Foot and ankle problems usually fall into the following categories:
- Acquired from improper footwear, physical stress, or small mechanical changes within the foot.
- Arthritic foot problems, which typically involve one or more joint.
- Congenital foot problems, which occur at birth, are generally inherited.
- Infectious foot problems, which are caused by bacterial, viral, or fungal disorders.
- Neoplastic disorders usually called tumors, which are the result of abnormal growth of tissue and may be benign or malignant.
- Traumatic foot problems, which are associated with foot and ankle injuries.
- Don't ignore foot pain. It's not normal. If the pain persists, contact our office.
- Inspect your feet regularly. Pay attention to changes in color and temperature. Look for thick or discolored nails (a sign of developing fungus), and check for cracks or cuts in the skin. Peeling or scaling on the soles of feet could indicate Athlete's Foot. Any growth on the foot is not considered normal.
- Wash your feet regularly, especially between the toes, and be sure to dry them completely.
- Trim toenails straight across, but not too short. Be careful not to cut nails in corners or on the sides; it can lead to ingrown toenails. Persons with diabetes, poor circulation, or heart problems should not treat their own feet because they are more prone to infection.
- Make sure that your shoes fit properly. Purchase new shoes later in the day when feet tend to be at their largest and replace worn out shoes as soon as possible.
- Select and wear the right shoe for the activity that you are engaged in (e.g. running shoes for running).
- Alternate shoes -- don't wear the same pair of shoes every day.
- Avoid walking barefooted. Your feet will be more prone to injury and infection. At the beach or when wearing sandals always use sunblock on your feet as the rest of your body.
- Be cautious when using home remedies for foot ailments. Self-treatment can often turn a minor problem into a major one.
- If you are a diabetic, contact our office and schedule a check-up at least once a year.