|The feet beat: Self-help solutions for common woes|
Foot care and diabetes
Diabetics have to be very careful when it comes to their feet. The condition can increase the risk of injuries. If you have diabetes, keep these tips in mind:
- Check your feet daily for cuts and red spots.
- Use lotion to keep skin soft, but don’t put any between your toes.
- Wear socks and soft, breathable shoes.
- Call your healthcare provider if problems persist.
When it comes to cars, the standard recommendation is to replace the tires every 30,000 miles. If only our feet were so lucky! They travel more than 100,000 miles in a standard lifetime—without the opportunity for replacement.
Below we’ll discuss common foot problems and their remedies. If after trying the remedies the discomfort does not go away, talk to your healthcare provider.
The problem: High heels and pointy shoes can change the shape of your foot, turning the big toe toward the second toe. This causes the bone that sticks out to rub against the inside of the shoe, forming thick, rough and painful tissue.
The remedy: Wear properly fitting, soft leather, low-heeled shoes with plenty of toe room. An over-the-counter bunion pad can ease pressure.
The problem: This condition arises when the tissue that runs from heel to toe along the bottom of the foot becomes inflamed. Repeated stress can tear the tissue from the heel bone, causing pain.
The remedy: Switch to low-heeled supportive shoes and rest for a few days. Massage your feet daily with ice or roll your heel over a frozen juice container. Calf stretches can strengthen the tissue.
The problem: Pressure on the toe can cause the corners of the nail to curl down and cut into the soft toe tissue, causing swelling and pain. An improperly cut nail or tight shoes can cause an ingrown toenail to form.
The remedy: Soak the toe in warm water to soften the nail. Use tweezers to raise the nail and insert a small amount of absorbent cotton to keep the nail from cutting the skin. Repeat this daily until the nail grows out. From now on, cut your toenail straight across, not on a curve.
The problem: Toes bend unnaturally and become claw-like when the toe tendons contract, forcing the toe to bend downward while its middle joint sticks up.
The remedy: If it causes problems walking, felt pads and padded toe sleeves, available at most pharmacies, can ease discomfort. Buy wide shoes with rubber or flexible soles.
Calluses and corns
The problem: Repeated pressure causes skin to harden on the ball of the foot or underneath the toes, forming a callus or a corn.
The remedy: Soak your foot in warm water until the skin softens. Use a pumice stone or callus file to remove the skin. Protect the area with a light bandage until the skin heals. Avoid ill-fitting shoes.
© 2014 Dowden Health Media