Celebrate Foot Health Awareness Month
April is one of our favorite months at New York State Podiatric Medical Association because it’s National Foot Health Awareness Month—the perfect time to help educate patients on how to take better care of their feet. Below are some of our top tips:
- Get regular podiatric checkups. This is particularly important if you have a chronic foot condition such as flat feet or a bunion that needs to be monitored or a systemic disease that can affect the feet like peripheral arterial disease. Your podiatrist can also help by analyzing your gait and wear patterns in your shoes to help detect potential foot disorders and even offer suggestions about the best types of shoes for your feet. Don’t have a podiatrist? You can find one through NY Foot Health’s online directory.
- Don’t ignore foot or ankle pain. Pain is your body signaling that something has gone wrong. Continuing to bear weight and walk on a foot or ankle that is hurting almost always leads to more serious damage and sometimes even a secondary injury. Get pain evaluated promptly.
- Observe good foot hygiene practices. Simply washing your feet every day with soap and water will help reduce the risk of fungal and bacterial infections. Use a good quality moisturizer at night before going to bed and foot powder before putting on your socks in the morning to help keep feet dry.
- Practice self-exams. Get in the habit of checking your feet. Look for changes in skin color, rashes, bruises, swelling, lumps and toes moving out of position. Anything unusual should be reported to the podiatrist immediately.
- Choose good shoes. Your shoes are one of the single most important factors when it comes to good foot health. Buy shoes that are well made with strong arch and ankle support. Get professionally measured and don’t cram your feet into shoes with narrow toe boxes.
- Take a total body approach to podiatric health. Your feet don’t work in isolation! Issues such as obesity, bone health and diabetes all impact your feet. Discuss any health conditions you have with your podiatrist and check out our community health programs addressing these and other important issues. You can also learn more ways to improve podiatric health through our free e-newsletter.