Keep Your Feet Clean
- Wash feet daily in warm, not hot, water
- Clean and dry well between the toes
- To prevent your skin from drying out, don’t soak your feet for more than 10 to 15 minutes.
- Apply moisturizer if necessary to dry skin but not between the toes; use foot powder to control naturally moist feet and DO use powder between the toes
- Wear breathable, wicking socks (athletic socks work great!)
- Examine your feet daily for redness, cracks, or callused areas.
- Attempt nail and foot care only if you’re physically able to do so; otherwise, consult a professional for help.
- Don’t use instruments on the nail or foot that aren’t meant for nail or foot care (i.e. dremmels for nail debridement!) Use caution in using over-the-counter corn & wart products, as they can burn the skin.
- Consult a physician if you notice an injury, infection, or changes in sensation, pain, cramping and tingling in your extremities.
- Shoes & slippers should be rotated and not worn two days in a row; ensure you have enough pairs that you’re able to rotate your footwear.
- Allow your shoes to fully dry in-between wearing; storing your athletic shoes in a locker or gym bag will not allow them to completely dry by the time you need to wear them next. The dark environment of a gym bag or locker will also promote fungal growth.
- Shop for shoes at the end of the day when feet are typically at their largest.
- A properly fitting shoe shouldn’t touch the tips of your toes, rub, slip off, or cramp your foot.
- Bring orthotics with you to try on shoes.
- Break in shoes gradually. Don’t buy shoes a half size too small and count on them to “stretch” with wear; leather may stretch sometimes, but synthetic materials (vinyls, plastics) will not. Cobblers can stretch shoes for you, typically for a fee.
- Preventive foot exercises protect the feet and reduce the possibility of incurring foot problems as the feet age.
- Exercises are not just necessary in preparing for sports, but in participating in activities of daily life.
- Walking is considered one of the best exercises. Start with an easy pace, on flat ground and gradually increase. Warm up before walks with gentle stretching. Examine feet after a walk for areas of irritation, blisters, or swelling.