How many times have you actually stopped to think about your feet and pampered them for all the hard work they do day in and day out? With 26 bones, 33 joints and 100 tendon ligaments, your feet are not only one of the most complex parts of your body but are also the basis for your mobility. There are a number of foot-specific ailments that can occur if you don’t take good care of your feet. In fact, it is estimated that 75% of people will have some or the other foot problems at some point in their lives.
Unfortunately, most people aren’t aware of the magnitude of work their feet put in and the number of foot related infections and diseases that can occur due to neglect. With the onset of World Foot Health Awareness Month, in a bid to raise awareness about such foot related diseases and infections, this article will highlight commonly occurring foot diseases to help bring about more awareness and enable preventative footcare to avoid serious damage.
Common Foot Problems and Solutions
You can contract a number of fungal infections merely due to the type of environment your feet are exposed to on a daily basis. It could be something as small as the repeated use of a non-breathable shoe to something as negligent as using a public shower at the gym!
The best way to treat this condition is to incorporate appropriate foot hygiene, where you wash and sanitize your feet after using public facilities and once you are back home. To reduce the impact of the infection, you can follow it up by applying anti-fungal cream and using anti-bacterial socks made out of breathable, moisture-wicking fabric.
Extreme dryness on your feet can lead to a burning and stinging sensation in your feet, which can ultimately result in cracks that may cause secondary infections.
The treatment for dry skin is to use a good foot moisturizer that contains active ingredients such as vitamin E or similar essential oils. You can even use copper-infused socks to help reduce the skin damage as copper is known to be a key element in supplementing the growth of blood vessels.
Corns and Calluses
Such skin abrasions are caused by friction and stress between your footwear and a bony prominence.
While existing cases might require debridement along with the regular use of pumice and emollients, the treatment for this condition requires a complete change of footwear made of materials that reduce friction between the foot and the shoe. This could be done by changing your footwear or by using specially designed insoles or socks to reduce the damage.
Ingrown Toe Nails
This condition occurs when part of the nail breaks into the skin of the toe which can cause a secondary skin infection, which affects your foot’s integrity. While this condition is usually caused due to improper nail-trimming, sometimes narrow footwear may also lead to such a scenario, therefore laying more importance on the choice of your footwear.
This problem can be solved by carefully cutting the toe nail to re-distribute the pressure on the nail while treating the infection. Copper-infused compression socks are a great, non-invasive way of combating the secondary skin infection while waiting for the nail to heal, especially in case of recurring ingrown nail problems.
Warts are skin growths resulting from viral infections. It may also be a result of wearing improper footwear that constricts the foot.
The treatment for this condition is freezing or medications that destroy the virus, along with sanitizing baths and use of antiseptic creams and specially formulated socks.
Apart from these commonly occurring foot problems, people also suffer from general foot pain every now and then. This could be associated due to a traumatic injury in the past, heredity or general lack of a foot care routine for tired, overworked feet! Either way, a comprehensive foot care routine is a must! After all, it is only fair to reward such a hardworking part of your body.
Here are a few foot care tips you can implement to reward your feet for all the work they put in every day:
- Inspect your feet regularly. Always be on the lookout for cuts, bruises, blisters, red spots as well as lumps and bumps.
- Wash your feet regularly and wait until they are completely dry before putting on shoes and socks.
- Trim toenails straight across and not too short. Don’t cut or dig at nail corners either.
- Do not trim, shave or use over-the-counter medications to treat a foot infection or callus, always see a foot specialist first.
- Always wear well-fitted shoes and socks. If you sweat profusely, you can use copper-infused insoles to leverage the moisture wicking capabilities of copper.
- Indulge in an occasional foot soak with essential salts and oils at least once a week.
- Remember to wash your shoes regularly to ensure your footwear is clear of harmful germs and bacteria
- Avoid socks made of synthetic fabrics and try to go for natural fabrics like copper-infused socks
- Make use of upcoming technology – Copper Compression Socks
Created using super-soft, breathable fabric, the copper-infused compression socks are the perfect non-invasive solution to healthy feet. The light compression promotes intravenous blood flow and reduces inflammation, while the anti-microbial properties of copper heals and protects your feet infection and odour causing germs.
Always remember, early detection of common foot conditions may prevent and correct problems that could lead to both acute and chronic foot-related health conditions. So, always stick to a preventative footcare routine and be on the look-out for abnormalities in the foot area to minimize long-term damage!