April is National Foot Health Awareness Month and research shows that approximately 20 percent of Americans experience at least one foot problem each year. These issues can be the result of an underlying health problem such as obesity, diabetes, or peripheral neuropathy. Today Dr. Amanda Bartell and Dr. Andrew Bartell of North Florida Foot & Ankle Center in Jacksonville, FL, Southside, and Duval County are sharing their tips for happy, healthy feet!
- Examine your feet each day, using a mirror – if needed - to inspect the bottom of your feet for cracks, peeling, injuries or dry skin. This is particularly important if you have diabetes to avoid a non-healing wound.
- Wear shoes in public areas where your feet can be scratched or cut, leading to infection, athlete’s foot or plantar warts.
- Replace the shoes you wear to exercise every six months or 500 miles to avoid heal and foot pain when the inside of the shoe begins to lose support.
- Stretch your ankles, lower legs and feet daily and before any activity to avoid injury.
- Thoroughly dry your feet and between your toes after bathing to reduce the risk of fungal infections. Follow up by applying a good moisturizer.
- Don’t leave polish on nails all the time as it can lead to fungal toenails.
- Apply sunscreen on ankles and between toes to avoid sunburn and guard against skin cancer.
- There is a good chance you will not wear the same size in shoes your entire life, so have them measured on a regular basis.
- Maintain a healthy weight because extra weight puts pressure on the feet, often causing heel or foot pain, circulatory problems, arthritis, and stress fractures.
- Try to wear shoes with good support and a low heel and use custom orthotics to provide proper arch support.
If you experience a foot, ankle or toe injury – don’t try to treat it yourself - schedule a visit to your podiatrist. The more quickly you seek treatment, the better the outcome will be. Don’t hesitate, call the office of Dr. Amanda Bartell and Dr. Andrew Bartell of North Florida Foot & Ankle Center in Jacksonville, FL, Southside, Duval County today at (904) 236-5023.