People regularly ignore their feet until there is a problem. Most people should not do this because when a problem is missed it will often become more difficult to treat when it is finally noticed. Remember your feet carry your entire weight every day and that can put enough stress on the feet. When was the last time you thought about your feet? Can you bend over and touch your toes or have you looked at them from every angle? Most people can’t.
In the United States one in six people have foot problems, and these problems can easily become worse if left untreated. During your next visit, ask your doctor to give your feet a thorough examination. Elderly people find it especially hard to care for their own feet, due to diminished eyesight and decreased flexibility.
If your doctor notices a problem that he can’t easily fix, he will usually refer you to a podiatrist. Podiatrists are experts when it comes to caring for your feet. They can examine them thoroughly and they possess the right equipment to treat virtually any problem they encounter.
There are many potential issues you can have with your feet including: corns, calluses, cuts, scratches, ingrown toenails, infections, thickened nails, sore arches, arthritis, injuries caused by sports, sprains, blisters, dryness to the point of cracking the skin, stubbed toes, bruises and the list goes on.
If you have diabetes, the blood vessels and nerve endings in your feet can make it difficult for you to notice any problems, because you may lose feeling in your feet. This could be an indicator of serious foot related problems, but unless you or your doctor actually checks, you’ll have no way of knowing of these problems. This is why diabetics should see a podiatrist on a regular basis.
Your doctor or podiatrist should advise you to carry out certain tasks to help maintain the health of your feet. Check your feet each day to ensure there are no cuts, bruises or swelling and thoroughly wash and dry your feet each day, especially between the toes. Use moisturizing cream to prevent the skin from drying out. See your doctor and/or podiatrist regularly to make sure you don’t have any problems you may think are minor or that you may have overlooked.
It is vital to wear comfortable shoes. They shouldn’t squash your feet and yet can’t be too big, making your feet slide around inside them. It is best to wear closed shoes to protect your feet; in fact, this is essential for diabetics, so their feet are protected from anything harmful. You need to wear socks without tight elastic, so it doesn’t leave marks and cut blood circulation. Your podiatrist can often recommend the best shoes that will perfectly suit your needs.
You may read information online about caring for your feet and much of it is good advice, but this should never replace a visit to a doctor. He should be your first point of contact because he has a well-rounded medical knowledge and can advise you on how to proceed if you have any foot problems.