Foot Health Month

It is important to take good care of your feet. Chronic diseases (e.g., diabetes, heart disease) put people at greater risk for foot problems. If you have a problem with your feet, let your health-care team know as soon as possible.

 Tips for Healthy Feet

  • Check your feet every day (top and bottom)
  • Put on clean socks or stockings daily
  • Socks should not have holes

Look and seek treatment for:

  • Sores
  • Cuts
  • Scratches
  • Red and warm areas on the skin
  • Changes in color (e.g. sign of poor circulation)
  • Strange smells
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Blisters
  • Swelling
  • Cracks
  • Bleeding and/or fluid leaking

More tips:

  • Don’t forget to look between your toes
  • Tell your health care team if you have pain in your feet
  • Check inside your shoes for objects before putting them on
  • Do not cross your legs when sitting
  • When standing, put one foot on a stool to help with circulation and lessen back pain
  • If sitting for long periods, wiggle your toes
  • If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar controlled
  • Quit smoking
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Don’t squat or kneel for long periods of time
  • Don’t walk barefoot
  • ALWAYS wear shoes or slippers

You may need help with foot care if:

  • You can’t see your feet
  • Your can’t reach your feet
  • You have nerve damage
  • You do not have normal feeling in your feet
  • You cannot do your own skin and nail care

Report Any Problems:  Call your foot care person (doctor, podiatrist or foot care nurse) for anything that does

not begin to heal after 1-2 days.

 

Skin Care

  • Wash your feet every day and pat dry with a towel; be sure to dry between your toes
  • Use only warm (not hot) water and check temperature with a thermometer or your wrist (not your feet)
  • If you have open sores on your feet, check with your nurse or doctor before soaking
  • Warm up cold feet with socks or slippers (not a heating pad)
  • Treat dry skin with water-based, unscented lotions
  • Use lotion regularly to keep your skin soft and smooth
  • Bath or shower regularly
  • Do not soak your feet
  • Do not put lotion, cream, or Vaseline between your toes or on your toenails
  • Do not use heating pads or hot water bottles to warm your feet

Nail Care:

  • Trim toenails to the shape of the end of your toes to prevent ingrown toenails
  • Gently file away any sharp edges or points
  • Trim with a clipper not a knife or pointed scissors
  • Do not cut nails too short

 

You may need help from a foot care nurse or foot doctor (podiatrist) for regular nail trimming if:

  • Your nails are thick and difficult to cut
  • You have poor blood flow to your feet
  • You can’t see your feet well
  • You can’t reach your feet easily
  • You have nerve damage
  • You do not have normal feeling in your feet
  • You have diabetes

Corn and Callus Care

After a bath, rub corn or callus with a towel or smooth gently with a foot file or pumice stone. See a foot care nurse or doctor to decide how best to treat corns and calluses. Do not use corn medicines or razors

 

Shoes

Always wear shoes that protect your feet and that fit properly

When buying shoes:

  • Have both feet measured
  • Measure and fit shoes to the largest foot
  • Allow ½ inch space beyond tip of large toe and end of shoe when standing
  • Buy shoes in the afternoon as feet tend to swell by the end of the day
  • Try on shoes for 10-15 minutes: walk in them, check your feet for red marks (good fitting shoes do not cause red marks)
  • If you have diabetes, tell your shoe fitter

AND:

  • Every day, wear clean, dry socks with no holes
  • Check inside your shoes before putting them on: make sure the lining is smooth and there are no objects inside
  • Walking, running or aerobic shoes are good choices providing good arch supports and cushion soles
  • Orthopedic shoes are a good choice for feet with poor circulation or deformities
  • Do not wear shoes that are torn, tight or hurt your feet
  • Do not wear tight socks
  • Vinyl of plastic shoes are not healthy for your feet as they do not let your feet “breath”
  • Avoid high-heeled and pointed toe shoes as they cramp the toes, cause backaches and are unsafe
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