While many of us can’t even touch our toes without bending our knees, our feet are essential to our mobility. Whether you are walking, running, dancing, standing or just kicking back for a nice rest, your feet are at the center of it all. So, before dipping your toes in the water this summer, read these crucial tips for proper foot care.
Why All the Fuss About Feet?
The feet are often the most forgotten part of the body when it comes to care. Both feet combined make up approximately 25% of the body’s bones, 18% of joints and 6% of the muscles. Damage to the feet can have a detrimental impact on our everyday lives. It could prevent us from working, driving a car or even completing simple daily tasks. Although the best way to maintain our health is through exercise, too much pressure and movement will leave a lasting effect on our hips, knees, and spine.
Like all things, the best way to start properly care for your feet is to practice good hygiene. During your regular bathing routine, clean each foot thoroughly with soap and warm water. Fungal organisms thrive in moist areas, so be sure to pat them dry completely with a soft towel. Always wear clean socks and shoes that allow your feet to breathe, especially if you stand a lot during the day. Avoid sharing other people’s footwear or walking barefoot in public places. Regularly check your feet once a week for any scratches, blisters, swelling or fungal growth.
Summer Ready Feet
With warm weather approaching, now is the time to show your feet some love. For those with dry skin, use an exfoliating foot scrub to rid the surface of all flaky, dead cells. Be sure to use a sugar-based exfoliant, since salt scrubs tend to dry the skin out even more.
Using a pumice stone daily on your feet also provides exfoliation and works to remove tough callouses. With the heel being protected by an overly thick layer of skin, it’s difficult to lock in moisture. Add a heavy-duty, moisturizing foot cream to your nightly routine before bed. Lastly, wear light-weight, sturdy footwear during the day that will give your feet the support and comfort they need.
You don’t have to be involved in a sport to receive to get this infection. Athlete’s foot, or tinea pedis, is the most common foot infection, affecting 70% of the population at some point. The highly-contagious condition is usually contracted in locker rooms, swimming pools or communal showers, due to the fungus thriving in moist, humid areas. Make sure to wear clean sandals or shower shoes in these areas to avoid contracting this infection.
Athlete’s foot may not always show up with the same symptoms, making it easy to misdiagnose. It usually appears as redness, scaling, dryness, cracks or peeling between the toes or the soles of the feet. For some, it produces itching and burning. Since athlete’s foot produces symptoms that are similar to other conditions like contact dermatitis and psoriasis, be sure to visit a dermatologist for an accurate diagnosis.
Looking to get your skin ready for summer? Look no further than the dermatologists and medical professionals at Anne Arundel Dermatology. With over 40 years of experience diagnosing and treating skin conditions, we’re here to help you. To make an appointment with us, give us a call at (443) 351-3376 or visit us on our website.