skin and calluses. Keep your feet looking their best by gently buffing off dead skin and calluses. After bathing or a relaxing foot soak, use a pumice stone to buff away calluses on your feet. Do not shave or cut corns or pop blisters; you could cause an infection.
- Avoid ingrown toenails. Cutting your toenails correctly is the best way to avoid ingrown toenails. Cut your toenails straight across with toenail clippers. Rounded corners are more likely to grow back into the skin. Soaking your feet in Epsom salts is relaxing and can also help prevent and treat ingrown toenails.
- Protect your feet from hot and cold. Wear socks in the winter and shoes when walking at the beach or on hot pavement. Test hot water before putting your feet in. Skin irritation from hot or cold can easily become worse with the friction and impact of your daily activities.
- Maintain feet circulation. The American Diabetes Association emphasizes the importance of keeping the blood flowing to your feet. If you spend all day sitting at a desk, make sure you wiggle your toes and move your ankles up and down for five minutes two or three times a day. Avoid sitting on your feet or crossing your legs for long periods.
- Wear sunscreen. Don’t forget to slather sunscreen on your feet, too! During the summer, feet are often forgotten when protecting skin from the sun. Protect your feet and remember to check them for sun damage when you do regular self-exams.
- Stretch your feet. Release the tension of daily activity and protect yourself from injury by stretching your feet. The Yoga Journal features stretches and other foot care tips for healthy, relaxed toes.
If you have specific foot care concerns, whether from problem toes or heel pain, check out our other posts for more information about caring for your feet and preventing injury.