We take great strides in caring for our family and ourselves by providing good nutrition, safe environments and comfortable surroundings. Even so, there is a part of our bodies we often overlook. Our feet are vital to our over all well being and mobility, yet easy to neglect in our daily care and maintenance.
Do you take proper care of your own feet? Do they ache, get overly tired, and have itchy dry scales, calluses and corns? Do you seem to waddle when you walk because they hurt so?
How about those in your care? Perhaps they hesitate to walk when you want them to because of aching feet. As you bathe them or help them dress, do you notice whether they have any pressure points or rough places on their feet that may need extra care?
This year I determined to take better care of myself including my feet. After soaking them in warm water, I dried them carefully, messaged them with a generous amount of lotion and put on snug, supporting thigh high stockings. However, all my attempts at softening my heels and getting rid of my corns and calluses were of no avail; in fact, my feet were getting worse instead of better. The drier my feet became, the more lotion I used.
In desperation, I made an appointment with a podiatrist. I reasoned his fee would be worth it to care for my “transportation vehicles”.
One look at my feet and he asked, “Are you putting heavy lotions and creams on your feet? Between your toes? On your flaky heels?”
“Yes, faithfully every day.”
“Don’t do that!”
The doctor then gave me a three minute lecture on feet health. He said the fungal infection on my toes and the bottom of my feet was made worse with lotion. Fungus thrives in moist, dark places; even the scales and cracks on my heals were being fed by the moist lotion kept warm by the socks. (Note: for the tops of feet and ankles, a thin layer of an emollient-enriched cream can help to hydrate.)
Applying an anti-fungal cream twice a day to clean dry feet and changing socks daily have begun to improve the way my feet look and feel. While it may not have entirely brought back the spring in my step, at least I don’t waddle when I walk!
Our feet are vital to good health and well-being. Invest some time in caring for them. While you can get some good information online, I suggest you talk with your doctor or pharmacist for reliable advice on how to have healthy, comfortable feet for yourself and those in your care.
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