Keeping Your Feet Healthy
Most people are born with healthy feet, but as people age, many will develop serious foot problems – putting their independence and well-being at risk. Keeping an eye on your feet can give you an early warning about serious health problems such as diabetes, arthritis, nerve damage and poor blood circulation. Feet that are healthy and pain free help you keep your balance and good balance can help prevent falls, a major cause of injury, hospitalization or even disability. Here are some guidelines to help keep your feet healthy and strong.
- Check your feet — Take a minute each day to look for cuts, blisters, infected toenails or swelling. Use a small mirror if bending over is difficult.
- Keep your feet clean — Wash your feet every day with warm water. Don't soak them longer than 10 minutes or your skin will get dry and can start to crack.
- Massage your feet — Gently massage feet daily to help improve circulation.
- Wear comfortable shoes — Many people have foot issues because their shoes don’t fit or don't give proper support.
- Keep your feet dry — Socks help keep your feet dry. Wear a clean pair every day. Avoid socks with ridges or elastic at the top as they can restrict circulation.
If you notice any changes in your feet like a sore that won’t heal, pain when you walk and stops when you rest, unusual cramps, tingling, numbness or coldness, or the shape, structure or color of your foot’s skin changes, see a foot specialist immediately.