When it comes to self care, men are always simple and undemanding. We are always quick to take a shower, select a wardrobe, have a haircut, and we don’t always go to the dentist, right? Generally, keeping things uncomplicated is ok and it won’t give you such a hassle everyday.
But did you know that there are actually other stuff that we don’t always encounter but is downright important for our health? Like caring for our feet?
Caring for our feet is a part of self care that we don’t often (or probably not) think about. Why would we? Our feet, most of the time, are locked up in warm socks and don’t always see the light of day. Is that not caring enough? You might ask. The thing is, it’s not. And with the kind of lifestyle we put ourselves into everyday — going to the gym, engaging in sports, driving (in general), and a lot more — our feet need more than that. You won’t realize how important your feet are until you feel pain or develop difficulty in doing simple regular activities like walking.
A lot of times, foot and ankle problems go away with time. This is the reason why you don’t give it much thought. You equate the discomfort you feel sometimes with fatigue or with the type of shoes you are wearing. You might be right in some instances but when the pain and discomfort don’t go away, the care of a podiatrist might just help.
Podiatrists are more than medical professionals. They are foot fairies! They can help you do wonders with all the discomfort you have been experiencing on your feet but often neglect. They are trained to treat the foot and ankle medically and surgically. They treat conditions like calluses, ingrown toenails, arthritis, sprain, sport injuries and a lot more. They even take care of foot problems that can lead to diabetes and obesity. Remember the Asian practice of foot therapy saying that all the internal organs are connected to our feet? It is true!
So how then would you know that you need to see your foot fairies? Here are the top conditions that require foot care and your extra attention according to podiatrists.
Calluses. These are pretty much common especially for active men since it is caused by the feet rubbing against each other inside the shoes. Here, the skin responds to the friction and builds up a protective thick layer of dead skin. While calluses may appear normal, a lot of it can feel completely uncomfortable.
How then do you address it? Podiatrists suggest buying a new pair shoes. One that is comfortable for longer wear. It can also help to have padded inserts to the area that always have calluses build up to help it recover or to prevent the skin around it to be thicker still. Foot scrub once a month might help as well. For those that grow out of proportion, podiatrists can actually trim the extra skin away. Proper foot and heel care is a must for men who are prone to calluses.
Athlete’s Foot. This is downright gross therefore should be addressed right away. Athlete’s foot may start up as small rashes but can go full-blown, fluid-filled blisters that are painful. It usually develops at the bottom of the feet or in between toes and is caused by fungi and the scary thing? It is contagious and can be spread through direct contact with the bacteria.
Athlete’s foot should not be taken for granted. Ask doctors for anti-fungal spray to be put on your shoes regularly to prevent bacterial spread. The infection itself can be cured with over-the-counter anti fungal medicines. The key is to prevent the fungi from spreading so be careful when in public areas such as pool or gym. Be sure not to walk barefoot. For recurring Athlete’s foot, ask your podiatrist for heavy duty medicine for cure.
Physical Pain. There are a lot of reasons why you can experience physical foot pain and there are many conditions that cause them too. The thing is, if you almost always feel pain in your feet especially after strenuous activities, talk to your doctor about it. You may start by changing your gym shoes to prevent pressure that is causing the pain. Or if nothing’s change, your doctor may recommend therapy and even surgery that is mostly minor that you are up and going in no time.
Ingrown Toenail. This condition, when left untreated, can cause more pain and complications that you think and it should not be ignored. The toenail becomes “ingrown” if it digs in the surrounding skin instead of growing straight up. Generally, the condition develops when the toenails are over rounded. Symptoms include pus, pain in the area especially when wearing tight shoes or sandals, and warm feel.
An ingrown toenail can be treated by minor surgery. For severe cases, podiatrists recommend laser or chemical treatment on the nail bed preventing the ingrown nails from growing back.
Heel pain. The heel is the largest bones in the body. It bears the body weight therefore, it is prone to injury. A heel can be caused by a lot of things like Arthritis, Bursitis, Heel spurs, and more. If the pain gets worse or is keeping you from doing your regular activities, then its time to visit your doctor.
A heel pain treatment will always depend on the cause. After evaluation, treatment can be through prescription drugs, therapy and stretches, laser treatment, custom orthotics, and even surgery. Proper heel care is needed as well to prevent any form of conditions.
With the right precautions and proper foot and heel care, most of these problems are easy to manage and are completely curable. Learn to take care of your feet. They are, after all, our physical support, in all things we do with our body.