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A Resolution You Can Keep: Take Better Care of Your Feet

Did you make a New Year’s resolution – or 2 or 3? Most of us do. In fact, the most popular New Year’s resolutions are losing weight, getting organized and spending less/saving more.

But here’s a resolution that is easy and inexpensive to keep: take better care of your feet. After all, they are the foundation of your body and have to last you a lifetime. Each day the average person takes more than 7,000 steps and that adds up quickly over the years.

It’s easy to make your feet your #1 priority – here’s how:

Check your feet every day. This is especially true for patients with diabetes as they may not feel cuts or wounds, and these may not heal properly. Look for fungus, rashes or sores that persist. Inspect tops and bottoms of feet – use a mirror to see the soles – and between each toe.

Clean feet daily. Wash with warm, soapy water and dry carefully, especially between the toes.

Moisturize to keep skin supple. Apply a shea butter balm or an emollient moisturizer after bathing, but not between the toes. You can moisturize the toenails with cuticle cream or petroleum jelly.

Pedicures. If you visit a nail salon, check for cleanliness, sterile implements and current licensing. At-home pedicures work too – use a pumice stone to smooth rough, dry skin. Always trim nails straight across – don’t round the corners – to prevent ingrown toenails.

Invest in good shoes. Shop later in the day when feet are largest and always measure both feet every time. Choose sturdy, comfortable shoes that are made of good quality materials that breathe like leather. Look for thick socks for extra cushioning. Avoid high heels – instead select heels that are 2 inches tall or less. Avoid flimsy sandals and flip-flops – opt for sturdier, more supportive designs.

Protect your feet. Be sure to apply sunscreen to your feet every time you use it on other parts of your body. If venturing out in winter weather, keep feet warm and dry in waterproof shoes and boots with moisture-wicking socks.

Stretch and exercise. Your feet have muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints just like your arms and legs and need regular exercise too. Add feet and toe flexibility and stretching exercises to your daily routine. Keeping toes and feet flexible and strong can help prevent many foot problems.

A Thorough Foot Exam Should Be Part of Your New Year’s Resolution

Stavros O. Alexopoulos, DPM, board certified podiatrist recommends a comprehensive foot exam at least annually to keep on top of foot health. Please call our Chicago office at 773-561-8100 or request an appointment via the website . Let Dr. Alexopoulos help you keep your New Year’s resolution to take better care of your feet!