Disclaimer: This article is for informational and educational purposes only and does not substitute professional medical advice. It is important to always consult a medical professional for any health issues.
Most of us take good care of the majority of the body’s components, including the heart, muscles, joints, hair, and nails. However, there are some people who tend to neglect their feet. If you do not take good care of your feet, issues may arise, which can significantly affect your quality of life and lead to further health concerns. It’s because, as people get older, the possibility of developing a foot condition increases. In fact, based on research, one in three people over the age of 65 experiences foot pain, stiffness, or aching feet.
To avoid issues with your feet, practicing proper foot care techniques may help bring positive results, no matter your age or current health status. Your total health depends on the condition of your feet, which can suffer from years of use and abuse. Overuse, ill-fitting footwear, and even genetics can result in foot injuries and diseases that can limit your mobility.
In addition to some foot issues becoming painful, these can also make you more susceptible to accidents. If foot issues persist, you may risk falling. Also, walking awkwardly to avoid pain may set you off-balance and increase your risk of hurting yourself further. It is also important to take care of the skin on your feet. Remember that your heels shouldn’t feel abrasive and dry. And if they are left untreated, some cracks may allow harmful bacteria, and the healing process might take a while.
There are a lot of ways in which you can take good care of your feet to avoid health issues. If you are curious about these, we are here to help you learn more. In this post, we are giving you a guide to selecting the right foot care solutions for you.
What are the Most Common Foot Problems?
The stress of carrying around the weight of your body puts your feet at high risk of injury, which is higher than any other body part. Numerous foot issues can arise as a result of neglect, improper footwear, and regular wear and tear. Feeling pain in your feet can be a sign of a systemic problem. Therefore, identifying the issue and providing treatment is very important. Before we provide you with different foot care solutions, let us first learn about the most common foot problems.
The region between the toes and the bottom of the feet is frequently affected by the condition known as “athlete’s foot.” It is brought on by a fungus that thrives in warm, wet environments. This fungus can irritate the skin and result in a rash that is white, scaly, and has a red base. Some of the other symptoms of an athlete’s foot include burning, peeling, itching, and other times a slight odor.
One of the best ways to lower your risk of having an athlete’s foot is by always keeping your feet and toes clean and dry, changing your socks regularly, and never walking barefoot in public showers and locker rooms. If you ever experience having athlete’s foot, you can use over-the-counter antifungal creams or sprays to treat it. There are also available sprays and powders that can be placed inside the shoes to destroy any lingering fungus.
If over-the-counter remedies do not work, it is recommended to see a doctor immediately, as they can prescribe the best medicines for you. Never ignore an athlete’s foot since it can spread to other body regions.
Another common foot condition is a hammertoe. If you notice that your second, third, or fourth toe is curved in the center of the toe joint or is pointing oddly, you may have this issue. Most of the time, ill-fitting shoes are the reason behind having hammertoes. If your toe is still flexible, it can be treated by wearing roomier and more comfortable shoes. Aside from that, you might also be advised to wear inserts or foot pads that may help reposition your toe.
However, if your toe is fixed in the bent position, pain may set in, and surgery might be needed. Also, when hammertoes press against the inside of the shoes, corns and calluses may form on them, which are other issues.
Most blisters are brought on by friction between the foot’s skin and the interior of the shoes. They are soft pockets of raised skin filled with clear fluid. They can be prevented by wearing comfortable, appropriate-size shoes and socks. However, if blisters develop, let them break naturally and do not burst them.
After a blister burst, you can use an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment and bandage to promote healing and avoid infection. Also, keep the area covered to reduce friction and prevent reform. Blisters do not actually need medical attention. However, if you have diabetes or other health condition that makes you prone to infections, consulting a physician before treating blisters is important.
Bunions are bony bumps at the base of the big toe joint. The big toe also turns inward toward the smaller toes as a result of this condition. Congenital abnormalities, trauma, arthritis, inheritance, or wearing shoes with a too-narrow toe box can all cause bunions. No matter what caused them, bunions can become worse by wearing constrictive shoes and high heels. In order to treat bunions, wear wider shoes, padded shoe inserts, and over-the-counter pain relievers. Surgery might be suggested to realign the big toe to its usual position if those fail to ease the pain and enable normal walking.
Corns and Calluses
When wearing poorly fitting shoes, the foot repeatedly rubs against a bony area, which results in the development of corns and calluses. Corns occur on the top and side of the toes and even in between. Contrarily, calluses develop on the bottoms of the feet, particularly behind the heels or the sides of the toes and the balls of the foot. When you have corns and calluses, it can be hard and painful to walk on.
If you have corns and calluses on your feet, you can treat them by removing the buildup of skin. Effective treatment involves bathing the afflicted area in warm water until the skin becomes pliable. It is important to be gentle when removing them as removing too much skin might cause bleeding and infection. Applying moisturizing creams or lotions to the corn or callus and surrounding dead skin may also help soften the skin over time.
Plantar fasciitis is a painful disorder wherein the ligament or the fascia becomes inflamed or torn from the heel to the ball of the foot. In contrast to other foot disorders, plantar fasciitis has neither visible symptoms nor signals. You will just feel pain and stiffness. According to a study, it affects a lot of athletes of all levels, including runners. But it is an overuse injury, and almost everyone is at risk.
When you have plantar fasciitis, you can undergo physical therapy to stretch your foot and reduce the tightness in the middle part of the foot. Applying a cold compress and wearing a splint at night to stretch the affected foot may also help relieve the pain.
When the nails on your toes are not cut straight, the corners or sides of the nails can dig into the skin, which may cause pain and sometimes an infection. Wearing shoes that press your toes together and unusually curved toenails are also causes of ingrown toenails.
If you have an ingrown toenail, you can stimulate it to grow up and away from the skin by soaking your toe in warm water for 20 minutes many times a day. You can also tuck a little piece of cotton under the ingrown edge. You should consult a doctor right away if home cures don’t work or if you have any other medical issues that could result in decreased blood supply to the toes. The doctor can lift or remove the infected nail and suggest a topical antibiotic to avoid infection.
Toenail fungus can make nails look unattractive and deformed appearance. It can also spread to other nails. It develops as a result of injury to the nail, which disrupts the area where the toe’s nail meets its skin. It can occur after a pedicure, due to ill-fitting shoes, or after repetitive trauma from hiking or running that causes the nail to lift or get pressed on.
It is quite difficult to treat toenail fungus as it usually comes back even after successful treatment. If in case you acquire it, you need to talk to your doctor about taking a prescription antifungal medication as over-the-counter treatments might not work. If medication does not work, surgery might be needed to correct the trauma that caused the fungus to take hold.
The Different Foot Care Solutions
After learning about the most common foot problems, let us move on to the different foot care solutions available today. The type of foot care solution you need to choose depends on the condition of your foot. To help you, below are some of the different foot care solutions that you can choose from:
Wearing the right shoe is one of the most important things that you can do to keep your feet healthy. If you often wear the wrong shoe, it can cause serious damage to your feet. For instance, those who frequently wear high heels are accustomed to experiencing pinched toes, pain spreading from the balls of the feet, and achy arches. But aside from high heels, other shoes can also cause these sensations if they are not fitted well to the person’s foot.
The right footwear can help make your physical activities easier and help keep your body safe from injuries. Your feet, legs, and joints are all protected if you select footwear that fits you comfortably and is appropriate for the activity. The right pair of shoes should cushion your foot, support your foot, feel comfortable, and fit well.
However, if you have foot or ankle problems, making some changes to your existing shoes or using different shoe supports might be needed. Below are the different shoe supports for various problem feet:
- Heel Cup – This may alleviate pain beneath the heel. Heel cups are usually made of plastic, foam, or rubber. While releasing pressure from the delicate region, it could support the heel.
- Arch Supports (Orthotics) – These are used to treat pain in the foot and other problems related to the function of the foot and lower leg. It can be made of various materials, and it is worn inside the shoe. There are also custom arch supports that are specifically designed to relieve a particular area while supporting other areas. They may also help alter foot alignment and function.
- Metatarsal Pad – This type of shoe support is used to relieve pressure or pain beneath the ball of the big toe or other toes. It affixes to the insole behind the tender area and helps distribute pressure that would otherwise be put on the ball of the foot.
Foot Creams for Dry and Cracked Heels
Walking around in cramped shoes, sandals, or barefoot can lead to skin dryness, cracking, and calluses, particularly in the heel area, where dead skin cells mostly build up. Since the skin on the feet is thicker than that of other body parts, it is necessary to use specialist foot lotions to soften and treat dry spots and cracked heels.
Most of the time, foot creams for the feet are made with heavier and richer textures compared to body lotions and face creams. This way, they can tackle rougher-than-normal skin. When looking for foot creams for dry and cracked heels, try to look for those that have exfoliating ingredients, such as glycolic and salicylic acids. These can help slough away tough and dry patches.
You can also seek out proven hydration and humectants like hyaluronic acid and ceramides to soften the skin. For foot creams to be more effective, applying them at night and then slipping on a pair of socks to seal the moisture overnight is a good idea. Below are some examples of foot creams for dry and cracked heels to help you choose:
- O’Keeffe’s Healthy Feet Foot Cream: This is a concentrated foot cream that heals, relieves, and repairs extremely dry and cracked feet. It creates a protective layer on the surface of the skin that boosts moisture levels instantly and helps prevent further moisture loss. It is best to be applied at bedtime and after bathing to keep your feet moisturized.
- Gold Bond Ultimate Softening Foot Cream: This foot cream contains shea butter to soften rough, calloused feet. It is formulated with vitamins to revitalize the skin. It also has a fresh soft scent and is hypoallergenic.
- Heel Balm Stick for Cracked Foot Repair: This product is made from 100% natural ingredients. It is formulated to treat cracked heels and feet fast. It is a rich moisturizing heel balm that softens very rough, dry, scratchy, cracked, and calloused heels and feet without leaving a greasy feeling. It is a great product to use as an overnight foot treatment.
- Miracle Foot Repair Cream: This is a fast-acting moisturizing relief for dry, cracked feet and heels. It can stop itching, dryness, cracking, and unpleasant odors. It can also rejuvenate tired and achy feet. It has a unique paraben-free formula that penetrates deep to provide relief. It is made of pure aloe vera gel from mature aloe vera leaves.
Products To Help Treat Plantar Fasciitis and Other Foot Pains
As we’ve mentioned earlier, plantar fasciitis is among the most common foot problems experienced by many people. In fact, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, around two million people in America suffer from regular heel pain due to plantar fasciitis. If your day begins and ends with pain at the bottom of your heel, then it is possible that you are struggling with persistent plantar fasciitis.
One of the main ways to avoid plantar fasciitis is wearing the right pair of shoes, which we have also discussed here. However, if you have already acquired the painful foot condition, there are a lot of products out there that you can use that might help treat your plantar fasciitis. When looking for a device to use to alleviate and help treat this condition, you can consider various wearables and therapeutic devices. Below are some of the best examples of products that may help soothe the inflammation if you have plantar fasciitis:
- Feet Insoles: This is an arch support insole that helps improve foot and leg alignment. It also enhances comfort and helps ease stress caused by plantar fasciitis. It has a deep heel cup to correct foot positioning. It is also excellent for shock absorption and foot fatigue. It is designed for everyday use to provide moderate control and support when walking.
- Night Splint: This product is for those suffering from foot pain due to plantar fasciitis, drop foot and achilles tendonitis. It has a bendable lightweight aluminum bar at the instep that can keep the feet at a 90-degree angle and hold it in a flexed position. This will help you get the rest and a full night’s sleep that you need without feeling the pain. It is made of comfortable materials with maximum foam padding that feels smooth against your foot.
- Compression Socks: This product provides pressure to the foot to ease stress, arch pain, swelling, and injuries. It can be worn all day, especially for those who stay on their feet while working. There are various sizes of these compression socks, and they are made of premium materials.
- Calf Stretcher and Foot Rocker: This product can help reduce pain and inflammation for those suffering from plantar fasciitis, achilles tendonitis, and tight calves. It isolates the lower leg muscles, tendons, and ligaments to ensure an effective stretch that helps reduce injuries. It has slip-resistant pads to avoid moving and sliding the foot while stretching.
Getting regular foot massages is another way to take care of your feet. A foot massage is very relaxing, especially after a long day at work. In addition to providing relaxation, it also stimulates the muscles, improves circulation, eliminates pain, and lessens stiffness and tension. A foot massage is also a great way to have your feet checked to see if there are any blisters, bunions, corns, and toenail problems.
To get a foot massage, you can visit spas and some salons that offer this service. However, if you have a busy schedule or if there is no spa near your area, you can instead buy a foot massager that you can use at home anytime you want. Below are some examples of foot massagers that you can use at home:
- ChiFIT Reflexology Foot Massager Tool: This is a manual foot massager tool that is perfect for those who are experiencing pains, such as plantar fasciitis, sore feet, and foot arch pain. It is ergonomically arched based on the curve of the foot. It is very easy to use and portable enough to take with you anywhere.
- Breo Foot Massager Machine with Heat: This foot massager has deep kneading, compression, scraping, rolling, and heating functions. Its intensity can also be adjusted based on your preferences. It features an optional heating function to make the massage session more relaxing.
- Shiatsu Foot Massager with Heat: This electric foot massager has 6 kneading rotation heads and 18 gel massage nodes. It can fit various foot curves and target the best pressure points of the feet for a gentler and more relaxing massage. It also has soothing heat to ease tired and sore feet and improve blood flow.
There are indeed a lot of foot care solutions to choose from in order to keep your feet healthy and pain-free. However, if you are experiencing serious problems with your foot, do not hesitate to consult with a doctor immediately to prevent further health issues. Always remember that it is important to take good care of your feet and keep them in good shape, as they are the parts that support our bodies every day, no matter what activities we are doing. We hope this post helped you learn more about selecting the right foot care solutions for you.
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