How to Maintain Healthy Skin on your Feet

Healthy skin tips to check for ingrown toenails, corns, calluses, plantar fibroma, infections and dermatitis
Why is daily foot care so important?

The average adult walks 3,000-4,000 steps per day, which is roughly 1.5-2 miles. Your feet are the basis of your body and have a big job to do! It’s important to keep them healthy so you can stay active and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Basic daily care:

Maintaining good hygiene is one of the best ways to keep your feet healthy. By keeping your skin clean you are less likely to experience infection, and more likely to notice any issues that your feet may develop. In addition to good hygiene: 

  • Check your feet daily for cuts, sores, blisters, and discoloration of skin or nails. Always check for any signs of infection which include redness, swelling and pain. 
  • Moisturize with lotion or cream, but try to put little to none in between your toes – These areas should stay dry in order to prevent infections. 
  • Avoid wearing ill-fitting shoes. Shoes that are too tight can cause pain and even sores. Shoes that are too loose can cause the feet to rub on seams or other areas of the shoe and cause sores and irritation. Any shoe that fits improperly, regardless of whether they are too big or too small, will not provide the correct support. 
  • Properly care for any callused lesions. If you have calluses on your feet it is important to care for these as they can lead to an underlying sore or wound. Calluses typically form due to your foot mechanics. Get your feet evaluated to understand the cause of the lesions and treatment options. 
  • Keep your toenails trimmed properly to avoid the nail from growing into your skin. 
  • Do not hide discoloration on your nails with nail polish – instead, make an appointment with your podiatrist to have the underlying issue treated.
Skin Checks

One of the most important reasons to regularly check the skin on your feet is for signs of melanoma. While people often watch for signs of melanoma on the parts of their body that experience direct sunlight the most, the feet are often forgotten. 

Where should I look for melanoma? 

Your entire foot should be checked for melanoma, from the top to the bottom. Also evaluate your nail bed for any changes.

What are some signs of melanoma?

    ABCDEs of Melanoma 

  • Asymmetry – one half of the spot is unlike the other 
  • Border – irregular, poorly defined borders
  • Color – more than one color or shade 
  • Diameter – larger than the size of a pencil eraser
  • Evolution – changing in size, shape, color
What are common skin issues we see?
  • Fungal infections (athlete’s foot, onychomycosis)
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Plantar warts 
  • Corns and calluses
  • Dermatitis 
  • Dry, Cracked Skin
  • Cysts
  • Foot Blisters

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