You spend hours at the mall shopping for the best gifts for family and friends. Then more time at the supermarket buying food for holiday gatherings and then preparing those treats in your kitchen. All of this adds up to excess time standing and walking which can begin to take a toll on your feet. At Gentle Professional Foot Care, we want our patients to be aware of symptoms that may indicate a foot disorder. Foot discomfort should be brought to the attention of our podiatrist, Dr. Charles A. Suleskey, sooner rather than later. Although it’s tempting during this busy holiday season to put off seeking treatment, that delay could result in a less than Happy New Year.
Below are 4 common problems that we see during the holiday season and how to avoid them.
- Blisters. While this may seem like a minor annoyance, it can definitely cut short a shopping trip or evening out. Keep moleskin or bandages in your bag in case friction causes an irritation to start on the skin of your feet - you may be able to stop a blister from forming. If you are a patient with diabetes, remember that a blister opens the skin and can allow bacteria to enter which may lead to a serious infection.
- Athlete’s foot and fungal toenails. Longer days and hurrying from one place to the next can cause your feet to perspire more. It’s important to change your socks as soon as you notice that they feel damp. The longer your feet sit in damp socks and dark, closed-in shoes, the greater the likelihood of developing a fungal infection.
- Plantar fasciitis. If you already have this condition, where the band of tissue on the bottom of your foot known as the plantar fascia becomes inflamed, you are at risk for it worsening if you are walking or standing for long periods of time. Also, be aware that shoes with inadequate arch support can increase heel pain.
- Varicose veins. As we age, the valves in our veins can weaken, allowing small amounts of blood to leak out and collect in a vein. Although often these veins are just unsightly, at this time of year when you are standing for many hours they can actually become painful. Use compression stockings if you have varicose veins and take breaks throughout the day to put your feet up to help reduce the risk of pain and achiness in your legs.