Reducing Your Risk of Foot Pain
- Wash your feet with soap and water every day. Remember to wash between your toes.
- Dry your feet after you wash them. It will help prevent fungus from growing. Remember to dry between your toes.
- Keep your feet dry by changing your socks if they become wet.
- Trim your toenails regularly. Cut them just above or at the edge of your toe. You can cut them straight across or with a slight curve.
- Wear shoes that fit well and support your foot.
- Do not wear shoes that are too tight or too loose. Wear well-padded shoes with open toes or a deep toe box (the part of the shoe that surrounds the toes). If necessary, have a cobbler stretch the shoes in the area where the corn or callus is located.
- Wear thick socks to absorb pressure, but do not wear tight socks or stockings.
- Apply petroleum jelly or lanolin hand cream to corns or calluses to soften them.
- Use doughnut-shaped pads that fit over a corn to decrease pressure and friction. They are available at most drug stores.
- Place cotton, lamb's wool, or moleskin between the toes to cushion any corns in these areas.
- See your doctor regularly and make sure she checks your feet at each visit. Take off your shoes once you are in the exam room so that she sees your feet.
- When cleaning your feet, avoid soaking them in water. Instead, wash your feet in warm water every day.
- Completely dry your feet. Do not forget to dry between your toes!
- If you have dry skin, rub lotion on your feet after they are washed and dry. Do not put lotion between your toes.
- Cut your toenails straight across. It may be easier to cut them after washing your feet, since the nail will be softer. Do not cut them too short.
- Use a pumice stone regularly to keep calluses thin. Do not cut at them with sharp objects.
- Wear socks or stockings. Wear them to bed if your feet are cold.
- Wear shoes or slippers, even if you are at home. Make sure your shoes fit well. Also, make sure they are closed-toe. Do not wear sandals.
- Keep your feet away from hot places, like a fireplace; hot bath or spa; or an electric blanket.
- When shopping for shoes, try to go shopping at the end of the day. Your feet are biggest during this time of day, so you will be able to buy shoes that are not too tight.
- If you can do so safely, put your legs up when sitting.
- Keep blood flowing to your feet by wiggling your toes or rotating your ankles several times a day.
- Do not use any medicine or ointments for your feet unless your doctor says it is okay.
- Changes in the shape of your feet and toes can happen with nerve damage. Talk to your doctor about special shoes you can wear, rather than trying to force your feet into regular shoes.
Adult foot health. American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society website. Available at: http://www.aofas.org . Accessed December 31, 2012.
Foot care. American Diabetes Association website. Available at: http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/foot-complications/foot-care.html . Accessed December 31, 2012.
Footcare 101. American Podiatric Medical Association website. Available at: http://www.apma.org/files/FileDownloads/myFEETFootCare101.pdf . Accessed January 10, 2013.
Prevent diabetes problems: Keep your feet and skin healthy. National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases website. Available at: http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/complications%5Ffeet/#skin . Updated May 2008. Accessed December 31, 2012.
Tips for healthy feet. American Podiatric Medical Association website. Available at: http://www.apma.org/learn/content.cfm?ItemNumber=1348&navItemNumber=535 . Accessed December 31, 2012.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 03/2013 -
- Update Date: 03/18/2013 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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