1. Don’t ignore foot pain. It isn’t normal. See your podiatrist if pain persists.
2. Inspect your feet regularly, paying attention to changes in colour and temperature. Look for thick or discoloured nails, which is a sign of developing fungus. Check for cracks or cuts in the skin. Peeling or scaling on the soles of the feet can indicate athlete’s foot. Any growth on the foot is not normal.
3. Wash your feet regularly, especially between the toes, and be sure to dry them completely.
4. Trim toenails straight across, but not too short. Cutting nails at the corner or along the sides can lead to ingrown toenails.
5. Don’t pop blisters. Instead, cut a hole in a thin piece of foam to protect the blister, or cover it with a protective soft gel dressing to prevent infection and speed up the healing process.
6. Make sure your shoes fit properly. Buy new shoes later in the day when feet tend to be at their largest. Have your feet measured while standing and if your feet are different sizes, buy shoes in the size of the larger foot. Beware of shoes that need to be “brokenin.”
7. Alternate your footwear. Don’t wear the same pair of shoes every day. When travelling, pack several pairs.
8. Maintain your shoes. Run-down heels put uneven pressure on your feet, which can translate into pains throughout the body.
9. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to the tops of your feet.
10. Apply ice if you suspect a fracture, sprain or dislocation in your feet. Do not use heat or hot water, which promotes blood flow and greater swelling.