There is an increase in Americans experiencing common foot problems and several serious foot conditions daily. The American Podiatric Medical Association conducted a study and revealed surprising results. It conveyed that, nearly 75% of Americans are suffering from some type of foot problems in their lives. Many foot-related problems are developed from abuse, and some are caused by inherent malformations and disabilities.
Facts of foot:
The human foot is considered as one of the best-engineered parts of the body. Each foot has 33 joints, eight arches, 26 bones, more than 100 muscles, over 100 ligaments, and tendons that all work together to distribute body weight and allow movement. The skin on feet has nearly 7,000 nerve endings and there are nearly 125,000 sweat glands on each foot, highest than anywhere in the body.
Few common foot problems and solutions:
- Fungal and Bacterial conditions including athlete’s foot, develops because feet spend more time in shoes which is a warm, dark, humid place where a fungus can grow easily. The symptoms of fungal and bacterial conditions are dry skin, redness, blisters, itching, and peeling. To prevent these infections, the area between toes should be kept clean and dry.
- The symptoms of dry skin are itching and burning sensation in feet. Using mild soap and a moisturizing cream or lotion on legs and feet every day can solve this problem. Do not add oils to bathing water, as this makes feet very slippery.
- Corns and calluses are developed due to friction and pressure when the bony parts of feet rub against shoes. Using shoes that fit better or special pads sometimes can solve this problem.
- Warts are skin growths developed by viruses. They are sometimes painful and, if not treated in times, they may spread. A doctor can rub medicines, burn or freeze the wart, or remove the wart with surgery.
- Bunions develop when the joints in big toe do not fit together as they become swollen and tender. If a bunion is not intense, wearing shoes cut wide at the toes, taping the foot, or wearing pads that soften the bunion can help to reduce the pain.
- Ingrown toenails develop when a piece of the nail breaks the skin and generally happens if nails are not cut properly. Ingrown toenails usually can be prevented by trimming the toenail straight across and level or equalize with the top of the toe.
- Hammer toe is caused by shrinking of tendons that control toe movements. Wearing shoes and stockings with more space for toes can be used for treatment of hammer toe.
- Spurs are calcium growths that are developed on bones of feet. They are developed due to muscle stress in the feet. They can be treated using foot supports, heel pads, and heel cups.
These solutions are only for initial stages of infection. In every condition doctor must be consulted, if situation is severe.
Few healthy tips for foot care:
In order to retain healthy feet, you must make an effort to take care of your feet.
- Wash your feet every day in lukewarm soapy water but do not soak the feet as this can cause excessive dryness of feet.
- Dry your feet completely, especially in between the toes and moisturizing cream should be applied all over the feet, but not in between the toes.
- Remove any hard skin. You may smoothly rub with a pumice stone or a skin file.
- Cut toenails with a nail trimmer. Trim them straight across the toe and not too short. Don’t cut out or dig at corners.
- Regularly scrub your feet, mainly the heels, using a foot scrubber. It helps in removing the dead cells and making feet softer.
- Only clean socks or stockings must be used, shoes must be changed daily. Don’t wear any socks or shoes that are too short or too tight.
- Examine your feet regularly with mirror and if there are any defects or infections, then immediately consult a doctor. Never do self-treatment for feet.
Foot disorders must be identified and treated in early stage, as they become very painful and humiliating in later stage. In some cases, some painful foot abnormalities are warning signs of even more serious diseases like diabetes, circulatory disorders, and nerve problems. So, do a self-check in early stages to avoid further complications.