Treating Your Foundation Well
Who wouldn’t want to avoid pain if they could? Many uncomfortable, even deforming, conditions of the feet are actually avoidable. Taking care of your feet before you have a problem, and seeking help right away when you do, are key ways to prevent serious foot conditions that can hurt you and limit your ability to get around. Simple daily foot care and regular check-ups could stand between you and foot distress!
Pain Is Not a Normal Part of Life
Pain is the body’s way of signaling that something is not right. When your body is aligned and working properly it shouldn’t cause you discomfort. So when normal activities make your feet hurt, something is wrong—don’t ignore the pain! A problem that starts small and easy to fix can become a big issue if left untreated and allowed to worsen.
Soap and Water Make a Difference
Though it’s a simple task, many people don’t think about washing their feet every day. Your feet are constantly on the ground, whether in shoes or barefoot, and are exposed to all of the dirt, grime, and bacteria down there. Keeping your feet clean and dry can help prevent foot infections. Gently wash your feet with warm water and soap, then dry completely—including in between your toes—with a soft towel.
Catch Problems Early
Inspect your feet regularly to catch beginning signs of injury or infection. Small sores, blisters, calluses, corns, skin changes, or other abnormalities can have simple solutions when caught early. Left alone, they become bigger issues with longer healing times and more involved remedies. You can easily fit a foot inspection into your daily schedule—when you’re washing your feet, look them over and check into anything that seems unusual. This is especially important for diabetic patients whose immune systems are compromised, making fighting infections and healing injuries more difficult. If you are diabetic and you do find something, call Dr. Patel immediately to have it examined and addressed.
Toenails Need Love, Too
When nails become injured or infected, they are hard to treat and take a while to heal, so preventative care can help you avoid long-lasting, uncomfortable conditions. Keep your nails clean and trimmed straight across. Don’t cut your cuticles; just push them back. As you get older, your nails become more brittle, so consider moisturizing them with cuticle cream or petroleum jelly. Remember, when you’re getting a pedicure, always insist that the person doing your nails uses clean, sterilized tools.
If the Shoe Fits
Well-fitted, supportive shoes maintain your foot’s alignment without crowding or compressing it. Many foot conditions are exacerbated by bad shoes that either squeeze or allow the foot to land incorrectly when walking. Get your feet measured and checked to find out what size and kind of shoe fits you best. Also, replace any worn out shoes.
General Protection Tips
Don’t underestimate the value of doing simple things to protect your feet. Wear shoes instead of going barefoot. Use flip-flops or sandals in public places, like locker rooms, public showers, and pools to avoid picking up an infection. Wear thick socks made of materials that wick away moisture instead of trapping it. Moisturize your skin, especially the heels and soles of your feet, though not in between your toes.
If you’re diabetic, have your feet inspected every year; you’re at high risk for incurring foot damage without noticing. A regular check-up with Dr. Sanjay Patel can help you catch changes or injuries early and take the necessary steps to healing.
Taking care of your feet now, before you have pain, means you avoid trouble in the future. When something does happen, however, getting treated right away keeps small problems from getting bigger and helps you heal faster. Dr. Sanjay Patel of Family Foot Care & Surgery, L.L.C. in Connecticut works with patients of all ages and demographics to provide excellent preventative treatments and conservative care to keep you on your feet and pain-free. Don’t ignore your feet! For more information or an appointment, visiting the contact page or appointment page. Or you can call one of the two Family Foot Care & Surgery, L.L.C. offices: (203) 876-7736 to reach the Milford office; (203) 288-4055 for the office in Hamden.