Years of wear and tear can be hard on your feet. So can disease, bad circulation, poorly trimmed toenails, and wearing shoes that don’t fit. Foot problems are sometimes the first sign of more serious medical conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, and nerve or circulatory disorders.
Practice good foot care. Take a look at your feet often; use a mirror to look at the bottoms of your feet. Look for cuts, blisters, and ingrown toenails. Ask a member of your family for help if you need it. If you have diabetes, be sure to check your feet every day.
Keep your feet clean and dry. Be sure to dry the area between your toes. Change your shoes and socks or stockings often to help keep your feet dry. Make sure your feet are dry before you put on your shoes. Don’t buy tight shoes. Try dusting your feet every day with talc-free foot powder. Wearing comfortable shoes that fit well can prevent many foot problems.
Shoe size may change as you age, so always have your feet measured before buying shoes. The best time to measure your feet is at the end of the day when your feet are largest. Most of us have one foot that is larger than the other. Make sure your shoes fit your larger foot. Don’t buy shoes without trying them on first. Shoe sizes can vary depending on the kind, make, and style.
Remember to put your feet up when you are sitting down. This helps the circulation in your feet. So can stretching, walking, or having a gentle foot massage. A warm foot bath is also helpful. Wear shoes when you’re outside. If you are sitting for a long time, stand up and move around every now and then. If you cross your legs, reverse or uncross them often. Don’t smoke.
If you have a problem with your feet, your family doctor can help, or you can see a doctor who treats feet, called a podiatrist.