There are several pieces of advice on how we can take care of our feet. Despite our feet being the least noticed part of our body, they are perhaps considered the most abused part, especially as we walk, run, and attend to day-to-day errands.
Due to overuse and improper care of our feet, some feet problems and diseases arise. Other causes of feet problems include improper footwear, diabetes, and aging.
Here are some of the most common feet concerns, their causes, and treatment.
A type of fungal infection of the skin is usually found between the toes, mostly caused by walking in damp areas. Athlete’s foot can be highly contagious. It can spread and cause significant discomfort, itching, and even pain.
If you wear shoes that are damp and warm, fungus can grow and spread on your feet. Athlete’s foot is highly contagious and can spread to other parts of the skin, including the hands, groin, and scalp.
Also called a vesicle by medical professionals, a blister is a raised portion of skin filled with fluid. Wearing ill-fitting shoes for a long time is the most common cause of blisters. This is due to the vesicles produced when there is friction between your skin and the shoe.
Blisters are not generally a serious concern. However, if they occur alongside flu-like symptoms, see a doctor. Do not burst blisters and let them heal on their own. Apply a bandage for relief.
An abnormality of the feet, bunions cause a bump to develop on the large toe joint. Doctors call bunions “hallux valgus,” which can cause the big toe to turn slightly inward. Bunions are particularly caused by tight or narrow footwear, and it usually occurs among women due to wearing narrow footwear. There are recommended footwear to minimize foot pain.
Conservative treatment measures help improve bunion symptoms. For women, wearing comfortable shoes without heels is advisable. Bunion pads are also available at a shoe store or drugstore that protects the bunion from extra pressure.
Also known as claw foot, claw toe is a condition of the feet wherein the first toe joint points up while the second toe joint points down. Sometimes it is present from birth, but in other cases, it appears suddenly.
It might not be painful to some people, but others feel discomfort and pain from claw toes. This condition of the feet is also a sign of some underlying health problems like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and cerebral palsy. Claw toes can be treated through splints, proper shoes, exercises, certain medications, and, sometimes, surgery.
People with diabetes are more prone to organ damage due to the fluctuations in blood sugar. Diabetic neuropathy can cause damaged feet due to diabetes.
Numbness, tingling, and pain in the feet are some common symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. The lack of feeling can make a person more prone to greater risks of experiencing cuts or injuries to the feet.
The problem of the foot due to a calcium deposit that causes a bony protrusion on the heel bone’s underside is called heel spur or heel spur syndrome.
Heel spurs are often painless, but if left untreated, they can cause heel pain and inflammation. The condition can’t be easily diagnosed, and it requires medical imaging to confirm further.
The long-term strain on muscles and ligaments causes heel spurs. Other causes can be arthritis, excess body weight, and ill-fitted or worn-out shoes. If you are experiencing heel spur, you can apply a cold compress or get injections of anti-inflammatory drugs. There are also OTC pain medications and orthotic shoe inserts.
One reason women often get their nails cleaned is because of the ingrown on their toenails. It causes discomfort if left untreated might cause infection. Growing toenails cause ingrown toenails into the nail groove. It causes pain and discomfort.
One common cause is wearing shoes that are too narrow or too tight, which produce pressure at the top of the feet or too tight to put extra pressure on the toes.
Another cause is the improper trimming of nails, such as cutting the toenails too short or trauma to the feet from running for an extended period.
The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons states that plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. This happens when the plantar fascia on the bottom of the foot is inflamed. The doctors refer to this as idiopathic plantar fasciitis, yet it does not have a clear cause.
Some people manage the pain with home remedies by resting the foot and putting ice on the inflamed area to lessen the pain. If home remedies don’t work with pain management, you can take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen or naproxen sodium.
However, if the plantar fasciitis does not get better with any of these treatments, you consult a physical therapist, a podiatrist, or an orthopedic surgeon.
Also called metatarsalgia, stone bruises can appear after high-impact exercises or grow from wearing poor-fitting shoes. In some cases, they can be a sign of an underlying health concern. If you have stone bruises, there is numbness with occasional sharp pains in the area between the toes and the foot’s arch as if there is a stone in your shoe. Symptoms can worsen over time.
One best treatment is to rest the feet, apply an ice pack, and change shoes to a good fitting. If the condition doesn’t get better, visit a doctor for medical treatment.
There are many problems that our feet can experience if we neglect to take proper care of them. Always remember that all body parts play an important role, including our feet. They deserve to be given appropriate foot care, such as getting the best foot spa or some extraordinary ways to pamper the feet, such as a fish pedicure.