Doctors of podiatric medicine are specialists in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of foot ailments and diseases. When consulting a professional on foot care, make sure he or she fits the bill.
Be very skeptical of ads that claim a product can remove toxins through your feet while you sleep. In January 2009, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charged marketers for a certain brand of foot pads with deceptive advertising for claiming that the foot pads could remove toxins, treat high blood pressure, cure depression and help with weight loss when applied to the soles of the feet [source: Federal Trade Commission].
Proper foot cleansing is one of the easiest things to do to keep your feet healthy.
Start by washing your feet daily with warm water and soap. Dry your feet carefully, especially between your toes. Be sure to take a good look at your feet on a regular basis -- preferably daily if you have diabetes. If you can't see the bottom of your feet, use a mirror or ask someone to look for you.
If you have diabetes, look closely for any changes in the color and temperature of your feet, a thickening or discoloration of your nails, peeling or scaling on the soles of your feet, any growths, or cracks or cuts in the skin [source: APMA].
Treating yourself to a pedicure, at home or by a professional, is a great way to cleanse your feet and identify any potential problems. If you're giving yourself a pedicure, follow these steps:
- Soak your feet in warm, soapy water for ten minutes.
- Use an orange stick to push back your cuticles.
- Trim your nails straight. Only trim cuticles that hang over the edge of your nail margin.
- Finally, smooth toenail edges with an emery board.
It's very important to trim your nails straight. Curving nails might lead to painful ingrown toenails. Many experts recommend that you be able to see just a fraction of an inch of skin above your nail margin.
Once your feet are clean, foot moisturizing is your next step. Read on for tips for combining moisturizer with a relaxing, yet energizing, foot massage.