By Alissa Redding, DMP, Podiatry
April is Foot Health Awareness Month, but this year is certainly different. The current COVID-19 crisis is affecting many aspects of life. The goal of podiatrists during this time is to reduce the burden on the healthcare system by keeping patients safe, functional, and at home. This is particularly true for people with high-risk conditions, such as diabetes, peripheral neuropathy, circulation problems, and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. Vigilance and good home foot care will prevent the need for some of these patients to come to the clinic and hospital. Patients can also be monitored through telehealth visits for follow up and non-urgent conditions.
Thankfully, spring is underway and people can still enjoy the outdoors while social distancing. As the weather gets warmer, it is important to avoid walking barefoot outdoors when possible. This will protect you against fungal and bacterial infections, puncture injuries, and plantar warts.
Staying hydrated is not only good for overall health but may help with foot swelling from heat or exercise. Another good way to improve circulation and reduce swelling is with periodic ankle flexes and circles, and calf stretching.
There are also things you can keep on hand at home to maintain good foot health and avoid injuries or infections. These include:
- Band-aids and antibiotic cream to treat minor scrapes and skin injuries
- Emollient cream such as Eucerin to treat dry skin
- Blister pads or moleskin (non-medicated) to protect against blisters
- Emery board to smooth rough or broken nails
- Pumice stone to treat calluses
- Aloe Vera to treat sunburns and minor skin irritations
By following these guidelines, you can help protect your feet and stay safe! Eager for summer? Read more – Sandal Season is in Sight