The average person spends between 4-12 hours a day on their feet and walks more than 100,000 miles in a lifetime. These substantial numbers really drive home what we put our feet through! However, it can be easy to get caught up in our hectic, demanding lives and neglect common foot problems when they arise. Let’s discuss 4 common foot ailments that should not be ignored.
· Ingrown nails – Ingrown toenails can be caused by trauma or cutting a nail incorrectly. Toenails should be cut straight across in order to avoid ingrown nails. If ignored, an ingrown toenail can become infected, possibly even leading to an infection of the bone.
· Hammertoes – Hammertoes are contractions of the small joints of the toes that result in a hammer-head appearance of the digit. They can occur over time due to ill-fitting shoes or mechanical abnormalities of the foot. These severely contracted digits can rub on shoes and cause blisters and calluses to form on the skin. They can be both painful and aesthetically unpleasing. If caught early enough, hammertoes may be able to be managed using orthotics or altering shoe gear.
· Blisters – Blisters are incredibly common and can be caused by ill-fitting shoes as well as excessive rubbing caused by increased activity. Although most blisters are fairly benign in nature, it is important to catch them early and keep an eye on them. If you have a blister that has ‘popped’, clean the area thoroughly and apply antibacterial ointment to prevent infection.
· Corns/Calluses – Corns and calluses are extremely common and most often form over areas of the foot where there is excess pressure or rubbing. If ignored, they can grow in size and become quite painful. Corns and calluses should be treated early in their course in order to prevent the progression.
Although these conditions may seem minor, they should not be ignored. A common theme with all of these ailments is the earlier it is addressed, the better! Catching theses (and other) problems early can prevent progression to bigger foot problems down the road. If you or a family member has a concern about foot health consider making an appointment with Dr. Gary N. Friedlander or Dr. Jay C. Larson at Sole Foot and Ankle Specialists in Glendale, Arizona. We want to make sure you're feet are happy and healthy!