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The importance of healthy feet

The feet area is one of the most important in our body, so they deserve much care and dedication.

25% of the 212 bones in the body are in the feet. If any of these bones (or the ligaments, muscles and tendons that surround the bones) lose alignment or receive a lot of stress, the effects can be felt anywhere in the body.

It is necessary we adopt simple and practical methods that give a new perspective to our life.

It is important to remember that not only long working days affect our feet, but also the friction caused by shoes, the humidity caused by having covered foot or the absence of proper perspiration of the skin and the nails can affect them.

These situations may cause slight injuries, fungal infections or disorders, tendinitis, bunions, arthritis and they can restrict mobility increasingly.

Many people are affected by bunions, calluses or hard skin. Although they’re not normally serious problems, they are bothersome and can lead to other more serious problems. The footpad can become worn over time with pain in the forefoot and hardened skin. These feet issues are very painful and can lead to falling. Diabetics may get foot ulcers.

What can we do?

Evaluate your feet:

First of all, you should visit a podiatrist and evaluate your feet.

Medicine is becoming more proactive, so you may be able to avoid major problems by using orthopedic devices, arch supports or even using socks different from your actual ones.

There are two problems that occur in the feet at any age: arthritis and diabetes. Arthritis can cause bunions and stiffness.

Just as we look after other parts of our bodies like our hair and face, people should examine and care for their feet daily. Examine your feet with these things in mind:

  • If there is any change in nail colour or thickness, it may be a sign of fungi.
  • The foot colour and temperature are important and you should check that the feet are not swollen and there is no hard skin. Some areas of the sole may show inflammation or may hurt when touched. This may be due to calluses, papillomas or plantar fasciitis.
  • The skin may be cracked or cut between the toes; this is a symptom of fungi.
  • The skin on your feet should be moisturised regularly. Gently massaging the feet while moisturising at night will activate the blood circulation and give you a pleasant feeling of relaxation.
  • The type of footwear one uses is very important at all times. Special footwear for each type of sport should be used as recommended; on the job, a specific type of footwear is also necessary irrespective of whether you stand or sit. So, everyone who works should check with their podiatrist to find out what type of footwear is most suitable for them. The general recommendation for footwear is to be sufficiently wide for your foot and flexible with a cushioned sole. Heels should not be worn above three centimetres.

Those who do heavy work should use footwear with a reinforced steel toe, which is waterproof and features anti-slip soles.

Avoid feet smell:

Sweaty feet can become more than just an inconvenience.

If you feel that your feet sweat too much, you are likely to have hyperhidrosis (the sweat glands of the foot are hyperactive).

You can avoid this by using anti-perspirants and dressing your feet properly. Some new trends are harmful to foot health such as wearing closed shoes without socks. The purpose of socks is to prevent chafing and absorb sweat. If you don’t wear them, the feet can give off some 28 cl of sweat which is the equivalent of basically pouring a can of soft drink inside your shoes. So, you can easily imagine what sweat and heat do to your feet. They not only cause bad odours, but also infections. Wearing closed footwear for several hours without socks is not at all recommended.

Before wearing a closed shoe, with or without socks, you should use an anti-perspirant product for feet soles if you have sweaty feet. Removable insoles can also be used (even better if they are deodorising). They can be taken out of the footwear for faster drying. In any case, wet footwear due to sweat or other causes should not be used for a day or two as it should be left to dry completely.

It is important to remember that excessive sweating or exposure to moisture can cause fungi, which may lead to more complicated illnesses such as:

  • Cellulitis infection. This is a bacterial infection in the deepest layers of the skin. It can even be deadly as the bacteria attack the skin tissue and decompose it, which can cause septicemia or bones infections.
  • The symptoms of cellulitis infection are: pain, fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes and skin, red lines in the affected area and fatigue.
  • Allergies. Some people may be allergic to some proteins produced by dermatophytes which enter the blood stream and create ampoules on the fingers and toes and sometimes even on the arms and chest.
  • Bacterial infection. Cracked skin allows bacteria to enter the soft tissues, which leads to the most serious infections.
  • Fungal nail infection. When a fungi infection reaches the toenails, they change colour and get thicker and scaly. If this occurs, it can be quite painful.