(BPT) - When's the last time you thought about your foot health? From wiggling to walking, feet are used constantly, but are often forgotten when it comes to living healthy. Because the health of your feet can affect everything you do, it's wise to keep them looking and feeling great. With a few simple steps, you can prevent injury and infection, and have toes you are proud to show off.
If you want to kick up your heels and enjoy good foot health, follow these simple tips:
Get pristine piggies through proper hygiene
Life is hectic and it's easy to overlook your piggies but daily hygiene is a critical step to keep your feet looking and feeling their best. Remember to wash feet daily, scrub between the toes and clean the nails. When cutting nails, try to clip straight across. This keeps toes attractive-looking and also reduces the chance of splits or painful ingrown nails. File toenails with an emery board to keep them smooth. For a finishing touch, rub lotion on the tops and bottoms, but avoid between the toes where moisture can build up.
Stop hiding those ugly toenails
If you have thick, discolored fungal nails, you're not alone. It's been estimated that as many as 40 million Americans have this unsightly toenail appearance problem. Instead of being embarrassed and hiding their toes, many are turning to a new product that was developed by family physician Paul Kinsinger, MD, to help his own patients. Dr. Paul's Piggy Paste (www.PiggyPaste.com) is an easy way for anyone to improve the appearance of their affected toenails. Simply apply a pea-sized amount of the topical gel to the base of the nail daily and cover with a bandage. As the new toenail grows, it will push out the old thick nail, which can be trimmed away. Start now and you'll have good-looking toenails in three to nine months, depending on how fast your nails grow.
Say goodbye to corns and calluses
In general, you should use a pumice stone for rough skin, including corns and calluses. Don't use tools that are sharp because you may cut too deep and expose sensitive, raw skin. By rubbing any rough areas with a pumice stone, you'll exfoliate the dead skin and help expose fresh glowing skin that begs to be shown off. If you have large corns and calluses, you may need to see a podiatrist for treatment. Visit the American Podiatric Medical Association at www.apma.org to find one in your area.
Fit them right, not too tight
Wearing shoes and socks supports movement and circulation while keeping feet protected. Make sure to wear socks that fit comfortably - ones that are too tight can cut off circulation. Likewise, shoes that are too small are not supporting the health of the foot. When you try on a shoe, do the finger test: See if you can fit one finger in the shoe behind the heel. If you can't, the shoe is probably too small. When you get a new pair, wear them for several hours around the house. If you find them to be uncomfortable, you can likely return them since you haven't worn them outside yet.
Do your shoes have sole?
Even the best-fit shoe is no good if the sole is thin, flat and slippery. When you shop, don't forget to flip the shoe around and inspect the sole. Bend the shoe to see how much it flexes, keeping in mind most of the flex should be where the ball of the foot is located. Look at the thickness of the sole, which provides cushion for the foot. Inspect the bottom to see if it is textured which helps grip the floor better. Rubber is a good material option for the sole of a shoe because it absorbs shock and is slip-resistant.
These easy care tips will kick start your foot health routine and have your toes looking great no matter where life takes you - from the beach to the boardroom.