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Foot Notes: Dealing with the common foot problems
Tips on how to battle the common foot problems...
Battle the common foot problems and have happy feet! Here is a quick common guide to common foot problems
- If you think only the sporty types are prone to athlete's foot, you're most definitely wrong. While it's more common among guys, it's a fungal infection that thrives in warm and moist parts of the feet - usually between the toes and the sole. It makes skin itchy, red and sore and if left untreated, the skin eventually starts to crack and peel. Swimming pools and communal changing rooms are its typical breeding grounds.
- Footnote! To prevent athlete's foot, wash your feet and in-between toes daily and remember to dry them properly. If your feet are naturally moist and clammy, make sure to buy some foot powder to keep them dry. Avoid walking barefoot and don't forget to wear socks before you wear shoes!
- If you already have athlete's foot, simply use over-the-counter fungus cream.
- It's the inflammation and or burning sensation of the arch of the foot. An injury to the foot can be a direct cause, but the more common cause would be the stress in the plantar fascia, it's situated along the bottom surface of the foot that runs from the feel to the forefoot and can be over stretched even by just getting out of bed or engaging in strenuous activity after a prolonged period of rest. This foot problem is common among those with flat feet.
- Footnote! Cure the strain by choosing your footwear well. Avoid high heels and wear shoes with a reasonable heel, soft leather uppers, shocking absorbing soles, and removable foot insoles. Proper stretching and arch support are highly recommended.
- A blister is a shell on the skin surface that often contains a clear liquid. Blisters can become infected. Blisters can from when the skin is repeatedly rubbed, for instance, when your shoes keep rubbing the same spot on your foot, when you were shoes that don't fit properly, or when you wear the shoes without socks.
- Footnote! Do not break or "pop" the blister, the skin covering the blister helps protect it from infection. Gently wash the area with mild soap and water or a cleansing towelette, and then apply antibacterial cream to the blister. Cover it with gauze, and secure it with hypoallergenic tape to help protect the skin and prevent infection. Change the dressing at least once a day, and wear different shoes until the blister heals.
Ingrown or Toenail
- Ingrown toenails cause piercing sensations to make you cringe while walking, and if left untreated can leave you straight into the operating room. Ingrown toenails are usually caused by improperly cut nails, and at times, wearing tight shoes that suffocate the toes and hamper the growth of the nail. You know you have an ingrown when your toes become red and swollen, and starts to throb because of the infection.
- Footnote! No matter how much you want to trim your nails to a perfect inverted - C shape, resist the temptations. Instead cut your toenails straight across and never shorter than the end of the toes. If necessary, go file the rough edges.
- Soaking the affected toe in warm water, then placing antibiotic ointment and dry cotton under the ingrown nail corner may fix the mildly red ingrown toenails. Do this twice a day for 15 minutes. See your health care provider if you have severe pain, have no relief within 10 days, or still have pain after 14 days.
Veruccas / Warts
- Warts that grow on feet, are called Verrucas. Similar to the wars on hands, they are difficult to spot and painless when they are small. They surface in the rough areas and appear to have tiny black spots in them. You can get infected when you walk barefoot in public areas, such as gym showers, and swimming pools.
- Footnote! Don't let your feet go commando. Protect them by wearing slippers. Soap, scrub and shower until they're squeaky clean. See a podiatrist and have it treated immediately before it invades your entire foot, turning it into a warty nightmare.
Corns and Calluses
- Calluses are the thick and hard areas of skin that appear on any part of the feet where there is persistent rubbing. It commonly appears on the heels, the ball of the foot and the sides of the toes. These calluses, when they get cracked and sore, develop into corns, which can be painful.
- Footnote! If you have a corn or callus, do no try to cut or remove it with a sharp object. Instead, soak your feet first in lukewarm, soapy water and then use a pumice stone or an emery board and scour the hard skins of your feet until they're nice and pink for those strappy sandals you've always wanted to wear. If pumice stone fails you, salicylic acid may help soften and break down the skin. To avoid cracked feet, moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. A simple remedy would be applying Vaseline on the callused area nightly, and then wear socks before going to bed to seal in the moisture.
- When sweat mixes with a bacteria normally found on your feet, it produces a smelly acid. This is one main cause of foot odor.
- Footnote! Cotton socks and shoes that breathe (leather or canvas, not plastic) can keep the sweat down. In 2006, researches in one study found that citral, citronella or geraniol oil, which you can buy at aromatherapy stores, may inhibit the problematic acid.