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11. Foot pain advice for over 60s
If youre over 60, foot care becomes even more important. Age takes its toll: your skin thins, your joints begin to stiffen and your feet become more vulnerable to the cold.Not only that, but as podiatrist Emma Supple says: Physically, it gets more difficult for us to get to our feet, and failing eyesight doesnt help.Emma says: Go to see a professional for a foot MOT every six months and never put up with foot pain as if it is normal. Your feet shouldnt hurt.
12. Inspect your feet daily
Check your feet for cuts, blisters, scratches, redness and swelling. Catching these problems early can help prevent more serious complications later.
13. Never trim corns and calluses
Over-the-counter chemical agents and do-it-yourself corn and callous treatments can irritate the skin of your feet. Ask your podiatrist to trim any corns or calluses you develop.
14. Wear clean dry socks
Keeping your feet clean and dry is the first step to avoiding infection. Socks should be free of significant seams and stitching and made of moisture-wicking materials. Dyes that bleed from sock fabric can cause infections in open wounds.
15. Avoid loose or tight fitting socks
Socks that are too loose can cause friction inside your shoes, which can lead to blisters and other irritations. Socks that are too tight can restrict blood circulation.
16. Dont smoke
Smoking impairs blood circulation. Maintaining healthy blood circulation to their extremities is key to preventing amputation for people with diabetes.
17. Get periodic foot exams
Visit a podiatrist if youre experiencing symptoms or you have any questions at all about the health of your feet. Your podiatrist will recommend how often you should have follow-up appointments.
18. Smooth It Out
Make it a habit to use a pumice stone or foot file on damp heels and calluses. Doing so will keep your feet looking good in open-back shoes.First, soak your feet in water or a foot bath for 10 to 15 minutes to help soften the skin. Then gently remove the thickened skin with a pumice stone. New York podiatrist Isaac Tabari, DPM, recommends a warm foot bath made of black tea (tannic acid). Tannic acid, he says, is a natural antibacterial agent that may reduce the chance of getting athletes foot.Moisturizing foot scrubs made from botanicals such as crushed fruit pits, sugar, or chemical exfoliators also help remove dead skin. After you scrub, apply a rich foot cream or balm containing shea butter or cocoa butter.Look for balms or heel creams containing salicylic acid or urea to soften tough calluses.
If your heels are very dry and cracked, see a podiatrist or dermatologist for a prescription treatment. If theyre not that bad, there are plenty of moisturizing products from which to choose. First, you might try some medicated heel pads, which dont need a prescription, to soften calluses while you walk. After youve exfoliated the calluses, use a heavy cream to moisturize tough skin on your heel.Look for creams containing petrolatum, an emollient, or a humectant such as lactic acid, which draws moisture into the skin.
20. Fight Fungus
Over-the-counter antifungal treatments come in many forms lacquers, creams, lotions, liquids, spray powders, and spray liquids. These products work best on mild cases of athletes foot, and probably not at all with toenail fungus, which is difficult to treat. No matter the form, they have one of the following active ingredients, which are all equally effective: terbinafine, tolnaftate, miconazole, ciclopirox, or clotrimazole. Tabari says tea tree oil, sometimes called melaleuca oil, also works well on mild cases of athletes foot. Look for a medicated powder or spray if you have sweaty feet. Powders usually contain aluminum chloride hexahydrate to help keep feet dry.If you have dry feet, look for an antifungal lotion.Dry your feet thoroughly before you apply antifungal powder or lotion.Dark and damp conditions let the funguses that cause athletes foot flourish. Basic good foot hygiene is the best way to prevent fungal infections. Wash your feet frequently and dry them thoroughly, especially between your toes. Wear fresh socks or other hosiery daily.
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