Prevention & Recovery

5 ways to wreck your feet

By: Nancy Ripton

©istockphoto/kosziv Author: Canadian Living Credits: ©istockphoto/kosziv

Prevention & Recovery

5 ways to wreck your feet

By: Nancy Ripton

1. Forgetting to check your feet for skin cancer
“How many of us look at the bottoms of our feet and in between our toes?” asks Dr. Timothy Kalla, a podiatrist in Vancouver. Skin cancer doesn’t just occur in areas that are exposed to a lot of sun. It can happen anywhere – even under your toenails.
 
2. Smoking
Smoking is especially dangerous for those with a preexisting foot problem, because it narrows the small blood vessels in the feet. Studies cited in The Journal of Foot & Ankle Surgery found that smokers who have foot and ankle surgery are four times more likely to experience bones that do not heal.
 
3. Not wearing shoes in the house 
When walking on any hard surface, feet need support – some more 
than others. Even wearing slippers is better than going barefoot because they protect against slivers and provide cushioning.
 
4. Wearing the wrong shoe size
Eighty percent of people wear the wrong size of footwear. Get your foot properly sized with a Brannock Device while wearing socks, and don’t buy the shoes if they don’t fit perfectly – even if they’re a bargain.
 
5. Waiting too long to seek help for foot problems
“Early, simple treatment is best,” says Jeffrey Cowen, a chiropodist in Toronto. Be proactive about your feet.

This story was originally titled "Five Ways to Wreck Your Feet" in the August 2013 issue.

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