, September 26th, 2013 | Health
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Many foot problems can be alleviated simply by wearing proper footwear.
The right footwear can fulfill your sense of style and allow you to move comfortably. But an improper fit can lead to a variety of foot problems.
Beware These Foot And Toe Woes
- A bunion is a bony protrusion or swelling of the joint at the base of the big toe. It occurs when the big toe is crowded, causing it to bend toward or even overlap the next toe.
- Corns are hard, thick patches of skin caused by pressure on the skin from the inside, such as from a bone or joint. They are often mistaken for calluses, but are usually smaller and have a harder core.
- Blisters occur when fluid accumulates between layers of skin. They can develop where your skin experiences friction.
- A hammer toe (usually the second toe) becomes clenched like a claw. Often both joints of the toe are affected, causing pain and reduced mobility.
- In-grown toenails are a result of the toenail growing into the skin at the side of the nail, often causing redness and swelling.
Some minor foot problems can be alleviated by wearing appropriate shoes, resting, keeping your feet clean and/or using over-the counter antibiotics. If your ailments persist, however, consult your physician.
Finding The Right Shoes Is No Small Feat
Wearing the right shoes is the first step on the path to preventive health care for your feet. When you shop for shoes, consider the following tips to help keep your feet healthy:
- Avoid pointed shoes, which can lead to the formation of bunions and corns. Choose shoes that give your toes plenty of room to move.
- Choose shoes with low heels. High-heeled shoes tend to aggravate pre-existing foot problems, and increase pressure and crowding for your toes.
- Review your shoe size periodically. As you age, your shoe size changes, so measure your feet occasionally. They may also differ in size from each other.
- Shop for shoes around midday. Feet tend to swell throughout the day, so shop for shoes around noontime to help get the most appropriate fit.
- Opt for softer, flexible shoes with cushioned insoles to prevent irritating friction on your feet.
- Avoid vinyl and plastic shoes. Check for decorative seams that might rub on your feet.
- Wear stockings that you would regularly wear with the shoes when you are trying them on.
- Select walking shoes that have somewhat rounded outer soles, a wide heel landing, approximately a half-inch heel and are light and flexible.