Proper foot care is essential to maintaining overall health and well-being,” says Dr. Duane McRorie, D.P.M. “Your feet are an important part of your body that support your weight and help you move around. Unfortunately, many people neglect their feet until they start to experience pain or other problems. At Celebration Foot and Ankle Institute, we believe that prevention is key to avoiding foot problems.” Here are five tips to help you keep your feet healthy.

1. Wash your feet regularly with soap and warm water

It may seem like a simple thing, but washing your feet regularly is an important part of foot care. Your feet are exposed to a lot of dirt, sweat, and bacteria throughout the day, and washing them helps remove these substances. This can help prevent bacterial and fungal infections, which are common foot problems.


When washing your feet, use soap and warm water, and be sure to pay extra attention to the areas between your toes. This is where bacteria and fungi can thrive, especially if your feet are often moist. Dry your feet thoroughly after washing, as moisture can promote the growth of bacteria and fungi.


2. Keep your feet dry, especially between your toes

woman wearing sandals with painted toe nails

As mentioned, moisture can promote the growth of bacteria and fungi, which can cause foot problems. Therefore, it’s important to keep your feet as dry as possible, especially between your toes. If your feet are often moist due to sweat, wearing shoes for long periods, or other reasons, you may be more prone to developing fungal infections such as athlete’s foot.


To keep your feet dry, you can try wearing moisture-wicking socks that absorb sweat and allow your feet to breathe. You can also apply talcum powder or other foot powders to help absorb moisture. Avoid wearing shoes or socks that are wet or damp, and be sure to dry your feet thoroughly after bathing or swimming.


3. Wear proper-fitting shoes that are comfortable and provide support

close up of two people tying running shoes in park outside

The shoes you wear can have a big impact on your foot health. Ill-fitting shoes can cause foot pain, blisters, and other problems. Shoes that don’t provide adequate support can also contribute to foot problems, such as flat feet or plantar fasciitis.

When shopping for shoes, it’s important to look for pairs that fit well and feel comfortable. “You should look for a well-supported, fitted shoe that’s not too large, not too small, and that’s comfortable” says Duane McRorie, D.P.M. Your shoes should fit snugly but not be too tight, and should have plenty of room for your toes to move around. Avoid high heels or shoes that are too tight, as these can cause foot pain and other problems.

In addition to choosing the right shoes, it’s also important to replace your shoes regularly. Worn-out shoes can cause foot problems and may not provide adequate support. As a general rule, you should replace your shoes every 300-500 miles or every 6-8 months, whichever comes first.


4. Trim your toenails straight across to prevent ingrown toenails

Ingrown toenails can be painful and even lead to infection. They occur when the edge of the toenail grows into the surrounding skin, causing redness, swelling, and pain. One of the best ways to prevent ingrown toenails is to trim your toenails straight across.


When trimming your toenails, use sharp nail clippers and make sure to cut straight across. Avoid cutting your nails too short or cutting the corners, as this can cause the nail to grow into the surrounding skin. If you have difficulty trimming your toenails or have ingrown toenails, a podiatrist can help.


5. Stretch your feet and ankles regularly to keep them flexible and prevent injury

woman holding massaging or stretching both of her feet with her hands

Stretching is an important part of foot care that can help keep your feet and ankles flexible and prevent injury. When your muscles and tendons are tight, you may be more prone to foot problems such as plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis.


To stretch your feet and ankles, you can try exercises such as calf stretches, toe curls, and ankle rotations. A podiatrist can recommend specific exercises that are tailored to your needs.


Calf stretches are an effective way to stretch the muscles in the back of your lower leg. To do this exercise, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and place your hands on a wall or other support. Step back with one foot and keep your heel on the ground. Bend your front knee and lean forward, feeling a stretch in the back of your calf. Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds, then switch sides.


Toe curls can help strengthen the muscles in your toes and improve flexibility. Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the ground. Curl your toes downward, then upward, holding each position for a few seconds. Repeat this exercise 10-15 times.


Ankle rotations can help improve the range of motion in your ankles and prevent stiffness. Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the ground. Lift one foot off the ground and rotate your ankle in a circular motion, first clockwise, then counterclockwise. Repeat this exercise 10-15 times, then switch sides.


In addition to stretching, it’s also important to wear appropriate footwear for physical activity. If you’re participating in a sport or other activity that involves running or jumping, be sure to wear shoes that provide adequate support and cushioning.


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Taking care of your feet is crucial to your overall health and wellbeing. Following these tips can help you prevent common foot problems and maintain healthy feet for years to come. 

However, even with proper foot care, foot problems can still arise. If you are experiencing foot pain or discomfort, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment at Celebration Foot and Ankle Institute. Our team of experienced podiatrists can provide personalized treatment plans to address your specific foot health needs. Remember, healthy feet mean a healthy you, so take care of your feet and schedule an appointment today!


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