Don’t let your feet leave you on the sidelines this spring. These tips keep them feeling good.
Is heel pain making you cringe when you think about going on a run? Bunions taking the spring out of your step? Fungus putting a damper on those dogs? Foot problems can hamper your workout and your everyday activities. If left untreated, pain and irritation can become chronic and result in more severe issues.
Don’t let your tootsies keep you from doing what you love. Here are some common foot ailments and remedies to keep your feet in tip-top condition this spring.
Plantar Fasciitis: If you run on hard surfaces, you can irritate the tissue connecting the heel of your foot with the base of your toes. If left untreated, the initial mild pain can become chronic and more severe. The best treatment is rest, OTC medication to reduce swelling and wearing a heel pad in your shoe. Your physician may also recommend physical therapy or at-home exercises to reduce symptoms.
“An exercise that I like to do is to use a tennis ball or a frozen bottle of water and roll my foot back and forth over the object. I recommend doing theis exercise first thing in the morning for best results to help prevent problems or treat an issue.” -Ricky C. Winburn, MD, Internal Medicine
Athlete’s Foot: If you notice peeling, cracking and scaly skin between your toes, chances are you have athlete’s foot. Caused by fungi that thrive in heat and moisture, athlete’s foot is best treated with OTC anti-fungal powders or creams, good hygiene and keeping your feet dry.
Corns and Calluses: These hard, rough patches of skin form on toes or the soles of your feet when you wear shoes that are too tight or too loose. To remove, soak feet in a warm Epsom salt bath and use a pumice stone to gently rub the area. Never pull or cut the skin, since it may cause an infection.
Bunions: Large, swollen and often sore, these bumps form at the base and side of your big toe. To prevent bunions, wear well-fitting shoes with heels no higher than 2¼ inches. If you have a painful bunion that makes it difficult to walk, you may need to consider surgery.
Ingrown Toenails: This painful condition happens when the corner of your toenail grows into the skin of your toe. To prevent ingrown toenails, cut nails straight across, with no rounded corners. If you have an ingrown toenail, soak foot in warm, sudsy water several times a day and try to gently nudge the nail out of the skin. If you develop an infection, contact your physician.
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Date Last Reviewed: February 14, 2019
Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor
Medical Review: Perry Pitkow, MD