Most people don’t worry about their feet when it comes to hygiene, but cleaning your feet should be part of your daily routine. Our feet are vital to our everyday lives, which is why we need to care for them and pay attention to any problems that may arise. To stay on top of your foot health, practicing good foot hygiene is the best place to start.
Daily Foot Care
- Wash and dry your feet every day. Use a mild soap. Wash between your toes and be sure to dry your feet and toes thoroughly.
- Wear appropriately fitting socks and shoes. We recommend shoes with a non-slip outsole as well as any inserts or orthotics that have been prescribed. Wearing padded socks can also help protect against injuries to the skin tissue of your foot.
- As well as wearing padded socks, keeping those socks clean is also important. Change your socks daily or more frequently if you are active and your feet have perspired.
- Don’t wear the same pair of shoes twice - instead, rotate their use. Giving your shoes time to dry out is important, especially if you are active and perspire heavily.
- Keep your shoes clean, inside and out.
- It’s best to avoid going barefoot, especially in public areas. If you must go barefoot, be sure to wash your feel carefully afterwards and to thoroughly dry them.
- When trimming your toenails regularly (every two weeks), cut them straight across with clean nail clippers or scissors. Sanitize your nail tool periodically by soaking them in alcohol.
- If you cannot reach your toenails to cut them, do not attempt it. See a professional for help.
- If your toenails become discolored, it could be a sign of an underlying health problem. You should seek proper medical attention from a podiatrist. Healthy toenails are a pale pink where they are attached to the skin. The rest of the nail should be clear where it is not adhered to the skin.
Inspecting Your Feet Daily
Examining your feet is very important. Check your feet once a day. Look at the tops and bottoms of your feet, in between your toes and your toenails. Be sure to check for blisters, bumps, lumps, bruises, cuts, sores, cracked skin and any temperature differences. Pain tingling and numbness of the foot can signal nerve problems. Also, loss of hair on the foot of leg can indicate circulation problems. If you see or feel anything different about your feet, don’t hesitate! Contact your podiatrist for help and to have the problem properly diagnosed.