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Dr. Steve Rosenberg

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Five Foot Tips to Keep Your Feet Healthy for 2012

Posted: 01/12/12 04:16 PM ET

How to get your feet through 2012

Now that your feet have survived the partying, dining and dancing of New Year's Eve, it is now time to be nice to them again. We all make New Year's resolutions such as lose weight, exercise more, eat healthy, make more money, wear more sensible shoes -- OUCH! -- but how many people make resolutions to decide to take better care of their feet?

"The feet are the most neglected part of the body, everyone thinks they have perfect feet until they start to hurt, then they are not so perfect." The triggers to foot pain are many. Shoes, exercise and structural problems such as bunions and hammer toes can trigger foot problems as well as skin problems like corns, calluses, fissures and ingrown toenails. Medical problems can also trigger foot problems -- rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and Raynaud's disease are the most common.

When your feet hurt, do not ignore them. Wishing and hoping is not the best form of treatment!

If you injure your foot exercising, wearing the wrong shoes or just walking too much, be aggressive in treating the problem. Home care would consist of ice, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications such as Advil or aspirin, rest, elevation and wrapping if necessary. Inspect your shoes to make sure they fit properly and there is adequate room for your toes to wiggle around in the toe box of the shoe. Make sure you have proper arch support in your shoes. Soft insole liners can also be placed in your shoes for instant comfort and cushioning.

Inspect your feet regularly; it can make a difference in preventing infections in your feet.

Nail fungus can start off in a tiny little area of the nail and can expand to the entire nail if not detected early. Check for cracks in the skin between your toes and heels after showering. Ingrown toenails can develop without any warning due to cutting your nails incorrectly or from tight shoes. Cut your nails straight across and round the edge with a nail file, and also check to make sure you have enough wiggle room in your shoes. Cracks in your heel are known as fissures and, if not properly cared for, can cause pain standing and walking in shoes or sandals. Using moisturizing cream with urea will help eliminate those types of foot problems.

Select the right shoe for the right activity.

Whatever sports activity you participate in, use sports-specific shoes. Running shoes are for running, aerobic shoes are for aerobics, tennis shoes are for playing tennis. Wearing shoes that are not designed specifically for the sport you are performing can lead to potential foot problems such as plantar fasciitis, arch spasms, heel spurs and tendinitis. Most athletic shoes do not have adequate arch support. Custom made orthotics made by a podiatrist or medical professional will provide the additional arch support needed. Alternatively, over-the-counter arch supports that can be found on line or at sporting good stores will also provide the necessary support your foot needs.

Home remedies for your feet can be dangerous if you do not know what is in them

Be careful when using over-the-counter home remedies because they might increase the problem. Some over-the-counter wart products have salicylic acid in them that could be dangerous if you are a diabetic or have circulatory problems. Always check the back of the package and read the ingredients and warnings.

If you are a diabetic, get regular foot checks to prevent potential foot problems

Diabetes is a small blood vessel disease and leads to circulatory problems because it will clog up the small blood vessels in your feet. The wound-healing can be prolonged due the lack of proper blood supply to the affected area. Diabetics who accidentally cut the skin on their feet or develop a skin infection because of an open sore must aggressively treat those problems. Always check your feet after bathing to ensure that there are no skin problems looming.

By subscribing to these five foot care resolutions/tips, you too "can walk happily ever after" in 2012!


Instant Arches®, an over-the-counter arch support, is an easy way to provide arch support for all types of shoes in your wardrobe.

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