Most teenagers recognize the importance of regularly caring for their teeth, skin, eyes, and bodies (exercise), but few know to care for their feet. Yet, foot health plays an important role in their overall health and wellness. Teens should be aware that foot pain of any kind is not normal. Whether they are dealing with blisters, athlete’s foot, or ingrown toenails, caring for feet at an early age reduces the risk of complications later.
Following are some easy steps to maintain healthy feet:
- Wash your feet daily with soap and water. It’s tempting to just swish your feet around in the shower, but it’s important to use soap to remove germs and grime. Don’t forget to wash in between your toes.
- Keep feet dry. Fungus, including the kind that causes athlete’s foot, loves to grow in moist, damp environments, so after your shower, dry your feet thoroughly, paying extra attention to the spaces between your toes. If your socks get wet during the day, change them… (It’s not a bad idea to keep an extra pair in your locker or gym bag.)
- Trim toenails into a slight curve. Too-long toenails not only wreck your socks and look crazy, but they can harbor bacteria. Use a pair of toenail clippers to cut your toenails to just above or at the edge of your toe. Cut straight across the nail, or a slight curve is OK too.
- Wear supportive, properly fitted shoes. Improperly fitted, unsupportive shoes are a major cause of foot pain and injury. There are many shoes that are fashionable and lend needed support.