Having healthy feet is obviously an essential component of maintaining a normal lifestyle and being able to get around as you need. Nonetheless, the fact is that your feet take quite a beating whenever you walk, run, and jump around. The feet are routinely subjected to much more abuse than virtually any other part of your body, and this obviously increases the chances of damage or other problems. Furthermore, excessive sweating, wearing improperly fitting shoes, or simply not walking the way you should also increase the chances of various foot ailments in issues. With this in mind, here are four of the most common foot problems and what you can do about them.
This problem occurs when one of the toenails begins to grow into the skin alongside it, which can lead to extreme pain, discomfort and potentially to an infection if left untreated. Most commonly caused by wearing too tight shoes or not trimming your nails properly, an ingrown toenail can make it difficult or even impossible to walk properly. Sometimes, the problem is so severe that the person can’t wear shoes at all.
If you’re suffering from an ingrown toenail, there are several potential steps you can take to treat the problem and hopefully make it go away over time. These include wearing looser fitting shoes and making sure you always cut your toenails straight across instead of in a rounded pattern. Regularly washing your feet with antibacterial soap and keeping them dry is also essential for preventing infections. Nonetheless, if the problem persists or you are currently dealing with an infection, it is essential you consult a podiatrist as it may be necessary to remove a portion of your toenail to fully correct the issue.
Bunions are another common foot problem where a large, sometimes painful bump slowly develops on the top of the big toe joint. Typically, the problem is caused by wearing too narrow or too tight shoes, and women are much more likely to experience bunions due to the narrower shape of high heels and other women’s shoes. This is precisely why the first step to treating the issue is to avoid wearing narrow shoes. Occasionally icing the bump can also help in reducing inflammation and swelling. In many cases, these steps are enough for the bunion to slowly subside over time.
However, the fact that a bunion is actually a foot deformity that involves both your bones and soft tissue means there are many cases when these methods alone won’t be enough to eliminate the bunion or relieve the associated pain. In these situations, it is often necessary to undergo bunionectomy treatment, which involves surgically removing the bunion and realigning the toe.
The most common source of heel pain, plantar fasciitis is a condition that occurs when the plantar fascia—the ligament that provides support to the arch of the foot—becomes inflamed. Unfortunately, not all that much is known about the condition since there can be numerous factors that can contribute to it, such having an abnormally high arch or being overweight. People with tighter calf muscles or that frequently run or participate in other activities that cause repeated stress and abuse of the heel are also more at risk.
Typically, the condition can be treated at home. Any pain can normally be managed with an over-the-counter pain reliever, and regularly applying ice to your heel is effective at reducing the inflammation. It is also essential that you remember to rest your feet as much as you can, and many people also find relief by wearing more supportive shoes. Nonetheless, there are cases when steroid injections may be necessary to relieve the inflammation, and some individuals may also need to undergo physical therapy to combat the issues causing the condition.
Athlete’s foot is a painful condition that can result in itchy, cracked, peeling, or blistering skin. The problem is caused by a fungal infection that thrives in warm, damp conditions such as those typically found inside your socks and shoes. In many cases, the individual will pick up the fungus from a gym, pool, or another place where they walk around barefoot since it is extremely contagious.
When facing this condition, the most important thing is that you always keep your feet clean and dry. Fungus thrives in a moist environment, which is why it helps to change your socks whenever your feet get sweaty and alternate between different pairs of shoes to give each time to fully dry out. In addition, you may also need to fight the infection with an over-the-counter fungicide product, and there are a huge number of different creams, sprays, and other Athlete’s foot medications available. In more severe cases, it may be necessary to visit a dermatologist who can prescribe you with stronger oral anti-fungal medications.
Without your feet to carry you around, your life obviously wouldn’t be the same. Therefore, it is vital that you do whatever you can to take care of them. In this sense, if you’ve been suffering from these or any other foot problems for some time and still haven’t found a cure, it might be time to visit your doctor. After all, you can’t really put a price on your feet.