Feet are one part of the body we frequently take for granted, yet they’re genuinely essential to everyday life. When it comes to your feet, any issue – large or small – can easily be a major hindrance. From walking to driving there’s no escaping the need to use your feet. And if you are forced to, due to injury or another issue, it severely hinders your mobility and ability to enjoy life. Keeping your feet healthy is, consequently, extremely important. Fortunately, your local foot doctor is always on hand to help you keep your tootsies in tip-top condition.
Yet so many of us struggle through common and easily solvable issue, not realising salvation is just a phone call away. While your podiatrist is a trained healthcare provider qualified to manage major issues with your feet and lower limbs, there is also a myriad of common, everyday issues you can call the foot doctor to fix. This includes treating and alleviating day-to-day foot problems including athlete’s foot, dry and cracked heels or heel pain, smelly feet, flat feet, bunions, gout, blisters and sports injuries.
But we’ve been in this business a while now and can tell you that the most common problems you’re likely to encounter with your feet fall under three categories. And while they may seem like minor niggles fixing them is vital, not only for your comfort but also to avoid the development of much more series issues.
Of all areas of the feet, your toenails are probably the easiest area to take for granted. We tend to forget they’re there unless we’re either painting them, find ourselves wearing sandals, or suddenly develop pain.
Yet toenails are actually quite prone to problems, including ingrowing toenails, fungal nail infections, and thickened nails. All of these problems can be both unsightly and painful – not what you want when you’re trying to rock a pair of Jimmy Choos, or have a kick about in the park.
These seemingly minor problems can also easily become major issues. Ingrowing toenails, in particular, are prone to becoming infected, while fungal nail infections can really linger.
Fortunately, a good foot doctor can easily solve any problems with your nails, ensuring you’re footloose in no time.
Corns And Calluses…
Another very common foot ailments are corns and calluses, which are small patches or lumps of hard skin that frequently appear on your feet and toes (they can also develop on your hands). Symptoms include unsightly and uncomfortable patches of thickened, rough skin, caused by rubbing or pressure against your skin. High heels and poorly-fitting shoes are usually the culprits behind calluses and corns, but they are easily removed by a professional podiatrist.
Verrucas And Warts…
One of the more embarrassing issues that crop up on your feet is verrucas and warts. We all get these at some stage, but due to the stigma attached them they frequently go undiscussed. If you’re of a certain age you’ll recall the horrors of being forced to wear verruca socks during swimming lessons at school, and everyone knowing why.
Verrucas and warts can be ugly, but they’re also sometimes painful. A little trickier to banish than calluses and corns, they are still easily removable by a professional, and nothing to be embarrassed about.
Now you’re aware of some of the most common reasons people visit a foot doctor, let’s look at a few very simple ways you can avoid these issues, and debunk a few footcare myths…
The Importance of Proper Footwear
Shoes are more than just a fashion statement. They play a crucial role in maintaining foot health. Wearing the right kind of shoes can prevent many of the foot issues mentioned above. Ensure that your shoes have a supportive sole that contours to the arch of your foot. This will help distribute weight evenly and prevent conditions like flat feet or plantar fasciitis.
Choose shoes made of breathable materials. This prevents the accumulation of moisture, which can lead to fungal infections or athlete’s foot. Always try shoes on before purchasing and avoid choosing shoes solely based on appearance. Ill-fitting shoes can lead to bunions, corns, and other foot problems.
Home Foot Care Routine
Taking care of your feet doesn’t stop at the podiatrist’s office. Here are some steps for a simple at-home foot care routine:
- Wash Your Feet Daily: Use warm water and a gentle soap. This helps prevent infections and keeps feet fresh.
- Moisturise: Apply a good foot cream to prevent dry, cracked heels and maintain soft skin.
- Self-check: Regularly inspect your feet for any abnormalities like cuts, bruises, or infections.
- Exercise: Simple foot exercises can strengthen muscles, improve blood circulation, and keep joints flexible.
Foot Myths Debunked
There are numerous myths surrounding foot care. Here are some commonly believed ones, debunked:
Myth: Cutting a V in an ingrown toenail will fix it.
Fact: This can worsen the condition. If you have an ingrown toenail, it’s best to see a foot specialist.
Myth: Feet don’t change size after adolescence.
Fact: Feet can change due to factors like pregnancy, age, or weight gain. It’s essential to get your feet measured regularly.
Myth: Going barefoot is the best way to let your feet breathe.
Fact: While it’s good occasionally, constantly going barefoot can expose your feet to injury and infections.
The Psychological Impact of Foot Health
Good foot health isn’t just about physical well-being; it’s also linked to mental well-being. Painful foot conditions can restrict movement, leading to a sedentary lifestyle. This lack of mobility can sometimes result in feelings of isolation, depression, or anxiety. Thus, taking care of your feet has holistic benefits, ensuring both physical and mental wellness.
Call The Foot Doctor
If you’re suffering from any of these common niggles, or have another foot-related issue that you need professional advice, care, and treatment for, we’re here to help. Northwich Foot Clinic may be based in Northwich, but we care for feet throughout Cheshire and the surrounding areas of the North West. Give your local foot doctor a call today…