This month is National Foot Health Awareness Month, and that’s a big deal for podiatrists because studies show that 20% of all Americans experience foot problems at least once a year. In today’s post by Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA, he shares 7 tips to protect your feet.
Some foot problems are genetic; for instance, if bunions are common in your family, you’re more likely to get them as well. But some foot and ankle issues can be prevented or stopped from becoming serious if you seek treatment from your podiatrist as soon as you notice a problem.
Ready to take the right steps to keep your feet happy and healthy? Check out our 7 tips!
7 Ways to Encourage Good Foot Health
- Examine your feet closely every day. Examine your feet daily, especially if you suffer from diabetes. If you can’t inspect them yourself, use a mirror or ask a friend to examine hard-to-reach spots. While checking your feet, take note of any cracks, red and rough spots, or bumps to discuss with your podiatrist.
- Keep your feet covered. Always wear the proper footwear in public. They should protect you from fungal infections, injuries, and some cases of heel pain. But be sure to give your toenails frequent breaks from polish.
- Dry your feet thoroughly. Following a bath or shower, be sure to dry your feet completely, especially between your toes to prevent fungus.
- Feet need sunscreen too. Always apply sunscreen to your feet, including all around your ankles and between your toes. These areas are susceptible to skin cancer and burns.
- Low-impact sports like riding a bicycle or walking can help you sustain a healthy weight without putting too much strain on your feet. But be sure to always stretch first. Warming up before exercise can help prevent foot and ankle injuries, especially prior to running.
- Wear the right shoes. Choose shoes with a low heel and a lot of arch support. Leave some space - about a thumb’s worth - between the end of your shoe and your big toe. This helps prevent runner’s toenail injuries or bruising.
- Consider a walking aid. If exercising or walking is painful, even in supportive shoes, custom orthotics can offer extra protection and pain relief for your feet.
If you’re ever in doubt about your foot health, we’re here to help. We find that people often try to ‘walk off’ or ignore foot pain. But that turns minor issues into major foot problems.
So, what’s the best way to protect your feet? Contact Dr. Hubert Lee and his team at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA to schedule your next visit. You can schedule an appointment online or by calling us at 425-455-0936.