Dos and Don’ts for Your Feet

By Dr. Gary E Hosey

Now that spring is just around the corner, it’s time to think about your feet. As the weather changes, we prepare for outdoor activities. And with that, we should also check our feet and our footwear. Our feet take us through thousands of steps a day, yet we cram them in tight-fitting shoes, pound them on the pavement and tend to them last. Many complications can arise from not caring for your feet. Surveys show us that eight out of 10 Americans have experienced a foot problem, defined as everything from an ingrown toenail to chronic foot pain. And depending on how long that foot problem lasts, it could potentially affect one’s overall quality of life and health. If you’ve got foot pain or even minor skin irritation, you are more than likely to skip activities. Here are some things you can do – and not do – to help your feet be happy and healthy.


  1. Check your shoes for fit and wear. The ball of the foot should fit comfortably in the widest part of the shoe. Your toes should not rub on the tops. Stand up with the shoes on to be sure you have about a half inch between the longest toe and the front.
  2. Inspect your feet. If you cannot see the bottom of them, use a mirror. Look for calluses and warts.
  3. Cut your toenails straight across. If you wear nail polish on your toes, keep them healthy by letting them breathe for a couple of days after you remove it, and before adding more.
  4. Practice good foot hygiene. Keep your feet clean. Be sure to dry them thoroughly, even between your toes. Soak and moisturize
    your feet.
  5. Stretch your feet. You don’t usually think about stretching the tops and bottoms of your feet. Stretching can help treat and prevent foot pain. Stretching the Achilles tendon is also important.
  6. Massage your feet.
  7. Elevate tired feet.
  8. Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight can also harm foot health by putting you at higher risk for diabetes or poor blood circulation, which can lead to foot pain and loss of sensation in the feet.


  1. Perform do-it-yourself surgery on an ingrown toenail, or shave corns or calluses.
  2. Share your pedicure utensils with others.
  3. Share your shoes.
  4. Hide discolored nails with polish. Treat the underlying issue.

Don’t wait for foot pain and discomfort to go away. Address it as soon as possible to keep the spring in your step. Your podiatrist is a specialist in surgical, conservative and palliative care. Dr. Gary E Hosey is a board-certified podiatrist with decades of experience in treating patients from six months to 106 years old.

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