Having healthy feet is very important…Have you ever had an ingrown toenail and know how much it hurts? Recently I have been dealing with a little discomfort from a toenail that seems to have a mind of its own. I’ve had to give it a little TLC and have gotten a little help with it.
At St. Anne’s, our residents have staff who help them look after their “little piggies” (a.k.a. toes and feet) which we all depend upon, whether we’re out and about or we’ve “stayed home,” as the old nursery rhyme says.
Also, every two months, nurses come in from the Senior Center to provide foot care for those who wish to have their services, especially residents from our low-rent housing apartments.
Since August is Foot Health Month, I decided to take this opportunity to offer tips to keep your feet happy and healthy.
According to an “Everyday Health article on this topic, “good hygiene, self-examinations, and properly fitting shoes” are important considerations. More specifically, the article recommends keeping your feet clean and dry. When you take a bath or shower, don’t forget to clean your feet with soap and water; afterward, dry them well, they suggest. This helps prevent fungal growth. A weekly self-examination, in which you check for scaling or pealing, nail discoloration, is recommended. If you’re diabetic (as many of our residents are), a more frequent check is suggested.
Another suggestion regards proper toenail trimming. The above-mentioned article suggests cutting nails straight across and not trimming too close to the skin. Also, when using public shower facilities, such as at a pool, one should wear shoes to protect feet from contagious fungi.
One surprising fact that this article shared is that wearing socks is actually healthy as they help absorb sweat, preventing a breeding ground for bacteria. Breathable footwear is also recommended.
Another site offered some more interesting advice about socks: Avoid loose or tight fitting socks; they should not be excessively loose (causing friction leading to blisters) or tight (harming circulation). Although advising use of lotion on feet, they warned against putting it between the toes as trapped moisture can foster fungal growth.
If you follow these tips and take good care of your feet, these “little piggies” should serve you well, whether you are at home or go to market.
Sr. Christina M. Neumann