Whether your feet are perfectly healthy or you have a compromising condition, such as diabetes or peripheral artery disease, self-care for your lower extremities yields immediate and long-term benefits. Your podiatrist in St. Peters, MO, has many important tips for pain-free, functional, healthy feet no matter your age or lifestyle.
Clean Feet Are Healthy, Happy Feet
Be sure to:
- Inspect your entire foot’s surfaces every day, especially if you are diabetic. Look for cuts, cracks, areas of redness, flaky skin, and bruising.
- Wash your feet every day. Use mild soap and warm water.
- Dry your feet completely with a clean, soft towel, and dry between the toes, too.
- Apply a moisturizer daily, concentrating on areas of dryness, roughness, and cracks.
- Wear a clean pair of moisture-wicking socks every day.
Protect Your Feet
Your podiatrist in St. Charles County advises avoiding going barefoot, particularly if you have impaired circulation or sensation in your feet.
- Wear supportive shoes or sandals made of quality materials.
- Avoid high heels and pointed toe boxes which only encourage corns, calluses, and inflammatory conditions and deformities, such as bunions.
- Purchase shoes which fit well–not too loose, not too tight.
- Replace worn out shoes to avoid areas of friction and gait/balance problems.
Practice Good Nail And Skin Care
- Cut all toenails with sharp, clean clippers. Avoid ingrown toenails by trimming nails straight across the toes, and never round the corners, as nails will grow into the surrounding skin. Ingrown nails can cause pain, infection, and for diabetics, possible toe amputation.
- Look for calluses and corns, and treat them with a pumice stone, gradually wearing them down. If they are large, hard, and stubborn, see your foot doctor in O’Fallon and St. Peters, MO, for safe, in-office removal.
- Simple walking is one of the best ways to improve bone health and circulation in your feet and ankles. Aim for 30 minutes a day, five times weekly.
- Athletes should alternate between high-impact activities, such as running, and low-impact exercises, such as cycling and swimming. This helps condition all the muscles in your lower extremities and lowers the risk of repetitive motion injuries, such as plantar fasciitis.
- If your feet hurt and the pain persists beyond a few days, stop the activity, and see your podiatrist for a consultation.
Watch Your Blood Sugar
Elevated blood glucose levels lead to circulation and nerve function problems in the lower extremities. So, if you are diabetic, be sure to take your medication as prescribed, watch your diet, monitor your blood glucose levels daily, and of course, examine your feet daily for any signs of change.
Also, see your foot doctor at least once a year, or more often if they advise. They will examine your feet and nails, watch you walk, assess your circulation, inspect for deformities, and more.
Exceptional Foot And Ankle Care in St. Charles County
At Advanced Bone & Joint Center, our team of board-certified physicians includes Dr. Anthony Lombardo, an experienced podiatrist who treats all kinds of foot and ankle injuries, diseases, and conditions. To learn more about having healthy feet, please contact us for an appointment at (636) 229-4222, or schedule a consultation online.