Regular visits to your primary-care physician, exercise, and a well-balanced diet are all key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, you may still develop conditions that affect your daily life. Considering an estimated 75 percent to 80 percent of adults in the United States have some sort of foot problem, placing importance on the health of your feet is essential. Of course, you are most likely not familiar with the signs that you have an issue with your feet. With this guide, you will know when to see a podiatrist and will be able to ensure you are taking a step in the right direction for your foot health.
The skin on your feet may lighten or tan throughout the year due to your choice of footwear while you are out in the sun. However, certain changes in the color of your skin may be a sign of something more serious.
Red, scaly patches on your skin that are itchy and uncomfortable are most likely due to a fungal infection, such as athlete's foot. Reddish skin is a common side effect of the gout, an infection that causes uric acid to build up on and around your joints. If your feet have a bluish tint, and they are cold to the touch, you are having a circulation issue that should be addressed immediately.
Wearing tight shoes or standing for long periods of time can cause your feet to swell. If you are noticing this swelling a great deal, there may be an underlying condition that needs to be addressed.
Medical conditions, such as heart failure, kidney disease, and diabetes can cause fluid to build up in your legs and feet. Swelling of the feet or hands may also occur if you have high blood pressure or osteoarthritis. Treating the swelling is possible, but determining and treating the cause of the swelling should be a priority.
Numbness and Tingling Sensations
Numbness and tingling sensations in the feet are common symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. This disorder not only causes these strange sensations in your feet and hands but also is a sure sign of involved nerve damage that can become worse without proper treatment. Ensuring your insulin levels are normal will decrease these sensations, reducing your risk of ulcers and infections that may result in an amputation of the foot or leg.
Neuropathy affects about half of all diabetic patients, so if you are experiencing numbness or tingling sensations in your feet, consult your doctor.
The arch of your foot is an imperative part of the foot's function, since the arch helps your foot move comfortably while walking and running. Unfortunately, many people suffer with a flattened arch on one or both feet. If you notice your arch is flat, consult a podiatrist to determine whether you have issues affecting the tendons of your feet.
Strained tendons will not only become painful over time but also can cause inflammation of the foot and joints, leading to arthritis.
Regular trimming of your toenails will not only keep them looking neat and clean but also can reduce your risk of ingrown toenails.
If the toenail grows into the skin of the toe, the nail can become infected. You may notice white pus oozing from the nail. In addition, the infected ingrown nail will be very painful.
If you have an infected ingrown nail, visit your podiatrist. Do not attempt to cut the ingrown nail out on your own, since you lack the experience to treat the problem in a safe, effective manner.
Caring for your feet may not be on your list of priorities, but visiting a foot specialist, such as one at Camden County Foot & Ankle Associates, is key to your foot health if you are experiencing one or more of the above signs.