While your podiatrist sees a vast array of different types of patients every day there are certain universal truths. What follows are the most basic tips that every foot doctor wants their patients to know, so pay attention, your feet will thank you for it.
Shoe Shopping – Often overlooked, shoe shopping habits can make or break your feet. Firstly, never shop for shoes in the morning. Throughout the day your feet tend to swell from all the walking and standing you’ll do, so shoes that fit well in the morning may be too tight by the evening. Also, please have the salesperson measure your feet. While you may be sure of your size you need to realize that feet change shape and size as we age, so you may be surprised to find out you’ve been wearing the wrong size shoe!
Your Feet Don’t Need To Smell Bad – Everyone has accepted that feet stink, but this doesn’t need to be the case! Just like you apply deodorants to your armpits you can apply foot drying powders and sprays to your feet. Also, if you switch out shoes from day to day, as opposed to wearing the same pair all the time, bacteria growth will be much slower in your shoes. To go the extra mile spray out your shoes with a disinfectant spray, like Lysol, every night. This will kill bacteria in your shoes and prevent them from transferring smelly bacteria to your feet.
Be Wary of Your Local Nail Salon – More importantly, be aware of the signs that your salon may not be as clean as it should be. Your podiatrist recommends skipping the foot tub entirely. Even if the shop sprays the tubs out in between guests that can do little to stop the spread of harmful bacteria. Often bacteria and fungus will remain in the warm dark pipes that feed the foot baths, making athletes foot and toenail fungus a common problem we see patients contract from nail salons. Also, the nail salon should be using a new set of sterilized tools for every customer. If that’s not the case we suggest that it’s time to find a new nail salon that cares more about cleanliness and your health.
Over The Counter Shoe Inserts – your podiatrist calls them orthotics, but no matter what you call them, more support in your shoes is almost always a good thing. Start by trying a high quality over the counter insert, usually available at your local running shoe store or your podiatrists office. Often patients will experience relief from foot pain with this simple change. If you find that the over the counter orthotics are either painful or don’t provide enough support you may want to invest in a pair of full custom orthotics from your podiatrist. These are cast from your feet so they give your the most unique support for your feet, as well as having a much longer lifespan than mass manufactured inserts.