Are sore feet taking the spring out of your exercise routine? Corns, calluses and ingrown toenails putting a damper on those dogs?
Chronic foot problems are not normal and are not something you should have to live with. They can hamper your springtime activities and, if left untreated, cause more severe joint and back problems.
Here are some common foot problems and remedies to keep your feet happy this spring:
- Plantar Fasciitis (Heel Pain): If you run on hard surfaces, you can irritate the tissue connecting the heel of your foot with the base of your toes. You feel the pain of plantar fasciitis in your heel. If left untreated, the initial mild pain can become more pronounced, especially if you develop a heel spur. The best treatment is rest, over-the-counter (OTC) anti-inflammatory medication to reduce swelling and putting a heel pad in your shoe. Specific exercises may also help reduce your symptoms.
- Athlete's Foot: Peeling, cracking and scaly skin between your toes are signs you probably have athlete's foot. Caused by fungi that thrive in heat and moisture, athlete's foot is best treated with OTC anti-fungal powders or creams, good hygiene and keeping your feet dry.
- Ingrown Toenails: This painful condition happens when the corner of your toenail grows into the skin of your toe (usually your big toe). To prevent ingrown toenails, be sure to cut your toenails straight across (no rounded corners). If you develop an infection from an ingrown toenail, soak the affected foot in warm, sudsy water several times a day and gently nudge the toenail out of the skin. If this doesn't help, contact your physician.
- Corns and Calluses: These hard, rough patches of skin form on toes or the soles of your feet when you wear shoes that are too tight or too loose. Corns and calluses can be a nuisance and, if left untreated, can hurt and become infected. Soak your feet in a warm Epsom salt bath and use a pumice stone to gently rub the area. Never pull or cut a corn or callus and avoid using harsh chemicals, since doing so may cause a serious infection. If home remedies don't help, contact your physician.
- Bunions: More than one-third of American women develop bunions from wearing high heels that are too tight. Large, swollen and often sore, these bumps form at the base and side of your big toe. Most bunions can be treated without surgery by switching to shoes that fit well with heels no higher than 2 ¼ inches. If you have a painful bunion that is making it difficult for you to walk, talk to your doctor about whether surgery is right for you.
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Date Last Reviewed: January 16, 2020
Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor