Healthy Feet: How To Fight Blisters, Calluses, Corns And Plantar Fasciitis
We all tend to take our healthy feet for granted. But when you stop to consider that the 52 tiny bones making up each pair are responsible for supporting an entire human body, it’s no shocker that up to 63 percent of women suffer from heel pain at some point in their lives. One in four has ingrown toenails, and one in five reports having pinched nerves in their feet, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association. Aside from making you miserable, even the tiniest twinge in one foot can change your posture and gait, possible injuring your ankles, knees or back. However, if you spot and address these issues early, your whole body will feel better.
Blisters On Feet
Problem: Often found on bony spots and patches of skin that have rubbed one too many times against a shoe, the average foot blister is little more than a painful nuisance. But when it pops, the open sore can leave you probe to infection if you don’t treat it properly.
Blister Treatment: Buy shoes that feel great the second you put them on, and try to wear well-fitting, acrylic socks with only a small amount of cotton. Although cotton breathes, it retains moisture, exacerbating friction – and your chances of getting a foot blister. Look for names like Dri-FIT or Dri-Weave on the label; these fabrics are designed to wick away sweat. And prevent chafing by covering blister-prone areas with a patch of moleskin, a silicone pad, or even surgical tape.
Foot Callus and Corns
Problem: These thickened areas of skin form to defend your feet against friction and pressure. Foot callus appears in patches on the balls, soles, and sides of the foot, while corns develop in concentrated lumps between and on the top or end of the toes.
Foot Callus Treatment: Gently wear down the area a few times a week with a pumice stone when your skin is wet. Help minimize buildup with a keratolytic agent (such as over-the-counter Carmol 10 or 20) afterward; this will soften and shed the outer layer of the skin. Covering corns with doughnut-shaped pads will help relieve the sensitivity. Let a podiatric trim the hardened skin; don’t do it yourself.
Problem: This is a fancy name for heel pain that’s worse first thing in the morning. Anything that stresses the thick band of tissue connecting your heel to your toes (the plantar fascia) can cause it. This includes pregnancy, jogging, or even playing Sherpa to an active toddler.
Plantar Fasciitis Treatment: Supportive, shock-absorbing shoes can be an easy defense. For some, a cushioned insole that slightly raises the arch may be helpful. Wearing tall shoes can shorten your Achilles tendon, aggravating plantar fasciitis. Doctors advise to wear high heels no more than 20 percent of the time and only in short intervals. Still feeling those stabbing pains? After ruling out pinched nerves and other problems, a podiatrist may suggest icing the bottom of the foot with a frozen water bottle (rolling it for no more than ten minutes every hour), or he might prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs or inject a corticosteroid.
If you have flat or excessively high arches, you could require a longer-term solution. Your doctor can temporarily realign the bones in your foot by strapping it with athletic tape, which you’ll wear for about a week. If this helps, the tape will be removed and your podiatrist may recommend custom-molded orthotics.
Healthy feet are very important in our daily lives, so take proper care of them. Learn how to care for your feet by watching this video.