Foot Care

Feet. Without them, you’d have a more difficult time getting where you need to go – yet they are often the last body part that we make sure is taken care of (much less pampered).

If you don’t watch out for your feet, you could end up needing foot care treatment.

Many common problems affect the feet and are easily cared for as long as you pay attention to the health warning signs your feet give you.

An ingrown toenail might not seem like a big deal, but if it’s not treated, you can either lose your toenail or require surgery – and in some cases, both can happen.

Some people mistakenly think that an ingrown toenail comes from cutting the toenail too short, but it’s not quite true.

An ingrown toenail is what happens when the nail punctures the skin around it, and then rather than growing up and outward like it’s supposed to, the nail continues to burrow into the skin.

This causes redness, tenderness and swelling.

In the case of a severe ingrown toenail, a doctor or podiatrist must be seen to take care of an infection that can develop.

Proper foot care treatment can also prevent the growth of corns or calluses. In the places of your foot where exertion is placed, you can develop a tough and thick spot.

Usually this is because something is rubbing that area when you walk or run. Over time, the area of skin gets thick.

If you examine your feet and notice any small, hard white circle-shaped spots on the sole of your foot or between your toes, these can be corns.

If you remove them, you’ll see that many of them leave a small (or large depending on the size) indention at the place of removal.

Another common problem with feet are bunions. Though it sounds like something elderly people deal with, the truth is that anyone can develop a bunion.

It’s basically swelling around the large toe.

The swelling is caused by fluid build up, and the pressure can be quite painful.

Women, more often than men, will get bunions – and one of the main causes are shoes that don’t fit well or that strain the foot in some way, such as high heels.

Treatment can range from staying off your feet to taking anti-inflammatory medication to using cortisone injections.

Dry skin can be another very common problem without the right foot care treatment.

This condition is usually treated easily with a cream that specializes in dry skin moisturizing.

If you notice excessive dry skin on your feet despite moisturizing, this can be a symptom of diabetes and should be checked out with your doctor.

Another problem with feet and one that’s extremely painful is a bone spur. These are growths that stem from the foot bones.

They can range in size – and those who have them on the bottom of the foot feel as if they’re walking on a small marble.

Bone spurs can develop on the bottom or sides of your feet, your toes, or heel of the foot.

Causes are shoes that don’t fit well, carrying too much weight for your body structure, or activities such as running or jogging.

The Best Foot Care Products to Care for Your Feet

Foot care products fall under the heading of several different categories. Among them are: medical, spa, those you can do yourself and professional.

Medical products can be gel inserts to add extra comfort and cushion for the soles of your feet.

It can also be inserts that are designed to protect against corns – or products to add extra protection for those suffering from bone spurs.

Medicated shoe products can work to heal blisters or other skin abrasions on the foot.

From pumice stones to pedicure kits, there are hundreds of ways you can give your feet comfort and pamper them.

Pampered feet are ones that will not only look and feel their best, but will be healthier, too.

You can start out by giving your feet the A-list treatment in a foot spa (also called a foot bath) and this will relax and massage your feet.

Callus removers work well to gently smooth the skin on your feet.

Repair creams work to bring healing to skin that’s been damaged by dry skin or roughed up by calluses.

Foot creams that specialize in deep conditioning and moisturizing can help bring your feet back to optimal condition.

Using foot scrubbers or exfoliating products offer a therapeutic experience that your feet will appreciate.

Not all of the best foot care products are found in doctors’ offices, spas or specialty stores.

You can buy do-it-yourself products that that can give you the same kind of care that you would receive from taking the time to go to a fancy spa or paying to have a pedicure done.

Many organic products on the market today can work wonders with your feet, making them feel better than ever before.

Of course, you always have to make sure that you start with a good foundational support for your feet.

Having all of the products in the world at your disposal can’t keep your feet looking and feeling good if you’re putting on shoes that cause problems.

Never wear narrow shoes that pinch your feet – no matter how good they look while you’re wearing them.

You don’t want your feet to suffer months of pain or discomfort just for the sake of appearances.

A lot of women (and some men) choose to have their feet professionally cared for.

They might also use the best products at home (ones that are the same or similar to what spas use), but for that extra special pampered and cared for experience, they choose to let a foot care professional treat their feet.

There are many places that offer pedicures, but you want to be careful to avoid the ones that rush people in and out and take shortcuts with sterilizing their equipment.

Foot care products are a great way to relieve the stress your feet go through every day.

By taking good care of your feet, you’ll maintain them in the best possible health and be rewarded by avoiding some of the common foot problems many people have to deal with.

Tips for Dealing with Athletes Foot

The next time you get a rash on your foot, don’t just assume it’s not a big deal. You might have a common condition known as athlete’s foot.

Though it’s common and easy to get, it can be a pain to get rid of if you don’t treat it aggressively.

Isn’t this a condition that’s usually found among athletes? Yes. But it’s also found in children, women and men who are not athletes.

This condition is an equal opportunity fungus and doesn’t care what your age, occupation or sex is.

This fungus just loves any place that’s warm and wet enough for it to thrive. This fungus has lunch in mind – your skin cells.

Your body’s old skin cells make a tasty meal for this rapidly spreading fungus.

The worst part about having it isn’t just the itching it causes (though that effect can be a pain to deal with), but it’s the fact that it can travel over your skin and grow on other parts of your body – anywhere on your body where moisture exists.

It’s easily spread from your feet to your groin.

So how do you get athletes foot? You can get it by coming into contact with the affected skin of someone who has it.

You can get it by walking on a floor where the fungus is residing.

Common places are anywhere that’s shared by a lot of people. Community pools can be a breeding ground for this fungus.

If someone who has it walks barefoot to get into the pool and you walk barefoot behind that person, stepping where he stepped, then you can pick up the fungus.

High school locker rooms are a place where the fungus is often found. It might surprise you to know that the fungus can live on carpet.

If someone who has the condition comes into your home, removes his shoes and walks barefoot across your carpet, then you have a chance of getting the condition, too.

You can also get the fungus by using the same towel that someone with the condition used.

If you wear shoes that let your feet sweat (especially during the summer), the fungus can grow rapidly in that environment.

Reusing socks without washing them can help the fungus spread. How can you tell if you have this condition?

Some signs are itching (mild to severe), redness of the skin, scaly or cracked skin.

If it’s not treated, the fungus will get worse and can lead to bleeding areas where the skin is cracked and a bacterial infection takes root.

If you notice a stench between your toes and skin that’s moist and peels easily, you probably need treatment.

Athletes’ foot is common and easily treatable in the early stages. It’s only when it’s left untreated that it can really be a bear to get rid of.

You can find plenty of ways to treat the condition – including natural as well as pharmaceutical.

Understanding the Importance of Nail and Foot Care

When it comes to feet, you often don’t give them much thought – yet when a problem occurs, it can slow you down or even stop you in your tracks.

Your feet do more than simply take your body from point A to point B.

They do more than give you mobility and freedom. They’re essential to helping maintain your body’s balance.

The pressure your feet are able to exert when standing or moving determines whether you’re off balance (or not) when you walk.

Did you know that if your feet don’t work the right way, it can lead to problems in other parts of your body?

Without healthy feet, your ankles can ache (you can end up twisting your ankle more easily) and the balance in your knees can be off, leading to painful movements in your knees.

Without your feet being at their best performance, it can lead to back, shoulder and even more body performance problems.

When you walk or run, you’re probably not even aware of all that your feet are doing for you.

As you walk from a carpeted floor to a concrete one, your feet are taking the brunt of the change in impact and absorbing it to protect your ankles, shins, knees and back.

When your feet aren’t taken care of, they can’t do their job right – which means other parts of your body will then begin to feel their pain.

If you don’t put regular effort into nail and foot care, you’re asking for trouble for the rest of your body.

Something as seemingly small as an ingrown toenail can make you walk off balance and lead to back strain or a pulled muscle in your back.

Having an ingrown toenail can be caused by accidentally clipping your toenails the wrong way.

An ingrown toenail can be caused by wearing shoes that are too small or too narrow.

It can also be caused by getting a toe injury (such as stubbing the toe or dropping something on it).

One of the most common problems associated with feet and toenails is fungal outbreaks. Athletes foot is easy to get and if caught and treated early, easy to get rid of.

Another fungus of the feet and nails is one that’s often overlooked by people and misdiagnosed by doctors.

You may have seen pictures of yellowed, brittle toenails and thought it was a fungus. What you may not know is that it can be a sign of nail ringworm.

Contrary to its name, ringworm is not a worm at all but a fungus. Having one on the nail can make it look thick and discolored.

Any time you have a change in the color of your nails, you should seek treatment for it.

Nail and foot care involve more than just treating your feet to soak baths and spa treatments.

You should take care that your feet are warm and dry in the winter, but not to the point where your feet can sweat and cause moisture.

In the summertime, wear shoes that allow your feet to stay dry in hotter temperatures.

Wear shoes that fit your feet and avoid ones that pinch the sides or toes of your feet.

What You Need to Be Aware of with Diabetic Foot Care

Preventing a foot problem is a lot easier than getting one to heal if you’re a diabetic. Diabetic foot care always begins by being aware of what’s going on with your feet.

You should check your feet daily and look for signs of swelling, broken skin, blisters or any other abnormal appearance with your feet.

While it’s a common practice for people to go barefoot in their own homes, for a diabetic, this can be a recipe for trouble.

Having a higher than normal blood glucose level means that your nerves can suffer damage as a result.

Usually this damage leads to a desensitizing of the nerves called diabetic neuropathy.

Sometimes there will be warning symptoms, such as numbness and tingling in the nerves but there won’t always be symptoms – every individual is different.

If your doctor has told you that you have any of the neuropathies associated with diabetes, you need to be extra cautious with your feet.

People who have diabetes can often step on something, puncture the skin of the foot and never even know it.

They can also develop blisters or other common foot problems and not be aware of it until the area is infected and since it’s much harder for someone with diabetes to fight off infections, it’s always better to stop a problem before it starts.

Diabetic foot care always begins with checking your feet every single day without fail.

It also involves having a doctor skilled in diabetic foot care (such as a podiatrist) check your foot at least once a year – more often if you’ve had foot problems in the past.

Anyone can have trouble with their feet, but diabetics are twice as susceptible.

Dry skin in some people might not be that big of a deal, but for a diabetic, dry skin can lead to cracked skin – which in turn has the potential to lead to infections.

Foot ulcers are common in people living with diabetes and are one of the most dangerous problems a diabetic can deal with on the feet.

But the good news is that having diabetes doesn’t mean you’ll automatically have foot issues. With the right kind of care, you can avoid having problems with your feet.

Start by cleaning your feet carefully with warm water every night before bed.

Keep slippers by your bed so that any time you have to get up, you can slip them on.

Don’t go barefoot for any reason in your home – even if it’s just to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

Keep your feet moisturized, but make sure you completely rub in any cream. Too much moisture can cause fungus to grow between the toes.

Don’t use nail clippers or any other sharp object to remove a corn. Instead, use products designed to gently take off corns.

Make sure that all of your shoes fit your feet properly.

Products that specialize in diabetic foot care are available, and though some might cost a little extra, the investment in your health is worth it.