Proper foot care 101

Image: Proper foot care 101

Do you know when to seek professional foot care?

The average person takes 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day for a lifetime walking average of 115,000 miles, or more than 4 trips around the earth.

As we get older so do our feet, and they need special care. Even though they are hidden away in socks and shoes, our feet are an important part of staying active and healthy, and are a key indicator too of our general health.

To keep feet healthy, they first should be regularly examined for any changes in appearance or feel. There are also a number of things you should keep in mind including the condition of your overall health, your activity level and any previous injuries. In fact, if you have a medical condition such as arthritis or diabetes, you are at greater risk of foot-associated medical issues.

Foot pain and when to talk to a professional

We all experience tired and sore feet sometimes, especially if we lead active lifestyles. However, foot pain can be a symptom of more than just a long walk. Sometimes foot pain is an indicator of underlying health issues or foot conditions. It’s important not to ignore these symptoms, and seek professional help before the pain becomes debilitating or other medical conditions are exacerbated.

A number of conditions including poor circulation, diabetes, injury, plantar fasciitis and arthritis can impact the state of your feet. Examining, cleaning and keeping your feet moisturized and dry can prevent pain and discomfort. If you have any of these conditions, you should speak to a professional about foot care.

Conditions affecting your feet

Conditions such as corns and ingrown toenails are not just a cosmetic bother. They can significantly impact your comfort, quality of life and activity level. They may also lead to infection and more serious medical issues if not resolved.

Foot care can be done at home yourself, but it’s often necessary to consult professional foot care specialists. Registered Nurses with medical foot care specialization are able to assess feet, treat them for a number of medical conditions and provide future guidance and recommendation for good foot care.

Tips for good foot care

You should always wear shoes on all surfaces in order to prevent injury and contact with potential fungal or bacterial infections.

In the summer, remember to apply sunscreen all over your feet, especially the tops and fronts of your ankles. Don't forget to reapply sunscreen after you've been in the water.

Staying hydrated throughout the day will not only help with overall health but will also minimize any foot swelling caused by the heat.

Some activities at the beach, lake or river may require different types of footwear to be worn so be sure to ask the contact at each activity if specific shoes are needed. To be safe, always pack an extra pair of sneakers or protective water shoes. If your shoes will be getting wet, they should be dried out completely before your next wear in order to prevent bacteria or fungus from growing.

If you are a diabetic, shoes should be worn at ALL times to avoid injury. Even the slightest scrape can be cause for alarm among people with diabetes, where healing can be difficult and may lead to limb amputation.

The help of a medical professional for all seniors is important in monitoring and managing the health and comfort of your feet.

Spectrum Health Care has been providing specially trained foot care nurses in the GTA for over 40 years. If you have been diagnosed with an ailment that may affect the health of your feet, you should speak to a professional to get an assessment and a treatment.